Jakarta Police Fire Tear Gas to Disperse Anti-Suharto Student Rally
Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of students who rallied at a busy intersection in the Indonesian capital Tuesday demanding a "people's tribunal" to judge former president Suharto.
Around 500 student protestors, including some from the militant City Forum (Forkot), parked a truck in the middle of the intersection with a live band on the back of it to draw people to the rally.
As the crowd grew larger, obstructing traffic, police first sought to hold a dialogue with the protestors, demanding they leave the intersection, but after failing to get any response they fired tear gas cannisters.
Students fought back pelting the security forces with stones as they ran to escape the tear gas.
At least two students were dragged out of a public bus and arrested, an AFP reporter saw.
The protest was the latest to demand a people's tribunal for the 79-year-old former strongman since a Jakarta court last month halted his corruption trial citing the inability of prosecutors to produce the defendant in court.
Lawyers of the former president have cited Suharto's deteriorating medical condition to justify his absence at court.
Earlier Tuesday a Jakarta High Court spokesman said a decision on an appeal by the chief prosecutor in the Suharto case was expected next month, and that three judges had been appointed to hear the appeal -- JAKARTA (AFP)
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