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Chronology of Indonesia's probe against Suharto

August 31, 2000
Web posted at: 10:09 AM HKT (0209 GMT)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (Reuters) -- Disgraced former Indonesian President Suharto is due to stand trial on Thursday on charges of corruption during his 32-year autocratic rule.

Suharto, the country's second president, rose to power in the mid-1960s when he crushed an alleged communist coup attempt. His rule, which ended in May 1998, was marked by economic development but also by widespread graft and human rights abuses.

Following is a chronology of events leading to the trial.

May 21, 1998 - After 32 years in power, Suharto steps down in the face of country's worst economic and political crisis in decades.

June 1, 1998 - Attorney-General orders a probe into Suharto's wealth, including an investigation into charity foundations he controlled while in power.

September 1998 - Suharto appears on private television -- a station partly owned by his eldest daughter -- pleading innocence and saying he had no money stashed abroad. Later that month Suharto goes to the Attorney-General's office for the first time, giving investigators authority to seize money from foreign accounts should they find any.

May 1999 - U.S.-based Time magazine reports Suharto and his family stashed away about $15 billion, including $9 billion in an Austrian bank. Suharto sues the magazine but later loses the case.

July 1999 - Suharto suffers a stroke and is hospitalized. He is again hospitalized the following month.

October 11, 1999 - The Indonesia government, still headed by Suharto's protege President B.J. Habibie, drops the corruption probe, citing a lack of evidence.

December 6, 1999 - The new government of President Abdurrahman Wahid reopens the probe into Suharto's wealth.

March 31, 2000 - Suharto is formally declared a suspect for the misuse of money in charities he controlled.

April 13, 2000 - Suharto is placed under city arrest. The following month he is placed under house arrest.

July 2000 - Attorney-General's office seizes some Suharto assets and freezes the bank accounts of the charities.

August 3, 2000 - Suharto is formally charged with corruption over misuse of funds from seven charities.

August 23, 2000 - South Jakarta Court sets graft trial date of August 31, saying Suharto will be ordered to appear.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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