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Timor-Leste Legal News March 2008 (Part 3)

July 29, 2012

Daily Media Review 24 March 2008

RTL News Coverage

Lasama announces extension of ‘State of Siege’ and ‘State of Emergency’ – Acting President Fernando Lasama de Araujo has officially declared that a State of Siege is to be extended to the Districts of Aileu, Ainaro, Manufahi, Covalima, Bobonaro, Liquica and Ermera. PR Lasama said that the decision was taken upon the request of the Government and with the authorization of the National Parliament.

President Lasama said that after consulting with the Defence and Security Council, the decision was taken to extend the State of Siege to the districts for 30 days. “During the State of Siege, the right of people to gather and hold meetings is temporarily suspended,” said PR Lasama.

PR Lasama has also decided to implement State of Emergency in the districts of Baucau, Dili, Lospalos, Viqueque, Manatuto for a period of 30 days. Oecusse and the Dili sub-district of Atauro will have neither a State of Siege nor State of Emergency as they are not considered security risks. The State of Siege and State of Emergency will be implemented from March 23 to April 22, 2008.

The Democratic Party MP, Adriano de Nascimento, has accepted the implementation of the State of Siege and Emergency in support  of the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation. However, Fretilin member of NP, Francisco Brancos said that the State of Siege has taken too long and is exposing the weaknesses of the State. He even suggested that this may put the nation on the path to dictatorship. However, Fretilin is continuing to support the Joint Operation.

On this, ASDT has asked the Government to give extra attention to the actions of the Joint Operation as they fear some members may take advantage of their position to settle personal grievances.

Rebels surrender with their weapons in Maubisse – Four rebels have surrendered themselves and their weapons to the Chief of the State [PM Gusmao] along with their weapons on Saturday (22/3) in Maubisse, Ainaro District. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that this action by the rebels is very positive and will go a long way to resolving the problems faced in the country. One of the rebels, Paulo Neno, said that he feels that he has contributed to the justice process by surrendering.

PM: Joint Operation slow to get results in attempt to avoid death and trauma – In answer to the criticisms levelled at PM Gusmao by MPs that the Joint Operation has not produced any results, the PM has responded that the Joint Operation has been slow to obtain results as they have attempted to avoid unnecessary deaths or cause trauma to the public. However, the PM confirmed that the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation would be in full military force after Easter to capture outstanding rebels.

Related to accusations that Joint Operation members have conducted themselves irresponsibly, the Prime Minister said that people should report such actions to the authorities in order for them to be investigated.

Print Coverage

Lasama: Attempts against State greatest crime – In a dialogue with the population of Lete-Foho, Ermera, Acting President Fernando Lasama de Araujo said that the attempts against the State made by the rebel groups of Alfredo Reinado and Gastão Salsinha can be considered as the greatest crime and should be resolved through the court system. President Lasama has appealed to the public to help convince Salsinha and other rebels to surrender.

Related to the rumours that Alfredo’s death was the result of a foreign-led conspiracy, PR Lasama said that the only people responsible were Timorese. “Never falsify and blame others. All the mistakes are ours and it’s time to solve these problems,” said PR. Lasama. (TP)

Ed: Four rebels surrender – The positive impacts of PR Ramos-Horta’s appeal on Wednesday (19/3) to Salsinha and his group were felt on Saturday (22/3) with the surrender of four rebels and their weapons to the state through the Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro. The surrenders were a good step towards resolving the issue and it a step that Salsinha should also take. Salsinha once said that he will only surrender once PR Horta returns to Timor-Leste- this is Salsinha’s right, but as PR Horta may still need to be in Darwin for a long time, Salsinha may need to rethink his decision. We cannot know his mind. The whole matter rests on Salsinha. As the PM once said, it is Salsinha’s decision whether to surrender, or die.  (TP)

Lasama asks public to convince Salsinha to surrender – The Acting PR, Fernando de Araujo ‘Lasama,’ has asked the people of Lete-Foho to convince Salsinha to surrender, if they know where he is currently hiding. (DN)

TMR to pay close attention to soldiers who torture people – The Apprehension Operation’s General-Commander, Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak, has asked the public to report any cases of violations or torture from soldiers under the Joint Command. “Any of the victims who receive such treatment from the soldiers should report their case to the police so that the cases can be investigated and not just publicized thorough the Media,” said TMR on Wednesday (19/3) at Palacio da Cinzas, Dili. (DN and STL)

Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixao says Apprehension Operation will not kill Salsinha – Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixão has said that the Apprehension Operation currently operating in Lete-Foho, Ermera, is not out to kill Salsinha and his men, but to convince them to surrender. “The Apprehension Operation forces consider Salsinha and his men as brothers and not enemies, because they also contributed to the independence of this nation. Therefore we are here to call Salsinha and his men to surrender and submit themselves to justice,” he said. (DN)

