Habibie calls on ICMI to support termination of legal process against Soeharto


01/12/08 20:46

Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA News) - Former chairman of the Muslim Intellectuals` Association (ICMI) BJ Habibe who is also former president, called on all ICMI members and national leaders to support the termination of the legal process against former president Soeharto.

"I hope all ICMI members and national leaders will support efforts to halt the legal process against former president Soeharto," Habibie said in a written address to an ICMI conference here on Saturday.

Habibie said Soeharto was a national leader who had tirelessly led Indonesia for 32 years and always been in the forefront of the national struggle.

"Nobody`s perfect. Only God can judge someone`s goodness or badness," he said.

Therefore, he suggested that all ICMI members and national leaders propose to the government to shelve Soharto`s case.

Habibie said he had never met Soeharto since he resigned in 1998. "I have not met him for almost ten years now," said Habibie who succeeded Soeharto as president after serving as vice president for several months in 1998.

In the meantime, the chairman of the ICMI presidium, Nanat Fatah Natsir, said ICMI was ready to discuss Habibie`s proposal. ICMI which was holding a national meeting here would decide on the matter on Sunday.

"We will discuss the matter with other ICMI members and hope it can be decided tomorrow," he said.

The 86-year-old former strongman was hospitalized in critical condition one week ago with anemia and a low heartbeat rate. His condition fluctuated almost daily but Friday`s relapse was the most dramatic.

On August 3, 2000. the government formally charged Soeharto with graft. He was tried for the first time by the South Jakarta district Court on August 31. He was accused of having unlawfully collected Rp1.3 trillion and US$419 million through seven foundations he had led while he was president.

In the wake of Soeharto`s health problem, the attorney general`s office dropped corruption charges against him in May 2006.

Having come to power in 1965, Soeharto was forced to step down at the height of calls for reforms in May 1998 after 32 years in power.(*)

Copyright © 2008 ANTARA

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