Health of former Indonesian dictator Suharto improving

The health of former Indonesian dictator Suharto is improving, and the 84-year-old may be able to leave hospital in a week, his doctor said Thursday.

Suharto was hospitalized early this month for colon surgery and has since undergone several minor operations.

"He has caught flu, but overall he is improving compared to yesterday," chief presidential doctor Brig. Gen. Mardjo Subiandono told reporters. "If he continues like this, he might go home in one more week."

Suharto, who ruled Indonesia with an iron fist for 32 years until he was ousted from power in 1998, was indicted in 2000 on charges of embezzling US$600 million ( Ђ 467 million) in state funds.

Earlier this month, the country's attorney general said proceedings against him had been abandoned because of his health, triggering angry protests in the world's fourth most populous nation, reports the AP.

I.L.