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Timor-Leste Legal News July 2006

June 28, 2012

RTTL News headlines 31-07-2006

Independent institutions are crucial: PD – Speaking at the Parliament during the government presentation, Mariano Sabino MP of the Democratic Party stressed the importance of institutions such as Public Broadcasting Service, PNTL, and F-FDTL to be free of outside interference. Sabino added that anyone in the structure of any political party should not hold any position within these institutions.

Reform within PNTL needed: Barris – Speaking to journalists after the presentation by the Prime Minister at the National Parliament, the Interior Minister, Alcino Barris said that there was a need for reform within the PNTL in order to strengthen the police force. Barris stated, though, that any reform should be based on a proper evaluation.

Temas:  East Timor: State of Emergencyto be extended, new Govt to maintain policy line – Dili, July 31 (Lusa) – East Timor’s Council of State gave its blessing Monday to a second 30-day extension of the “state ofemergency” first declared by President Xanana Gusmão on May 30 to deal with the country’s spiral of violence. A council member, who asked to remain unidentified, told Lusa the extension of the state of emergency, which is being applied primarilyby international peacekeeping troops and police, would last until the expected deployment of new UN peacekeeping mission on Aug. 21.

The meeting of the Council of State convened by Gusmão, he said, took note of the “improved security situation” in Dili and thecountry but recognized, “with preoccupation”, that “the situation remains unstable”.

A member of the 126-strong Portuguese GNR police contingent in Dili told Lusa Lisbon planned to commit an additional 116 officers to the new UN mission expected to arrive in August. He said the additional Portuguese force would include 58 Public Security Policemen (PSP) and 48 Republican National Guardsmen (GNR).

In another development, newly installed Prime Minister José Ramos Horta told parliament Monday that government would follow the”programmatic orientation” as his predecessor, Mari Alkatiri who was forced to resign June 26 as a step to end the wave of violence and subsequentpolitical crisis. Alkatiri is being investigated on allegation he ordered thearming of civilian militias, including purported political hit teams, duringthe crisis that erupted in late April. The politically independent Ramos Horta, who served Alkatiri as foreign and defense minister, told parliament the previous government hadachieved “notable” results in many areas, but had failed in internal security and communication with the Timorese people.

“We failed in the areas of internal security and indialogue with the people”, he told the lawmakers, the majority of whombelong to Alkatiri’s dominant FRETILIN party. “We are accused of insensitivity and arrogance”,he said, adding that “corruption had begun invading stateinstitutions” under the outgoing government, EastTimor’s first since gaining independence in 2002. 31-07-2006 12:06:00.  Fonte LUSA.    Notícia SIR-8217662 SAS/EL. Lusa

NORWAY INVESTS 1 MILLION IN JUSTICE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT – 31 July, 2005/ Dili The Government of Norway has announced a US$1 million contribution to the UNDP supported  ‘Justice System Programme’ for the period 2006-2009.

The US$10-million project is a continuation of  the “Justice System Project” from 2003. Its  immediate aim is to increase institutional
capacities in the governmental, judicial and prosecution branches of the justice sector. The Justice System Programme consists of advisory services, training programmes, infrastructure and equipment. The activities aim to develop institutional systems and processes as well as individual skills, knowledge and professionalism. The longer-term aim of the effort is a well-functioning justice system, as set out in the National Development Plan.

“This programme contributes to the balanced and sustainable capacity-development of all the three branches of the justice system; judicial, prosecutorial and governmental.” said Chief Judge Claudio Ximenes, the President of the Superior Council of the Judiciary.

UNDP Resident Representative Finn Reske-Nielsen thanked the Norwegian government for their continued support to this long-term programme. “This most recent contribution is a good reminder that development agencies and partners must remain focused on long-term development issues.” Reske-Nielsen said. “The Justice System Project, like many of the usual support programmes, has continued to function throughout the recent events and it remains a critical area of support for the future.” He added.

“Norway remains committed to the development and strengthening of democracy in Timor-Leste and we are very pleased to continue to provide support to the development of a fully functional justice system.” Deputy Head of the Norwegian Mission in Jakarta, Eva Irene Tuft said. “Norway supports development in the areas of governance and human rights, specifically in Timor-Leste in Justice, Parliament and children’s rights. Additionally, we are supporting the government in the area of budget support and development of the energy sector.” She added.

In addition to Norway, the Justice System project is also supported by Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Ireland and Portugal.

East Timor rebel leader faces attempted murder charge – One of the key rebel leaders behind East Timor’s recent violence has been charged with attempted murder.  Major Alfredo Reinado was arrestedon Tuesday.  Major Reinado led a band of about 20 military policeofficers into the mountains behind Dili in late May, in support of thenearly 600 soldiers sacked from East Timor’s army earlier this year.  It was their sacking that sparked the recent months ofunrest.  Major Reinado and his men were involved in a gun battlewith police on May 23 in which two people were killed. Australiansoldiers arrested him and 20 other men on Tuesday and seized a quantity of illegal weapons.  He has been charged with several offencesincluding attempted murder and embezzlement of militaryproperty.

