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Doctors Say Suharto in Very Critical Condition


Doctors say former Indonesian President Suharto is in "very critical condition" after multiple organ failure.

The chief of the medical team treating the 86-year-old at a Jakarta hospital, Mardjo, Soebiandono, told reporters Sunday that almost all of the former dictator's organs were in decline.

He said doctors had gathered the family twice Sunday to tell them about the possibility that the situation could get worse. Family members said they would not insist on life support for the former president, leaving the decision to physicians.

Dozens of police and military personnel stood guard at the Suharto family mausoleum outside the Java city of Solo as workers prepared the site for a possible funeral.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has cut short a visit to Malaysia because of Mr. Suharto's condition.

A long-time friend of Mr. Suharto, former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew flew to Indonesia Sunday to visit the former president.

Mr. Suharto has been in Jakarta's Pertamina Hospital since January fourth, suffering from heart and kidney problems. He has received blood transfusions and undergone kidney dialysis.

The former five-star general ruled Indonesia for 32 years before he was forced to resign in 1998 after riots and demonstrations demanding his ouster. He has been accused of looting the government of billions of dollars. His declining health has kept him from being prosecuted.

Mr. Suharto's influential Golkar Party has urged the government to drop a civil suit against the ex-president.

But, the attorney general said last week he will press ahead with the lawsuit, which seeks nearly $1.5 billion in damages.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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