Four of Salsinha’s men surrender – Four of Gastao Salsinha’s men have surrendered themselves along with one machine gun and two AK33 rifles. The men were received by the Prosecutor-General, Longuinhos Monteiro in Maubesse sub district on Saturday (16/3). The men were also presented to the Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, and Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak at the Government Palace. (DN)

Government and Timor Energy work together to build houses for IDPs – The Secretary of State for Solidarity and Natural Disasters, Rigoberto Gomes, said that the Government is currently working together with Timor Energy to provide 416 transitional houses for IDPs currently living at the compound of the National Hospital. “These houses are now ready for the IDPs. This is a temporary solution until their problems can be resolved,” he said. (DN)

‘Lasama’ visits Lete-foho sub-district, Ermera – The Acting PR, Fernando de Araujo ‘Lasama’ has visited the Apprehension Operation forces in Lete-foho sub-district, Ermera on Saturday (22/3). The visit was aimed at seeing directly the conditions of the Apprehension Operation forces based in Lete-foho and to also listen to the community about the Apprehension Operation. “My objective here is to listen and see directly what people think about the Apprehension Operation during this time. It seems that there has been good collaboration and good cooperation among the operation and the community,” he said. (STL)

Justice Minister and State Secretary of Defence sign Accord to establish military prison – The Minister of Justice, Lucia Lobato, and the State Secretary of Defence, Julio Tomas Pinto, have signed an Accord regarding the establishment of a military prison in Timor-Leste. “I would like to inform the public that starting from now if our military commits crimes they will be imprisoned in the military prison. The military prison is established following the cases of violence committed by the F-FDTL in 2006,” said Minister Lobato.  The State Secretary of Defence, Julio Tomas Pinto, said that the military prison is currently based in the F-FDTL HQ in Tasi Tolu, Dili and that four F-FDTL members are imprisoned there. “According to the mandate of the constitution, we do need to establish the military prison in our country,” said Mr Pinto. (TP)
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TLPres: Statement on the States of Siege and Emergency

STATEMENT ON THE STATE OF SIEGE AND THE STATE OF EMERGENCY Presidency of the Republic BY H.E. THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC , FERNANDO DE LA SAMA ARAÚJO
ON 23 MARCH 2008 People of East Timor. Citizens.

I received a request from the government to renew the state of siege in the districts of Aileu, Ermera, Bobonaro, Covalima, Ainaro, Liquica and Manufahi and reduce the special measures and declare the state of emergency in the districts of Baucau, Lautém, Manatuto, Viqueque, Dili, with the exception of Sub-district of Ataúro.

The government confirms that there has been a significant development of internal security of our country. The operation of the Joint Command F-FDTL/PNTL has had positive results. The model adopted for this mission of developing F-FDTL/PNTL proof that the Forces of Defense and Security obtain good results when working in coordination.

But still on the run is a group heavily armed, in possession of military equipment, suspected of authoring or participation in the attacks on 11 February. This group resists the surrender to the authorities, unlike many others who have already surrendered.

The threat from this armed group is different in different regions of the country. In some places, it is necessary to develop military security by Joint Command, elsewhere there is military security.

In districts where there are operations of the Joint Command and the neighbouring districts is still necessary to maintain the State of Siege. In the more remote districts of the area of operation of the Joint Command, the special measures can be reduced and it is sufficient decree the State Emergency.

After the request I received from the Government, the authorization passed by the National Parliament and after meeting and heard the views of the Council of State and the Superior Council for Defence and Security, I decided to renew the state of siege, for 30 days, in the districts of Aileu, Ermera, Bobonaro, Covalima, Ainaro, Liquica and Manufahi.

During the State of Siege there remains the suspension of the exercise of the right of expression, of assembly and the right to inviolability of the home, allowing the carrying out of home searches at night, provided the competent judicial warrant.

In Aileu, Ermera, Bobonaro, Covalima, Ainaro, Liquica and Manufahi the exercise of the right to freedom of movement is also suspended, with curfew, every day, between 22 hours and the 6 o’clock in the morning.

Also according to the request of the government, the authorization passed by the National Parliament and after hearing the Council of State and the Superior Council for Defence and Security, decided to declare the state of emergency for 30 days, in the districts of Baucau, Lautém, Manatuto , Viqueque and Dili, with the exception of sub-distirct of Ataúro.

During the State of Emergency is suspended the right of expression, of assembly and the right to inviolability of the home, allowing itself to carrying out home searches at night, provided that the competent judicial warrant.