Prosecutors say 13 of his men also face charges, but the remaining sevenhave been released. (ABC online) LastUpdate: Friday, July 28, 2006. 5:35pm (AEST) By Anne Barker

Indication of Corruption on Execution of State Budget – MP Alexandre Corte-Real, member of Commission C of the Parliament in charge of Economy and Finance said the State quarterly budget for2005/2006 between January –March, has indication of corruption because most of the projects have not been completed but the report says 85% ofthe budget have been executed. Corte-Real cited as an example the projectof the Airport, which has been claimed as completed but in reality halfof it still not complete and he says that,  worse,  more moneyhas been allocated for the mentioned projects for the new budget for the fiscal year 2006/2007. (Timor Post)

UNOTIL Daily Media Review Compiled by the Public Information Office Daily Media Review Saturday 29, Monday 31 July 2006
14 July 2006 F-FDTL And PNTL Should Be Under One Ministry : Saldana – In a letter addressed to the President of the Republic by Lino da Silva Saldanha representing the ‘Grupo Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste/Timor-Leste National Police Group and spokesperson for internal security reformation, asked that those police who have fled the Headquarters not to use big weapons and pistols for security purposes. Saldanha also asked “in future PNTL should not use big weapons and pistols to maintain law and order”.  He is of the opinion PNTL leadership in future should be under the supervision of the veterans because they have shown through their sacrifices in the last 24 years, national interest priorities and national unity. Saldanha also said PNTL officers who have done wrong must be dismissed from the institution and be punished and for those who have left and were not at wrong according to justice should rejoin the police force. He further said the Unidade Reserva Police (URP and Unidade Policia Fronteira (UPF) should no longer exist, adding PNTL and F-FDTL should only be under one ministry. (STL)

UNOTIL Daily Media Review Monday, 11 July 2006 National Media Reports

Ramos-Horta Government Is Illegal: PD – In a press communiqué, the President and Secretary General of Partido Democratico (PD) ‘considers the new government unconstitutional if it is a continuation of the first government of Mari Alkatiri,’ reported Suara Timor Lorosae Tuesday. PD also considers the nomination of Ramos-Horta as the new Prime Minister and his two deputies, Estanislau Aleixo da Silva and Rui Maria Araújo by President Xanana Gusmao also illegal for not consulting other political parties represented in the National Parliament as per RDTL Constitution title IV, chapter II, Article 106. According to PD the new government is molded from a party involved in serious crisis. The communiqué states that the former ministers and the political party government no longer has the credibility to form a transitional government due to its lack legality and credibility as stated by the President of the Republic himself.

PD is of the opinion the structure of the emergency government should be small and efficient with important function to assist in urgently resolving the social humanitarian problem, stability, justice and prepare for the general elections. The government, model presented by PD, based on the current crisis consist of 3 ministries. Ministry for Social Issues (health, education, economy and other matters) Ministry of Political Affairs (defence, internal and external security) and Ministry of Justice.

In a separate article Francisco “Lu-Olo” Guterres reportedly said the second government still is from Fretilin since it won with the majority of the vote and it is up to the party to choose the person to the head the government just like the case of Ramos-Horta. Guterres added the nomination of Ramos-Horta is with the aim to stabilize the situation and respond to the current crisis. He added the new Prime Minister has agreed to have a weekly meeting regarding the government’s program, noting the present government will give continuation to the first government headed by Mari Alkatiri. (STL, TP)

Parliament Receives Letter From Family Members of PNTL Casualties – Family members of PNTL casualties related to the events of May 25 sent a letter to the President of the National Parliament, Mr. Francisco “Lu-Olo” Guterres and read by the Parliament’s Permanent Secretariat during yesterday’s (10/7) plenary session, asks the UN to investigate those responsible for the shootings of the police officers. The families also want clarification to the public on the disarmament of PNTL only and not F-FDTL who were armed and shot the officers. They also ask the UN to look after the wounded ones, the orphans and widows and raise a monument in memory of those who died under the UN flag. A copy of the letter was sent to the President of the Republic, President of the Court of Appeals, Prime Minister and the Bishops of Dili and Baucau. (STL)

11 JULY 2006 UNOTIL United Nations Office in Timor-Leste Public Information Office

SRSG Hasegawa Delivers Accountability and Transparency Report to New Prime Minister Ramos-Horta – Sukehiro Hasegawa, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary  General (SRSG) in Timor-Lese today presented the Prime Minister with  a copy of a report on “Strengthening Accountability and Transparency  in Timor-Leste” prepared by a team of international experts, who visited Timor Leste for that purpose late last year. The 62 page report was published in April 2006 but had to await distribution in a deteriorating security situation, Hasegawa said that he had impressed upon the new Prime Minister, Jose Ramos Horta, who took office yesterday, that, “implementation of this report could greatly help in his government’s gaining confidence of the Timorese people.”

The SRSG said that he urged the Prime Minister “to publish widely all reports produced by the Inspector General and take disciplinary actions; and to bring to the attention of the Prosecutor General all cases of criminal nature.”

Hasegawa said that Prime Minister Ramos-Horta, had “pledged his intention to place the highest importance in ensuring transparency and accountability in the conduct of his administration, and asked international assistance in strengthening the capacity of the Offices  of the Provedor, the Inspector General and the Prosecutor General for the purpose of arresting the abuse of power and corrupt practices….”

