Mon, 13 Mar 2000

Two teams of doctors meet to discuss Soeharto's health

BANDUNG (JP): Soeharto's private doctors have met with a team of state-appointed doctors from Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital (RSCM) to discuss the condition of the former president.

Juan Felix Tampubolon, one of Soeharto's defense lawyers, briefed reporters here on Saturday, saying Friday's meeting of the two teams of doctors was the best answer to end the polemic on his client's health.

Tampubolon was in Bandung to attend an inauguration of a professor at Sunan Gunung Djati Institute of Islamic Studies (IAIN).

"It's the best solution. Let the doctors decide the most appropriate medical steps to be taken (for Soeharto)," Tampubolon said, without revealing where the doctors met.

The attorney general's decision to appoint RSCM doctors to further examine the former president was right, Tampubolon said.

The polemic on Soeharto's condition surged after Tampubolon submitted last month a detailed medical report on his client's health.

The lawyer claimed that his client was medically unfit to undergo questioning.

Attorney General Marzuki Darusman then instructed a medical team to examine the aging Soeharto.

However, the lawyer said he had not been informed about the result of the doctors' meeting. "It's up to the doctors whether Soeharto should be taken to RSCM for further examination. How and when he (Soeharto) will be taken to the hospital will also be up to the doctors. We, the lawyers, won't interfere."

"We will always be open and helpful," he said, expressing hope that the Attorney General's Office would not interfere in the matter. "That (the medical matter) is the business of the team of doctors, not the lawyers or the prosecutors." (25/sur)