But the right of movement will be less limited.In the districts of Baucau, Lautém, Manatuto, Viqueque and Dili, with the exception of sub-district of Ataúro there will be curfew only between the 23 hours and the 5 o’clock in the morning.

For the district of Oe-cusse and sub-district of Ataúro, there will be no state of exception, for there now, special security risk.

The state of siege and the state of emerency which are now declared are in force between today, March 23, and the day on April 22, 2008.

Under Joint Command by the Government on February 17, it is the F-FDTL/PNTL the implementation of security operations resulting in the State of Siege and the State of Emergency, including the necessary measures to restore the normality of democratic life.

The partial renewal of the State of Siege and the State of Emergency has the aim of defending the constitutional order of the state and to prevent the disturbance of public order, but with the desire to restrict to a minimum the restriction of rights, freedoms and guarantees of citizens.

During the State of Siege and the State of Emergency, the people of East Timor continue to have the protection of the Constitution of our Republic, the protection of the laws, the protection of the courts and the protection of the Ombudsman for Human Rights and Justice. The institutions have a duty to do everything to protect the state and safety of the public, avoiding all the abuse.

To the people, all citizens and citizens, I ask that help to the defense of the country, complying with the law.

Good evening. Thank you to all.
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Embassy Dili Warden Message #7, March 21, 2008 Via US Embassy Dili – The Government of Timor-Leste declared on March 20, 2008 that the current state of emergency rule will be extended on Monday, March 24 by 30 days through April 23 in the districts of Dili, Baucau, Manatuto, Viqueque, and Los Palos, beginning on Monday, March 24.  In these areas, the curfew hours will be from 11:00 p.m. through 5:00 a.m.

On the same day, a state of siege was declared beginning on Monday, March 24 by 30 days through April 23 in these areas: the districts of Cova Lima, Ainaro, Bobonaro, Ermera, Liquica, Manufahi, and Aileu.  In these areas, the curfew hours will be from 10:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m.

Persons who violate curfew rules may be detained.

A normal state has been declared for the districts of Oecussi and Atauro.  No curfew is in effect in these areas.

The state of emergency and state of siege ban all gatherings except for religious and political party meetings, all rallies, and impose a nighttime curfew. The extension measures were requested by the acting president and were approved by the National Parliament.

Effective in all areas, the government declared an exception to curfew hours during the Easter holiday period, ending on Sunday, March 23.  Curfew hours solely for this period are from 1:00 a.m. through 6:00 a.m.

While there continue to be no reports of unrest in Dili or anywhere else in the country at this time, the U.S. Embassy urges American citizens and their dependents to remain vigilant, use extreme caution, and limit movements to the greatest extent possible.

The F-FDTL (military) and the PNTL (police) have set up checkpoints in Dili and outside the capital.  Searches may be conducted without warrants and suspects may be detained for up to 72 hours prior to reporting the detentions to the courts.

We strongly advise American citizens and their dependents to maintain at all times identity documents identifying them as American citizens or their dependents.  We also recommend that you store photocopies of your passport’s information (photo) page and Timor-Leste visa separate from your passport.

We further advise American citizens and their dependents to cooperate with authorities in the event they come across a military or police checkpoint.  Please be aware of your surroundings.

The U.S. Embassy advises you to renew your U.S. passport at least six months before its actual expiration date.  Some neighboring countries require passports to be valid for at least six months in order to travel to/transit through their territory.  In addition, please be advised that passport renewals and requests for additional passport pages are processed through U.S. Embassy Jakarta and can take up to three weeks to process.

The U.S. Embassy will provide American citizens with further reports. For emergency contact, you may reach Consular Officer Roberto Quiroz at 723-1328.  Embassy Switchboard is 332-4684.  To reach an American staff member, please dial extension 2083, 2056, or 2171.

The U.S. Embassy in Dili, East Timor
Pantai Kelapa
Dili, East Timor
Tel: 670 332-4684 Fax: 670 331-3206
Email: ConsDili@state.gov
24 hour emergency number: (670) 723-0949
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UNMIT Daily Media Review 20 March 2008

TVTL News Coverage

Ramos-Horta appeals to Salsinha and his group to surrender – PR José Ramos-Horta has said it’s time for Salsinha and his group to surrender in order to contribute to the stability of the nation. “To Mr. Salsinha and his group, please surrender and submit your weapons,” said PR Horta.

TMR appeals to people to report abuses – F-FDTL Commander Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak is encouraging members of the public to report any cases of abuse committed by the Joint Operation. “We are ready to receive any reports from any of the victims if they have been tortured by the soldiers, so that the cases can be investigated and not just publicized through the media,” said TMR on Wednesday (19/3) at Palacio da Cinzas, Dili.

