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Suharto condition worsens

Jan. 15, 2008 at 11:08 AM

JAKARTA, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Former Indonesian President Suharto's condition worsened Tuesday on the 12th day of his hospitalization amid concerns of systemic infection.

Doctors at Jakarta's Pertamina Hospital, where the 86-year-old former strongman has been battling for life with multiple problems since Jan. 4, said his respiratory system was being supported by a ventilator and that his hemodynamic system was weakening causing instability in the heart function, Antara news agency reported.

"Signs of systemic infection are a threat," the head of Suharto's medical team, said in a statement.

Antara reported among the foreign dignitaries who have visited Suharto in the hospital include former Singapore Premier Lee Kuan Yew, former Malaysian Premier Mahathir Muhammad and Brunei`s King Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

CNN quoted doctors as saying they'd continue to keep Suharto on ventilator until all his organs had stopped functioning. The report said his family, which has been reciting verses from the Koran for Suharto, has granted permission to have Suharto taken off life support when doctors see fit.

Suharto was Indonesia's president for three decades until he resigned in 1998 under pressure resulting from allegations that his family had amassed billion of dollars in state funds. The family has denied the allegations.

The CNN report said during the weekend Indonesia's attorney general had offered to settle civil claims of $1.5 billion Suharto had been accused of stealing but lawyers for the family turned it down.

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