The report, prepared by experts from the United Nations, the UN Development Programme, the World Bank and the government of Finland, recommends, among other things:

– A law defining the role of the Inspector General; to include operational links with the Office of the Provedor.
– The Provedor’s anti-corruption plan should be endorsed and funded.
– A High administrative Tax and audit court should be established.
– Parliamentary practice should reflect more closely the constitutional authority and independence of the institution. And draft legislation submitted to it should be made publicly available, and interpretation services be strengthened.
– Priority given to training of civil servants on code of conduct  and ethics and delegation of authority.
– A freedom of information law should be put in place. And government plans and programmes should be publicized more vigorously.
– Operational authority over police officers should rest with the Commissioner of Police and no one else.
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REDE FETO TIMOR-LESTE Letter to Mr Ian MartinSpecial Envoy of the Secretary General of the UN for Timor-Leste 07/07/2006

Dear Mr Martin

The Rede Feto of Timor Leste, a network composed of 17 women’s organizations working on women’s rights and gender issues, want to express our gratitude to you for taking the time to meet with us on 4 July. Further to the issues raised during the consultation we wish to submit further recommendations in relation to the establishment of the new post-UNOTIL mission.

Political/Good Offices

· To involve women in disarmament. Women officers in the police and the FDTL should be involved in the efforts to disarm civilians.
· The Commission of Inquiry for Timor Leste to consult with Rede Feto to provide information on the recent incidents of violence.
· To sensitize women to participate and support the campaign for the disarmament of civilians in their capacity as mothers, wives and daughters to promote peace.
·  Include women in all peace building efforts and fully implement SC 1325.

Elections

· To facilitate a review of the draft electoral law to include an affirmative action clause with a provision of minimum 30% target for women’s inclusion in winnable positions  political party lists and to guarantee women’s participation as independent candidates.
·  Ensure that women candidates have access to means of communication including electronic, radio and television.
·  Ensure a National Electoral Commission.
·  Develop a gender strategy for the electoral process.

PNTL Reform

·  Establish recruitment criteria and equal benefit package for female and male officers.
·  Ensure recruitment of police who have a good background and terminate those who have been involved in crimes.
·  Increase the percentage of women in decision making positions within PNTL through targeted promotion programs.
·  Guarantee that VPU (Vulnerable Persons Unit) is well resourced and staffed, and ensure continuity of staff.

Peacekeeping Forces

·       Enforce the UN’s policy to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse with clear information on reporting mechanisms.
·       Investigate past allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel and bring perpetrators to justice.
·       Include women in the uniformed and civilian personnel.

Reform of FDTL

·  Consult women’s groups in the reform of the FDTL, including its mission and objectives.
·  Increase the percentage of women in decision making positions within FDTL through targeted promotion programs.
·  Implement a program to address the specific needs of each veteran group such as women former combatants and youth involved in the recent conflict.

Human Rights/Rule of Law/Serious Crimes

· Review immunity of members of parliament and government and disseminate information on how it should be applied.
· Bring to justice perpetrators of women’s rights violations that occurred in 1999 and women’s rights abuses that occurred in the recent situation.
· A separate annual fund should be allotted to the judiciary which they could access without the bureaucratic systems. This will avoid any intervention by the ruling officials who will cause delay of release of funds.
· All legal documents including the penal code, the legislations and procedures should be written in Tetun since 90% of Timorese speak and understand Tetun. It is the preferred language of the people.
· Court deliberations should also be done in Tetun so the involved parties can understand what was being discussed and decided upon.
· Improve court proceedings to ensure expedition of hearings and prevent delayed justice and further hardship to victims.

Governance/Institutional Development

· Implement the recruitment, promotion and compensation system being developed by the Minister of Planning and Finance that ensures equal opportunity to both men and women.
· The labor law should include provision to address nepotism in public and private offices.
· Graft and corruption should be governed by laws and under the penal code to ensure protection of women who want to establish their businesses and/or source of livelihood.

Gender Dimensions

·  All the government officials including the ministers should have an orientation program on gender.
·  The Office for the Promotion of Equality and Human Rights should become part of the Council of Ministries.
·  At the ministry program level recruitment of women as part of the workforce in the districts is a must, e.g. health workers and staff.
·  Establish a separate office for village health workers under the Ministry of Health and encourage participation of women.

We also want to take this opportunity to ask you to kindly use your good office to convey our remarks on women’s participation in decision making.

Hoping our efforts will be fruitful and considered. Thank you.

Very truly yours,

UBALDA ALVES
Executive Director Rede Feto
July 7 2006
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RTTL news headlines 28-07-2006

Alfredo Reinado serves preventive detention – Following the hearing at the international detention center Caicoli, seven of the men arrested with Major Alfredo Reinado were set free.Reinado along with thirteen of his men, meanwhile, were put underpreventive detention. RTTL reported that Reinado and his men were chargedwith illegal possession of weapons and in connection with a shooting incident in Fatuahi on 23 May. Reinado’s lawyer, Benevides Correia, toldjournalists that among those detained with Alfredo were some F-FDTLpetitioners. Rejecting the criticism that the international forces,particularly the Portuguese GNR, had acted unfairly, Australian BrigadierMick Slater stated that Alfredo Reinado was arrested for breaking the law of Timor-Leste.