RTL News Coverage
Horta appeals to F-FDTL and PNTL to guarantee nation’s security – PR José Ramos-Horta has appealed to the F-FDTL and the PNTL to cooperate together to guarantee the security of the country. The President said that crises within these institutions impacts gravely on civilians. “I ask the F-FDTL and PNTL to continue working hand in hand. The 2006 crisis was caused by these two institutions. Some escaped with weapons and they were killing each other. This should not happen again. Timor-Leste is only one. Not two or three. There is no west and east. Those who use west and east to divide Timor-Leste are those who do not want peace in this country,” said PR Horta. PR Horta also thanked the state, government and international agencies in Timor-Leste who prayed for his recovery.

PR Ramos-Horta appeals to Salsinha and his group to surrender – President Ramos-Horta has appealed to Salsinha and his group to surrender to the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation. He said that if they did not surrender, they would lose their rights. “If we want to kill or hurt people and burn houses, we lose everything. So I ask Mr. Salsinha and his members to submit themselves along with their weapon to face justice. The only way for them is surrender,” said PR Horta.

Print Coverage

Fretilin does not accept State of Siege – One of the members of the Fretilin party, Fransisco Miranda Branco, said Fretilin party’s members did not vote for the Stage of Siege which has been approved by the AMP in the National Parliament because of the negative impact it will have on the liberty of people. “Fretilin members will not vote for the extension of the “State of Siege” to a “State of Emergency” because it will have a huge impact on the nation’s economy and reduce citizens’ fundamental liberties,” said Branco on Wednesday (19/3) in the National Parliament, Dili. However, the Fretilin party is continuing their support for the Apprehension Operation which is being carried out by the PNTL and F-FDTL. (STL)

Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak asks people to report their cases to the police – The Apprehension Operation’s General-Commander, Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak, said people should report their cases to the police if they are abused by soldiers so that the commander can take action. “We are ready to receive any reports from any of the victims if they are tortured by the soldiers, so that the cases can be investigated, not just to publicized thorough the media,” said Matan Ruak on Wednesday (19/3) at Palacio da Cinzas, Dili. (STL)

In the eyes of the National Parliament, PNTL are not Professional: In the eyes of members of the National Parliament, PNTL are not professional. Therefore, the National Parliament has recommended that the United Nations provide more training for the PNTL so that they can become more professional. The recommendation was made during the meeting with a group of experts from the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Meanwhile, the first Vice-Acting President of the National Parliament, Maria Paixao, said to the journalists that during the meeting, the members of National Parliament also asked members of the United Nations Police from 41 countries in Timor Leste to respect East Timorese traditions. “It is not easy for the people of 41 countries in Timor Leste to understand and respect the culture of Timor-Leste. Therefore as representatives of the Timorese in the National Parliament, we ask the United Nations to train them before they enter the country,” said Paixao on Wednesday (19/3) in the National Parliament, Dili. (STL)

Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak asks Salsinha to follow past examples – The Apprehension Operation’s General-Commander, Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak, has asked former Lieutenant Gastao Salsinha to follow the good examples set in the past during his struggles against the Indonesian occupation. TMR said that Salsinha should believe that his only course is to surrender. These comments were made as Salsinha escaped another apprehension attempt. TMR has said that the Apprehension Operation is aware of where they are currently hiding. “Progress is underway and we hope this will continue and hopefully he will come down to face justice,” said TMR on Wednesday (19/3) at Palacio da Cinzas, Dili. (TP)

Julio Pinto has accused foreigners of meddling in national politics – The State Secretary for Defence, Julio Pinto, has said that government has a list of people who have meddled in the country’s internal politics. Mr Pinto said that he is currently trying to find more information on these foreigners. “We already have a list. Now we are trying to find more information on these foreigners who are involved in the political situation in Timor Leste so that they can be submitted for an investigation,” said Mr Pinto. (TP)
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Appointment of Second Group of Court Actos a Positive Step Forward for the Judicial System of Timor-Leste.   Judicial System Monitoring Program 20 March 2008 – After the restoration of independence in 2002 we had to start again because the Indonesians who had been occupying Timor Leste for 24 years had all left, which also impacted on the judicial system. However, this was not stop the people of Timor Leste from establishing their independence. This is evidenced by the fact that a number of legal graduates were recently appointed by the Court of Appeal as new actors in the judicial system, even though they had experienced a number of difficulties during their legal training, such as issues with language that they have managed to overcome.

