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Indonesian Ex-Dictator Suharto Ill

March 14, 2002

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ Indonesian ex-dictator Suharto is suffering from internal bleeding and is under medical supervision at his home, his lawyer said Thursday.

A team of doctors was examining Suharto, 80, who has been hospitalized twice over the last year and has suffered from at least three strokes, said Juan Felix Tampubolon.

``He is sick,″ Tampubolon said. ``He is bleeding in the stomach.″

Suharto, who uses only one name, ruled Indonesia with an iron fist for 32 years before he was forced from office in 1998 amid riots and pro-democracy protests.

Late Thursday, the ex-dictator’s youngest son was released temporarily from prison so he could visit his father, media reports said.

Hutomo Mandala Putra, known as Tommy, is awaiting trial next week on charges he ordered the assassination of a judge who had convicted him in a corruption scam. He is accused of murder.

Tommy would be allowed three hours at his father’s bedside, the privately owned El Sinta radio reported.

The elder Suharto has denied accusations that he amassed fortunes for himself and his six children during his military-backed rule.

The ousted autocrat is now rarely seen in public. His children reportedly prevent him from reading newspapers and watching television news as they believe it would upset him.

Update hourly