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UNOTIL Daily Media Review Compiled by the Public Information Office Daily Media Review Saturday 29, Monday 31 July 2006

East Timor: Peacekeepers detain 12 after angry protest over officer’s arrest – Dili, July 28 (Lusa) – Portuguese police detained 12 people in the East Timorese capital Friday after illegal demonstrations protesting the arrest of a dissident army officer turned violent, the first street violence in strife-torn Dili in about two months.

Capt. Gonçalo Carvalho, commander of the Portuguese Republican National Guard (GNR) peacekeeping contingent, told Lusa 12 youths were detained after they began stoning a camp for people displaced in Dili’s recent wave of fighting between security force factions and communal gangs.

The incident and similar rock throwing clashes followed unauthorized protests over the “preventive detention” Thursday of Maj. Alfredo Reinado on charges of illegal weapons possession.

Prime Minister José Ramos Horta, just returned from an ASEAN Regional Form meeting in Malaysia, said the government and President Xanana Gusmão were set against unauthorized demonstrations and determined to apply a ban on the possession of arms by “civilians and irregular groups”.

Magistrates ordered the preventive detention of Maj. Reinado and 14 followers after hearings Thursday. During a routine patrol Tuesday, one day after the expiration of a two-month arms amnesty, GNR police discovered Reinado in possession of a cache of military weapons.

A judicial source, who asked to remain unidentified, told Lusa Reinado’s hearing Thursday “ran badly”, with the dissident officer insulting the magistrates who ordered his detention. Australian peacekeepers at the hearing had to be reinforced to take the officer back to his cell, the source said.

Reinado and two other army officers broke with the Timorese army in early May after then-Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri ordered a bloody crackdown by troops against several hundred sacked soldiers protesting alleged regional discrimination in the 1,500-strong military. Reinado’s group later engaged in deadly firefights with loyalist troops around the capital, helping fuel a spiral of violence between rival security force factions and communal gangs that led to Dili’s calling in international peacekeepers and to Alkatiri’s resignation on June 26.

The Attorney General’s office indicted former Interior Minister Rogério Lobato last month on charges of “conspiracy and attempted revolution” for allegedly arming political hit teams during Dili’s wave of violence and has opened a related investigation into Alkatiri.

The weeks of violence left at least 37 dead and displaced nearly 150,000 people before the arrival in late May of the predominantly Australian peacekeeping force. SAS/EL. 28-07-2006 13:08:00.  Fonte LUSA.    Notícia SIR-8211269 Temas:
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Timor rebel ‘faces jail’ Agence France-Presse  From correspondents in Dili – July 28, 2006 EAST Timorese rebel leader Alfredo Reinado faces at least five years in jail after being charged with multiple criminal offences including attempted murder, his lawyer said today. Prosecutors yesterday charged Major Reinado with offences including attempted murder, embezzlement of military outfits and theft, his lawyer Benevidos Barros said. “The punishment could be more than five years due to the multiple counts,” Mr Barros told AFP without giving further details.

Australian-led international peacekeepers on Tuesday detained MajorReinado and 20 other individuals for possessing nine hand guns allegedly seized at their location. Major Reinado led a rebel group of military police to Maubisse, south of Dili, amid an outbreak of violence in May. The violence involved fighting between rival security force factions and ethnic gangs. The unrest had its origins in the March sacking of about 600 soldiers, who had deserted their barracks complaining of discrimination.

East Timor’s president Xanana Gusmao has defended Major Reinado in the past, saying that the rebel leader had taken his men into the mountains to avoid conflict.
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UNOTIL Daily Media Review  28 July 2006

Alfredo’s Detention Orchestrated: Lawyer – GNR Accused Of Orchestrating Alfredo Arrest +Australian Troops Not Consistent With Alfredo’s Group, Alfredo Supporters Asks GNR to Withdraw From TL

According to Alfredo’s lawyer Benevides Correia Barros, the arrest of Major Alfredo was political maneuver because Alfredo had already informed the Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro and the Australian troops that they had weapons and were ready to hand them over. “Before they handed in the weapons to the international troops, GNR and the Australian troops had already ambushed Alfredo place” said Barros. STL reported that Alfredo and his members will be detained by the international forces at the Police District Headquarters for 30 days for further investigation.

In a separate article, MP Leandro Isac told the media that he disagrees with the detention of Alfredo by the international troops who because they are not consistent with the law. “You took all the weapons in Maubisse in front of all the media, then you brought him to Dili and now capture him again” said Isac. According to Isac the International troops are not applying the rule of law correctly “

TP reports that Alfredo supporters are asking (Guarda Nacional da Republica) GNR to withdraw from Timor-Leste because the capture of Alfredo was not based on legal procedure. A member of the supporters, Apolonario dos Santos told the media that “ We ask Australian Police and Malaysian to stay in their barracks and let GNR patrol Dili so we can confront them” They also demand the release of Alfredo and his followers. A representative of the supporters in charge of the protest, Carmona Soares said Alfredo must be released or they will continue the protest and call for more supporters from the 10 districts. Soares said the international forces of Australia should not capture Alfredo as he has the right to carry weapons because he is a military man. He added those that should be detained are the civilians in possession of weapons like a person called Maukiak who he claims shot dead members of the police in front of the Public Ministry.