These Timorese judicial actors were the second group of graduates to be appointed, following the appointment of the first group on 21 June 2007. The  group of judicial actors appointed on 14 March 2008 included two judges, namely: Alfonso Carmona and João Liborio, four prosecutors, namely: Remigia de Fatima da Silva, Afonso Lopes, Bemvinda da Costa do Rosario and Hipolito Exposto Martins,  and four public defenders, namely: Sergio Paulo Diaz Pinto, Marchal Mascarenhas, Laura Valente Lay and Rui Manuel Guterres. Currently Timor Leste has 13 national judges, 13 national prosecutors and 11 public defenders.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by all sovereign organs such as the Acting President of the Republic Fernando Lasama de Araujo, Acting President of the Parliament Vicente Guterres, Prime Minister Jose Alexandre Xanana Gusmão, SRSG Atul Khare, Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato, Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro, President of the Court of Appeal Claudio de Jesus Ximenes, and all diplomatic representatives who support the development of this nation, especially its judicial system.

Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão stated in his welcoming speech that the nation is currently faced with the difficult task of improving the judicial system. All courts require competent and adequate human resources.   Judges, prosecutors and public defenders need to serve the community and uphold the rule of law as prescribed in the Constitution, as this is crucial for the future to ensure that fundamental rights are guaranteed.

The Acting President of the Republic Fernando Lasama de Araujo also used this opportunity to state that Timor Leste was proud to witness the appointment of this second group of judges, prosecutors and public defenders by the court of appeal. Timor Leste is full of hope that the newly appointed court actors can uphold the rule of law. Mention was also made of the fact that Timor Leste needs to make improvements and to enhance the capacity of police officers who work in the field of investigations so they can support and guarantee the rule of law because they are the ones who accompany all victims and suspects before the prosecution to be thoroughly investigated in relation to criminal cases occurring within the community.

As an independent organization that conducts monitoring of the judicial system in Timor Leste, JSMP is proud to see the appointment of these new judicial actors who will work together with the first group appointed on 21 June 2007 to strengthen the judicial system in Timor Leste.

JSMP hopes that the newly appointed judicial actors will accept a pledge to serve the entire community to promote justice, guarantees for human rights and the legal needs of all citizens, as stated by the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão. JSMP hopes that the newly appointed and existing judicial actors will provide a good example to the community on how to uphold the rule of law with respect for the Constitution, the law and their conscience. Thus, everyone will abide by the law as set out in Article 2.2 of the RDTL Constitution.

JSMP also believes that the appointment of the second group of judicial actors is a positive step forward for the judicial system of Timor Leste.

For further information please contact: Timotio de Deus Director JSMP E-mail: timotio@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: +670 3323883
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Trials of criminal cases at the Baucau District Court Judicial System Monitoring Programme 20 March 2008 – During the second week of March 2008, in accordance with the list of scheduled hearings, the Baucau District Court conducted hearings in 7 criminal cases, including both serious cases (panel) and minor cases (single judge) as well as several cases of domestic violence and rape. The hearings relating to domestic violence and rape were declared open to the public.

JSMP observed that many hearings could not be conducted in accordance with the court schedule or notifications issued by the court to defendants, victims and witnesses.

During this period 3 cases relating to maltreatment, rape and attempted murder could not be heard.

When JSMP sought confirmation from an international, he informed JSMP that the parties could not be present because of problems with transport and because the majority of them reside in remote areas and therefore were unable to attend the court in accordance with the scheduled times. The international prosecutor said that the following court actors are working at the Baucau District Court: 3 judges (2 national and 1 international), four prosecutors (2 national and 2 international) and one public defender.

The limited number of judicial actors working at the Baucau District Court has a major impact on the trial process, recalling that there is a huge backlog of outstanding cases.  As an example of these limitations, only one public defender is currently working at the Baucau District Court. During the aforementioned period, the public defender did not represent his clients because he was sick and the public defenders unit did not provide a replacement. Consequently the scheduled cases had to be handed over to a private lawyer. The hearings conducted during the aforementioned period including preliminary hearings, examinations of witnesses and final decisions.

In addition to the limited number of judicial actors, the building that was burnt by a mob in 2007, in response to the announcement of the results from the general election, has not yet been rehabilitated or repaired.

JSMP monitored hearings relating to the following cases:

João de Jesus /Case No. 98/crm.c/07/TDB

In accordance with the prosecutor’s indictment, the defendant was charged with Articles 285 & 138 of the Indonesian Penal Code on rape. The incident occurred on 21 November 2006, whereby the defendant went into a plantation and had sexual relations with the victim JS. The court heard testimony from the defendant and witnesses and the victim did not attend the hearing. Based on information obtained by JSMP, the victim did not attend because she is suffering from a mental illness. No witnesses were presented in this case who directly saw the defendant using force to have sexual relations with the victim.  The trial was adjourned until 18 March 2008 to hear testimony from other witnesses and to amend the charges.

