Surprisingly, it is not only in Africa where some Political Leaders want to cling on to power for more than three (3) decades in Office, Asia has had its own share of such leaders.
The immense scale of Suharto’s dishonest conduct and greedy behavior of his alleged corruption led Transparency International to rank him number one (1) in their league table ranking the most corrupt individuals of all-time.
Suharto stepped down as President on May 21 1998, amidst growing civil unrest, political discord and accusations of corruption. As is the case with many corrupt Political Leaders of the world, they are only dragged to court only once out of power. Legal action was started against Suharto which was however impeded by the former leader’s fading health.
To the frustration of his opponents, the apparent reluctance of the judiciary to prosecute Suharto left him free of prosecution to the very end. In 2008, a civil court judge acquitted Suharto of corruption charges but ordered his charitable foundation, Supersemar, to pay USD $110m.
Whilst it was found that money had been diverted from a scholarship fund for underprivileged children, the judge ruled that Suharto and his family were not directly responsible for the embezzlement.
Transparency International described the actions of Former President Suharto as a demonstration of how corruption on such scale, “undermines the hopes of developing countries”.