( AFP ) - Indonesia's former president Suharto could be allowed to leave hospital soon after staging a remarkable recovery as one of his doctors said on Saturday that was he was now breathing on his own.
The condition of the 86-year-old has gone up and down since he was admitted to hospital three weeks ago with heart, lung and kidney problems. A week later he was connected to a ventilator after suffering multiple organ failure.
Although he is still attached to a ventilator, one of his doctors, Christian Yohannes, told AFP on Saturday: "He is breathing on his own at 100 percent. The ventilator serves only as a backup if his condition worsens."
Doctors said on Thursday that the former political strongman would be able to leave hospital soon if his condition continued to show signs of improvement.
However, Yohannes added that he could not predict when the former leader could be taken off respiratory assistance, adding: "We're closely monitoring it."
Suharto, who was among Asia's most notorious leaders of the 20th century, stepped down in 1998 amid deadly riots and mass pro-democracy protests sparked by the 1997 Asian economic crisis.
Opinion on his rule remains divided in Indonesia, which also enjoyed dramatic economic growth under his rule.
After leaving office he dropped out of public view and avoided criminal trial for massive corruption allegations by citing poor health. Doctors have said two strokes left him with some permanent brain damage.
Attempts to bring him to justice for alleged human rights atrocities in East Timor, which he invaded in 1975, as well as Aceh and Papua, have also been stymied by a lack of evidence.