Boaventura S. Viana Cs/ Case No. 107/crm.c /07/TDB

This case involved 5 defendants who were accused of committing the crime of arson as prescribed in Article 187 (1) of the Indonesian Penal Code. The defendants burnt the house of the victim Alexandre da Costa.  This incident occurred on 01 January 2007. The court heard testimony from the defendants, the victim and the wife of the victim. During this examination phase each of the defendants gave contrasting accounts. The trial was adjourned until 31 March 2008 to hear testimony from witnesses.

Andre da Costa No. 57/crm.c/07/TDB

The trial was convened to hear the final decision in a rape case whereby the defendant was accused of raping a minor. The defendant was charged with Article 285 of the Indonesian Penal Code on rape.  There was no explanation about the use of this article for the act of rape, recalling that the rape was allegedly committed against a minor. The decision outlined that the defendant used force to have sexual relations with the victim on four occasions during May 2002. At the time of the incidents the victim was known to be a minor, however at the time of lodging her complaint the victim was aged 18.  The article applied against the defendant was Article 285 of the Indonesian Penal Code and not Article 287, based on the complaint lodged by the victim. The court sentenced the defendant to four years imprisonment. The sentence was not immediately executed against the defendant as he has 15 days to decide if his lawyer wishes to appeal the decision.

Carlos da Costa/No. 121/crm.s/07/TDB

The defendant was accused of committing maltreatment against the victim by punching him and throwing a rock at the victim which caused injuries and bleeding to his temple.  The hearing was convened to hear witness testimony. The trial was adjourned until 18 March 2008 to hear the court’s final decision.

Jaime Pantaleão/No. 135/crm.s/07/TDB

The defendant (father) was accused of beating and strangling the victim (his child) causing swelling to the victim’s neck, waist and mouth. After being beaten and strangled the victim proceeded to the hospital to seek medical attention.  The court sentenced the defendant to 5 months imprisonment to be suspended for a period of one year and ordered the defendant to pay $20 in court costs. The defendant was charged with Article 351 (1) and Article 356 (1) of the Indonesian Penal Code.

For further information please contact: Timotio de Deus Director JSMP Email: timotio@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: 3323883
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UNMIT Daily Media Review 19 March 2008

TVTL News Coverage

NGOs demand Govt to stop TFC – Twenty four NGOs have sent a petition letter to the National Parliament to stop the Truth and Friendship Commission (TFC) of Indonesia/Timor-Leste because they believe it has proved ineffective in bringing the criminals to justice or for providing reparations to the victims. The petition of the NGOs also said that the international community is aware that over 180,000 people were killed by the Indonesian army. The NGOs stated that they will not tolerate anyone who wants to eliminate justice in Timor-Leste. “We believe that the TFC is a political tool for leaders to create impunity for the criminals,” said the petition. The NGOs are also demanding that the National Parliament and Government reject the recommendations of the TFC report as it does not reflect the judicial principles of Timor-Leste.

Govt asks President to change “State of Siege” – The Government has asked the Acting President of the Republic to change the “State of Siege” to a “State of emergency”. They have asked this as Easter is approaching.

RTL News Coverage
Joint Operation to change tactics – The Commander of the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation, Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixão, said that Joint Operation Command is recommending the Government to change the modality and tactics of the operation. Commander Paixão said that the new modality and tactics of the operation will be used to force Salsinha and his group members to surrender. “We suggest the Government change the tactics of the operation with new tactics to be implemented in the field. This is a military activity,” said Commander Paixão on Tuesday (18/3) at a press conference held in Memorial Hall in Dili. Commander Paixão also suggested the Government extend the ‘State of Siege’ as it has impacted positively on the security of the nation.

Print Coverage
PGR lost legitimacy in rebel case – Fretilin has strongly criticized the Prosecutor General of the Republic Longuinhos Monteiro for losing his legitimacy to bring Salsinha to court as he has violated the nation’s constitution by negotiating with Salsinha. Fretilin member, Joaquim dos Santos, said that PGR has dishonoured the constitution through his negotiations with the rebels.  Separately, Democratic Party (PSD) member of NP Adriano Nascimento said that each of competent organs in this country has its own interpretation about the current situation, and about Salsinha in particular.

“I would like to say that each organ of the country has its own concept and interpretation of how to solve the problems of Timor-Leste,” said Mr, Nascimento on Tuesday (18/3) in NP, Dili. PUN member of NP, Fernanda Borges, said that she does not know the role of the PGR and has asked him to come and give a statement to clarify this in the NP.