Carmona Soares warned that if Alfredo is not released there would be more violence and burnings in Dili. Carmona’s group also wants the GNR to be neutral and stop the detention of youths who have become victims of the conflict, adding the group is prepared to die if Alfredo is not released.  (STL, TP, DN)

RTTL news headlines 27-07-2006

Demonstration by the Youth for Justice and Peace – More than 100 youths demonstrated to express their support and solidarity with Major Alfredo Reinado who underwent hearing process at the detention centre of the International Forces in Caicoli, Dili on Thursday. Speaking to journalists, the coordinator for the Youth for Justice and Peace who held the demonstration, Edinho do Rego stated that his group continues to demand the trial of the former PM Mari Alkatiri and his group. If Reinado was not released, RTTL reported, there would be a bigger demonstration against the government. The group also reportedly called for the withdrawal of the Portuguese paramilitary, National Republican Guard, GNR, from Timor-Leste.

MP Maia rejects Labadaen’s allegations – FRETILIN parliamentarian from Ermera district, Jacinto Maia who was alleged by Labadaen as having been involved in the distribution of weapons in Ermera, has reportedly rejected the claims and stated that he was prepared to testify anywhere against these allegations. Labadaen reportedly made these allegations against Maia on Wednesday when he turned in 2 HK 33 weapons to President Gusmao at his residence in Balibar.

Dili District Court back to normal – Despite having lost some of its equipment, the Dili district court has resumed its work and has begun to function normally, RTTL reported. Speaking to journalists, the Dili district court coordinator Helder do Carmo stated that the court was now in normal functioning and has even dispatched some judges and lawyers to other district courts.
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UNOTIL Daily Media Review Thursday, 27 July 2006 National Media Reports

International Forces Detain Alfredo – Today the first page of the main newspapers focus on the detention of  Major Alfredo Reinado and his group and the handover of weapons by another group claiming to have been armed by the former Interior Minister, Rogerio Lobato.

According to the media the international forces detained Alfredo and 21 of his elements after they were caught with weapons in a house in Bairro Pitê in Dili. Military spokesperson James Baker said 9 pistols, 16 magazines and various ammunition were found in the residence. Baker said the troops continue to observe the direction from Brigadier Slater that anyone found with guns in Dili would be detained and investigated, as was the case of Major Alfredo and his elements who are now under the international forces detention.

In the meantime a group called Labadain turned in 2 HK33 to the President of the Republic in his residence who, in turn, handed them over to the Prosecutor General on Wednesday. Labadain allegedly claims the Minister of Interior gave guns to his group in the presence of an official from the Ministry of Interior code named ES, a member of PN (National Parliament) code named JM accompanied by a member of Unidade Intervenção Rapida (UIR) with the initial N. Labadain said after receiving the guns they hurriedly left to Nuntali in Railko area with a total of 32 guns, saying the rest of the guns continue to be in the hands of other members of the group. He further said the weapons had not yet been handed in due to lack of information, adding the rest, 30 can be organized to turn them into the international police following the authorization from a Member of Parliament with the initials JM.

Timor Post reported Major James Baker as saying Alfredo and his group were detained as per the orders of international forces commander, Brigadier Slater because they are now considered as illegal military adding if the group still considers itself as part of the military they should remain in the armed forces headquarters and not live among the population.  In relation to the detention, Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro said both he and the President of the Republic did not impede in the capture of Alfredo and his elements. MP Pedro da Costa (PST) said the detention of Alfredo and his group will not put an end to the problems but it is a start to resolve the crisis.

Media and Political Conspiracy: Branco – MP Francisco Branco said as a citizen and politician he is concerned with the reality situation of Timor-Leste which is full of hypocrisy, starting from the media, politicians and the civil society. No one is lifting a finger to point out that something is not right in the country.

Speaking on Wednesday in the  plenary session of the National Parliament, about the intervention of the supreme organ on the current situation especially by  the Prosecutor General,  Branco said “people we classified as criminal, carrying armed assault rifles and, have caused death …()…are free to go to parties, dance, and  busily host visitors. But those on the same condition are treated differently. Therefore I see there is big discrimination in terms of justice for the citizens, for those we consider practiced crimes in our nation. That’s why as a politician I’m really concerned. Our society, politicians and the media are not denouncing these things. It shows that we are hypocrites or scared of what?  I do not know.” Branco said people should not be scared to speak, as Timor-Leste is a new democratic society with freedom of media and expression. (DN, TP, STL)

