Saturday, January 12, 2008

Critical Suharto recieves graft settlement offer

Former Indonesian President Suharto, who ruled the Southeast Asian nation for 32 years, was offered an out-of-court $1.5 billion settlement of civil corruption lawsuits against him as the 86-year-old lay in hospital fighting for his life.

The settlement of the civil case against Mr.Suharto is based on allegations that he embezzled money from a charity during his rule.

It was announced that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono agreed to the settlement offer after Suharto suffered multiple organ failure, in order to reach a 'win-win solution.'

Mr.Suharto, who had corruption charges against him dropped in 2006, is fighting civil cases for alleged misappropriation of funds.

Suharto is alleged to have taken as much as $35 billion, averaging 1.3 percent a year of Indonesia's gross domestic product, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Mohammad Assegaf, Suharto's lawyer, has said the UN report is ``nonsense.''

Suharto's family has rejected the latest offer saying the former president has done nothing wrong.

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