“I don’t know what the PGR is thinking about what to do, but as far as I know, everything has failed. Salsinha has not yet surrendered. We need to know whether he [Salsinha] wants to surrender or negotiate,” said Ms Borges. Ms Borges also said  that in other nations, the Prosecutor General would not take on such a role. The PG’s role would be to deal with the suspects only when they had been submitted to the justice. (STL)

Joint Operation continues hunting Salsinha – Under the Command of F-FDTL Major Neves, the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation is continuing to hunt Salsinha and his group after their escape from their stronghold in Estadu village, Ermera District. “We will continue to chase Salsinha and his group anywhere in Timor-Leste. The best way for them is to surrender rather than suffer,” said Major Neves on Saturday (15/3) in Lete-Foho. (STL)

Govt to meet UN delegation – PM Xanana Gusmão held a meeting with the United Nations delegation from the Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) on Tuesday (18/3) in the Government Palace in Dili. The Vice Prime Minister, José Luis Guterres, said that the meeting did not discuss the events of February 11, but focused on assessing the coordination between the UN Police (UNPol) and the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL).  The meeting also analysed the current situation of the police and proposed ideas and plans for the future. “It’s time for the Timorese to take responsibility in leading their country properly,” said Mr. Guterres after the meeting. During the meeting, the UN delegation asked and answered many questions on how to continue working with the Government of Timor-Leste and how to strengthen the institutions of the F-FDTL and PNTL. (STL)

NP questions preventive prison in Colmera – PUN member of NP, João Maia da Conceição, has questioned the legitimacy of the preventive prison in Colmera, Dili claiming that there are only three prisons in the country. “The nation has only Becora, Gleno and Baucau prisons. Those who commit crimes are imprisoned in these, not in a secure ‘prison’ in Colmera. This has created a lot of confusion,” said Mr. da Conceição on Tuesday (18/3) in the NP, Dili. Mr. da Conceição also questioned why Susar is the only person imprisoned in Colmera with security provided by the F-FDTL and PNTL, while Alfredo’s group members are imprisoned in Becora. According to Mr. da Conceição, the idea of a preventive prison may prevent Salsinha and his group from surrendering. (STL)

673 petitioners answer questionnaires – Six hundred and seventy three members of the petitioners gathered in Aitarak Laran have filled the questionnaires provided by the Government from 17-18 March. One of the petitioners said that some of the items of the questionnaires are concerned with learning what the petitioners have done since leaving the military. ‘We have to follow the content of the questionnaires,” said one of the petitioners on Tuesday (18/3) in GMT, Dili. (STL)

Nelson Correia: Joint Operation is ineffective – The Secretary General of the Progressive Democratic League (LDP), Nelson Correia, has said that he considers the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation to be ineffective as they have failed to captured Salsinha and his group. “If we are not ready to conduct a Joint Operation, then let’s try an intelligence operation. An intelligence operation would be smaller, would not create panic in the public and would be more effective. Given that this is a new nation, we must try every method,” said Mr. Correia on Monday (17/3). Related to the statement of the Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro, that some leaders are impeding Salsinha’s surrender, Mr. Correia said that PGR should make public the names of the people he suspects are involved. (DN)

Most of the petitioners decide to return to F-FDTL – Former F-FDTL Major Augusto de Araujo Tara said that most of the 672 petitioners who have so far filled the questionnaires, have decided to return to the military. “Upon what they have said, it is clear that most of them have decided to return to the military,” said Major Tara. “TMR agrees that the petitioners can return to the military, but there will be some people who reject this.” (DN)

ISF maintains its cooperation with Joint Operation – The Commander of the International Stabilization Forces (ISF), Brigadier General James Baker, said that the ISF has maintained its relationship with the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation during the operation in the districts. “ISF maintains its close relations with the F-FDTL and PNTL in the operations outside of Dili. The ISF, Joint Operation and the United Nations Police will continue to coordinate their activities to arrest those involved in February 11 as this is the objective of the Joint Operation,” said Brigadier General Baker on Tuesday (18/3),”  (TP)

PGR will conclude investigations when Salsinha surrenders – The Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro said that the investigations into the events of February 11 will end when Salsinha and his group surrender. PGR also said that he has held hearings for 17 suspects for February 11, including 27 eyewitnesses. “I have provided a statement to the Acting President about the progress of the investigation. We have heard from 17 suspects and 27 eye witnesses of the case of February 11,” said PGR Monteiro after briefing the Acting President of the Republic Fernando Lasama. (TP)
—–
UNMIT Daily Media Review 18 March 2008

TVTL News Coverage

Horta Congratulates Portuguese FPU – President José Ramos-Horta has congratulated the Portuguese Formed Police Unit (FPU) for saving his life on February 11. PR Horta gave his congratulations during the visit of GNR Captain João Martinho.  The President was also visited by the Bishop of Darwin Diocese.