President Must Explain Alfredo Arrest: Amaral – Vice-President of the National Parliament, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, said the President must explain in the Parliament why he gave the orders for the international forces to detain Alfredo. MP Pedro da Costa said the measures taken by the international forces have been good in order to identify the guns currently in Timor-Leste and determine the one’s used by PNTL and F-FDTL including those of the reserve units and whether civilians are also using guns including some internationals who might have manipulated the Timorese to enter into a conflict against each other.  He said the court must call Alfredo to answer why he had not handed in all the guns as he had claimed adding if he did not hand in the guns with good will it would only show that it was a cosmetic show creating an environment of mistrust within the communities. (DN)
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UNOTIL Daily Media Review Saturday 21, Monday 24 July 2006

Fretilin Will Let Alkatiri Be Imprisoned If Found Guilty – President of Fretilin’s bench in the Parliament, Francisco Branco said his party would support the imprisonment of Mari Alkatiri if the court finds him guilty but if he is not found guilty everybody should welcome him with open arms. Branco said Alkatiri should not be condemned the way he is now, adding he should be tried in an independent  court. He says he doesn’t believe Alkatiri was involved in the recent allegations. On the lawyers defending Alkatiri, Francisco Branco said these lawyers offered their services to the former Prime Minister free of charges and also it is an international prestige for them. He added that Mari Alkatiri asked for international lawyers due to the limited resources in the legal system.
In a separate article MP João Gonçalves (PSD) said if Mari Alkatiri is found guilty in, it would be a big shame to the internationals lawyers as it would not be good for their reputation. (STL, DN)

Civilian Group Hands Guns To Forces – Timor Post reported that civilian groups have  handed over their weapons to the international troops, the Australians in Ermera. Operational commander in Ermera district, Mick Magbire told TP that the guns of type HK3 with 556  rounds of ammunition were taken by the Australian troops from civilian groups under the responsibility of Francisco da Cruz.

“Two guns were handed to Ermera District PNTL commander, Sub inspector Jacinto da Conceição who than handed them to us” said Magbire.  Ermera District community leader, Eduardo de Deus said he was happy with the handover of guns and hopes other groups could do the same asked the international troops to process them under rule of law.

In a separate article, Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta appealed to all groups who are still carrying illegal weapons to turn them in,  because using weapons to kill people would not gain anything. He also appealed to the people if they are scared to return the guns they should contact the international troops, or call him (PM) or the president. “Whoever surrenders their weapons voluntarily there will be no problem but if the International troops find them in the car or in the house they will process them according to law” said Horta. (TP)

RTTL News Monitoring 24-7-2006

4 F-FDTL funerals in Metinaro – RTTL stated that 4 bodies of F-FDTL who died during the confrontation have taken by Lt. Col Filomeno Paixão in Hospital Dili and brought to Metinaro for Funeral. The ceremony of funeral started at 14.00. Representatives at the funeral were PM, MP’s and members of political parties. At the funeral PM Horta stated that those people who died during the confrontation in the crisis while on the job, still receive salaries for several months. Horta said that probably for those still work need to create a law so that could guarantee those people died when they were still in at their jobs.

Brig. Gen. Taur Matan Ruak stated that this country right now has lost credibility, so those leaders in this country have to explain for the people of TL about the cause of the crisis.

FM and Vice Minister of Interior sworn in by President – RTTL said that Foreign Minister Jose Luis Guterres and Vice Minister of Interior Jose Agustinho have been sworn in by President Xanana Gusmão. In the swearing –in ceremony, President Xanana stated that with the swearing-in the crisis will be resolved and revive the reputation of the country that has fallen down.
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East Timor: Ex-PM Alkatiri questioned by prosecutors on hit team allegations – Dili, July 20 (Lusa) – East Timorese prosecutors questionedformer Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri Thursday on allegations he armed civilians,including purported political hit teams, and ordered him to report in toauthorities if he left his Dili residence, Deputy Attorney General Luís MotaCarmo said.

After the two-hour hearing, Alkatiri’s lawyers said thequestioning had been carried out with “simplicity and dignity”. Alkatiri, Portuguese lawyers José António Barreiros andArnaldo Matos told Lusa, had responded to “all questions”, denying”any responsibility” in the case that led to the indictment lastmonth of former Interior Minister Rogério Lobato on four counts. The former prime minister, who resigned June 26 as demandedby President Xanana Gusmão, made no statement on leaving the Attorney General’soffice, where some 50 protesters shouted slogans and waved banners demanding Alkatiri be tried.

Mota Carmo, the deputy attorney general, said Alkatiri wouldbe summoned again for questioning and that he had not been placed under fixedresidence but was obliged to inform authorities if he left his home in Dili. The former prime minister was being questioned as a”suspect” in the same case as Lobato, who has been charged withcriminal association, illegal possession of arms, conspiracy and attemptedrevolution – accusations that carry a maximum penalty of 15 years.

The scandal erupted early last month when self-styled deathsquad leader Vicente “Railos” da Conceição accused Alkatiri of havingordered Lobato to set up hit teams to eliminate political opponents both outand inside of his dominant FRETILIN party. The allegations came amid weeks of intra-security forceclashes and communal violence that left at least 37 people dead and more than 130,000 displaced, forcing Dili to call in nearly 3,000 internationalpeacekeepers.

In a related development, a Dili judge Thursday ruled against a motion by Lobato’s defense team that the charges against the ex-interior minister be dropped because Attorney General Longuinhos Monteiro’sterm in office had expired when the four-count indictment was issued.

