Former Indonesia Dictator Suharto Receives Blood Transfusion

Former Indonesian dictator Suharto received a blood transfusion after being hospitalized with intestinal bleeding, a presidential doctor said.

Suharto, 84, was admitted to Jakarta's Pertamina Hospital Thursday evening, said the doctor, Brig. Gen. Marjo Subiandono.

He told The Associated Press that the former president underwent a blood transfusion and physicians would meet later Friday to discuss possible further treatment.

A hospital official, speaking on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the media, said the transfusion was performed after doctor determined he had low levels of hemoglobin, or red blood cells carrying oxygen.


It was the fourth time since May 2004 that Suharto has been hospitalized for intestinal bleeding.

Suharto was a general who rose to power by crushing Indonesia's communist movement. He ruled the world's fourth-most-populous nation for 32 years with a tough hand, only to be chased from office in 1998 by street protests. Two years later, he was indicted for allegedly embezzling $600 million.

Suharto has suffered several strokes in recent years that affected his memory and ability to speak. He was also reported to suffer from a variety of other illnesses, including heart problems and diabetes.

Due to his poor health, Suharto avoided trial on corruption charges, becoming an increasingly isolated figure in recent years, looked after by his children, all of whom became extremely wealthy during their father's reign.