PGR has identified President’s shooter – The General Prosecutor of the Republic, Longuinhos Monteiro, said that the Public Ministry has identified the shooter of PR Ramos-Horta. “We have identified the person who shot the President, but we cannot give out his name as the ballistic exam has not yet finished,” said PGR Monteiro. PGR Monteiro also said that it has been confirmed that the man who shot PR Horta was indeed a member of Alfredo Reinado’s group.

PGR loses contact with Salsinha – PGR Monteiro said that he has lost contact with Salsinha as the telephone networks have been down. “Until now, I have only been able to receive text messages from Salsinha. He has tried to contact me, but has been unable to as he has been surrounded [by the Joint Operation] and has had no network coverage,” said PGR Monteiro.

RTL News Coverage

Petitioners respond to questionnaires – Most of the petitioners have filled in the questionnaires provided by the Government on the first day. Ten petitioners were not satisfied with some of the questions and have consequently left Aitarak Laran. F-FDTL member Captain Caesar Valente de Jesus confirmed that most of the registered 672 petitioners had filled in the questionnaires, even though some were dubious over the questions. “The petitioners are filling the questionnaires in groups, asking facilitators for assistance or consulting with each other,” said Captain de Jesus. Captain de Jesus also revealed that the content of the first questionnaire related to the reasons why the petitioners had left the army. (RTL)

Print Coverage
UN Peacekeeping Operation Team Visits Timor-Leste – DILI – A team off experts from the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) arrived in Timor –Leste today for an eleven – day visit to conduct an assessment on keyy areas of support provided by UNMIT to Timor-Leste. The assessment mission was planned while UNTAET Nations was reviewing the mandate of UNMIT. It is a part of overall support provided by the UN for the security sector in Timor-Leste. The team, led by UN police advisor Mr. Andrew Hughes, include representative from DPKO, the United Nation Development Fund, and the International Centre for Transitional Justice, UNMIT and the PNTL. The team will examine the progress of the development of the PNTL in light of their work with the UN police since 2006 and provided support to the overall reform of the PNTL. The team will consult with political leaders, government of facials, and key member of civil society including both national and international organizations. (TP)

UNMIT preoccupied with 470 pending cases – The Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, said that UNMIT is preoccupied with 470 pending court cases. “I recognize that in the short time, we, the international community need to do a lot to support the development of the judicial system. In the next few months, along with the Timorese authorities, we will finalize an assessment to see the needs of the judicial system,” said Mr. Khare. “I congratulate donors such as Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, USA and the European Commission for Human Rights for their contribution to Timor-Leste in the justice sector,” concluded SRSG Khare.   (DN)

Bishop Basilio demands resolution to Salsinha’s case – The Bishop of Baucau Diocese, Basilio Nascimento, has asked the State to take steps to resolve once and for all the issue of Salsinha. The Bishop warned that if this issue was not resolved, it would prevent Timor-Leste from moving forward. “There are two ways Salsinha can be submitted: either through negotiation or through military force if he refuses to surrender,” said Bishop Nascimento. The Bishop also said that the state should make a decision on Salsinha and get on with the business of running the country while the military does its job. (DN)

Possible inquiry into Hercules’ links to February 11 – Timor-Leste authorities have said that the February 11 investigations should be widened to include the former Jakarta gangster, Hercules Rosario Març al, who has been closely linked with Indonesian Army Generals during Suharto’s era. Hercules has also been accused by the UN of being involved in the violence unleashed on Timor-Leste following the Popular Consultation in 1999. Hercules visited Dili with the Indonesian Investors Club before the assassination attempts against President José Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão on February 11. During another visit on 21 January 2008, he met with PM Xanana Gusmão and other senior national officers. He also said during this visit that he was looking for possibilities to invest in Timor-Leste. (TP)

Joint Operation detects Salsinha – The F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation Command has detected the new hide-out of Salsinha and his group. An F-FDTL commander in Letefoho, Ermera confirmed yesterday that he knew of Salsinha’s whereabouts. “We are a bit far from their hide-out, but we did see them with their civil uniforms and weapons.” said the commander. (TP)

Fretilin demands PGR to name who is behind Salsinha’s refusal to surrender – Fretilin is demanding that the General Prosecutor announce publicly the person/s who are apparently impeding the surrender of Gastao Salsinha. The Vice Chief of Fretilin in the National Parliament, Francisco Branco, has called on both the General Prosecutor and the Acting President of the Republic, Fernando Lasama, to reveal the names and apprehend the individuals involved. “It is in the national interest to reveal and capture the persons who want to prevent Salsinha and his men from surrendering. This will clear up speculations surrounding this issue,” added Mr. Branco. (STL)

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