The judge, Macau-based lawyers Paulo Remédios and LuísMendonça de Freitas told Lusa, had countered that Monteiro, who was formallyreinstated in his post last week, had had “no intervention in theprocess”. Barreiros and Matos, Alkatiri’s lawyers, said they were”prudently optimistic” about the outcome of the affair. “We are prudently optimistic and trust that justicewill continue”, they told Lusa.

The questioning of Alkatiri, they said, demonstrated that East Timor observed “the criteria of legality”,something the “young nation” needed to assure its international “credibility”. 20-07-2006 10:55:00.  Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-8188914 Temas SAS/EL. Lusa Copyright © 2003 Agencia Lusa. Todos os direitos reservados. http://www.lusa.pt
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UNOTIL Daily Media Review 26 July 2006

Rogerio’s Lawyers Rejects Monteiro’s Declaration (TP) – Rogerio’s lawyer Paulo dos Remedios rejects declaration of Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro who said that Rogerio himself recognized the allegation from Railos group which claimed that their weapons were received from him. “The Prosecutor General should bring the evidence to the court so the judge can read it and say what date our client gave the weapons to Railos group” said Remedios. He said the Prosecutor General should not speak in public because the secrecy of justice and the court will decide the case. (TP)

Major Alfredo Caught With Weapons by Forces – Major Alfredo Reinado was captured with weapons by International forces in Bairo Pite. Spokesperson for Battalion Battle Group James Baker told the media that they have appealed to all people who still carrying weapons to surrender them but Alfredo and his member still carry weapons. “We will process him and his members according to law” said Baker. “If they didn’t carry weapons why did we capture him,” Baker asked. (TP, DN)

Summary of RTTL news 25 07-06

Hand over weapons voluntarily: Minister of Interior – It is reported that Minister of Interior, Alcino Barris has announced to all competent parties to hand over weapons voluntarily to international forces otherwise they will investigate as law required. Speaking to press Minister Barris said that there are  PNTL members from districts who want to hand over weapons to international forces but they are afraid to carry weapons to come down Dili, therefore Minister Barris asked international forces to let them come to Dili to hand over their weapons. He also said that for those PNTL members in Districts it is not necessary to come to Dili because international forces will visit all districts and they can hand over the weapons. Minister Barris also added that PNTL members yesterday handed over 100 weapons at PNTL HQ

Fewer than 12 F-FDTL guns missing – Brig Slater speaking to press that the international forces have checked the F-FDTL guns and the result was fewer than 12 guns are missing from places where F-FDTL keeps the guns. Brig. Slater also continues that the international forces will continue protect the people. Meanwhile the international police commander, Steve Lancaster also said that during three weeks the international police arrested 83 people, who committed crimes like stealing, burning and looting. Mr. Lancaster also said that in two or three weeks the police international will open a new emergency number, 112, to immediately respond people’s preoccupation.
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UNOTIL Daily Media Review Tuesday, 25 July 2006 National Media Reports

PNTL Hands Over Weapons – Members of PNTL and the civil society handed in more weapons on Monday following Brigadier Slater appeal: about 10 heavy weapons, 50 pistols, ammunition and gas. Speaking during a press conference on Monday, Slater said anyone apprehended with guns following Monday’s deadline will be detained by the forces. He also said an inventory of the national police weapons will take place in the next 10 days adding the police officers in the districts are entitle to carry their guns for work purposes.

The Australian Brigadier said so far a total of 1000 guns have been collected.  In the meantime the commander of the international police in Timor-Leste, Steve Lancaster who according to STL has the full support of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior said the guns handed in on Monday is a first step for the reintegration of PNTL to continue their services. Lancaster said in the past 3 weeks a team of the international police have questioned around 830 people in relation to crime such murder and burning of houses.   He further said the international police are coordinating with the Minister of Interior and the United Nations to develop a plan for future reintegration of PNTL and in order to enable them to carry their work independently in future.

The police commander also said from 7 to August 10 the international police will be fully responsible for the security reminding the population that the international troops will continue to be in Timor-Leste, adding a new police hotline, likely to be 112, would be established to facilitate direct contact.

In a separate article, Brigadier Slater said 12 guns from F-FDTL have been reported missing since the crisis started.

Minister of Interior Alcino Barris traveled to Viqueque to ask PNTL officers who have fled to that district to return to work. During the meeting he said a new structure for PNTL would take place in the district followed by better training for police officers especially in the area of code of discipline.  Barris said one of the concerns presented by officers to resume work, were accommodation as some have lost their homes. (STL, TP DN)

TL Signs Accord on Joint Oil Exploration – To continue the joint exploration in the Timor Sea for gas, Timor-Leste signed an agreement on Monday between Timor-Leste, Woodside (Australia), INPEX (Japan) and Talisman (Canada). José Lobato, the Executive Officer of the Timor Sea Designated Office, said the new agreement is based on new regulations because the Timor Sea treaty was signed under an interim regulation.  Present at the signing were Prime Minister Ramos-Horta and Minister for Natural Resources, Energy and Minerals, José Teixeira. (TP, DN, STL)
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UNOTIL Daily Media Review 21 July 2006

Cause Of The Crisis Is The Responsibility Of The Leaders: Taur Matan Ruak – Speaking at the funeral service for members F-FDTL killed during the recent crisis, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak said in order to restore the damage, the leaders must clarify to the population of Timor-Leste the cause and objective of the recent crisis adding the ‘responsibilities are in their hands’. Taur appealed to the Timorese people to work hard, cooperate and think that the aim that unites everybody is the nation.  Prime Minister Ramos-Horta said events that occurred in the past months in the capital Dili are a big lesson for the political leaders to get rid off weapons and hatred as many Timorese have already lost their lives during 24 years to achieve the independence in 2002 and Timorese should not shoot at each other. He said as a leader and brother he appeals to all to forgive each other and dispose off their weapons and live together as one and contribute to the nation.

The Minister added that as a temporary measure the families of the deceased would continue to receive their salaries because they died in service. He also appealed for reconciliation. Present at the ceremony in F-FDTL Head Quarters in Metinaro, were members of the diplomatic corps, commander of the international forces, Mick Slater, representative of GNR, DSRSG Bajawa, Vice-Prime Minister Estanislau da Silva and PNTL representative Julio Hornai. (TP, DN)

Dili District Tribunal Not Fully Functional – Timor Post reported Friday that Dili District Court is not fully operational as the majority of the national staff is still in the districts. The court is functioning only with the international judges and prosecutors. Some of the court process, especially for the suspects detained by the international forces takes place very late at night and it’s the process is all done by international judges, said a staff who asked to remain anonymous. (TP)

Our Government Is Not Supporting Alkatiri Lawyers: Ambassador Pinto – Portugal’s Ambassador to Timor-Leste João Ramos Pinto said his government has never supported the Portuguese lawyers defending Fretilin’s Secretary General, Mari Alkatiri, adding his government does not want to be involved in the problems that occurred in the country.  Therefore Pinto asked STL to publish the following denial: The Portuguese Ambassador in Dili repudiates the article published yesterday by this newspaper, titled “Portuguese Government Supports Mari Alkatiri’s Team Lawyers”.

This is a false news and unfortunately it seems to want to put in jeopardy e the good name of Portugal and the excellent existing relations between the two people and the two nations. The Portuguese Government had not and will not interfere in any matter of Timor-Leste justice system and all citizens are free to present their defence surrounded by lawyers that they want.. We are certain that this type of information that speaks the truth, in nothing will affect the excellent ties that unite Portugal and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. (STL)
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UNOTIL Daily Media Review 20 July 2006

288 Detained By International Forces – The deputy of the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice, Silverio Pinto Batista said according to their records, the international forces have detained 288 people, adding out of this number, his office has interviewed 66. Batista said substances such as machete (catana) should not be removed from the people as it is used to facilitate their household work. He added the Provedor’s two main tasks with the latest crisis are to focus on the investigation case of 28-29 April 2006 and to monitor the current situation such people detained by police in Caicoli, Becora prison as well as the humanitarian assistance. The Provedor’s Office is working together with different monitoring networks, namely the Justice System Monitoring Program (JSMP) and HAK (human rights) Association.

In a separate article the commander of the forces currently in Timor-Leste, Mick Slater said the international police are discussing the areas to establish five stations in response to concerns of the population to enable them to return to their homes. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, (19/7) Slater said presently the international forces are providing 24 hours security with police patrolling Dili from dawn to evening and the military throughout the night. He said they are also working with the Ministry of Interior but added it would take a while before the national police start to work in Dili. The Australian commander stressed that one of the difficulties they face is the language skills to enable them to get information from the community adding the community has not reported on who has committed crimes and he knows the Timorese are smart in hiding the weapons, but he hopes the international forces would eventually be able to collect them all. According to Slater, an estimated 5000 weapons have been collected by the forces through operations in Dili.

Suara Timor Lorosae reported Commander Slater as saying there are no indications there would be a protest on Alkatiri’s investigation process which started today in Dili and said the international forces are now sharing the security responsibilities, giveing more responsibility to the police as the situation is improving. He said the situation in Dili is starting to be normal and the population is carrying on their daily activities even though many people continue to live in the IDP camps. (TP, STL)

Mari Must Be Responsible For Quarterly Budget – MPs from KOTA, PDC and PPT demanded the Cabinet of dismissed Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri be responsible for the quarterly budget report from January to March 2006 which has not yet presented to the National Parliament. MP Clementino dos Reis Amaral (KOTA) said according to the legal mechanism in order to debate a new budget, a report on the old budget is required to determine the new budget, adding the Mari Alkatiri is responsible for it because he was the Prime Minister during that period. (TP)

Summary of RTTL news 19-07-06

Government of Timor Leste and BNU signed a lease-contract to renovate UMA FUKUN – Speaking to journalist PM Horta has reportedly stated that the duration of lease contract between Timor Leste Government and BNU (national ultramarine bank) to renovate UMA FUKUN is 20 years. The contract does not mean that BNU will open another office at UMA FUKUN. UMA FUKUN will continue as culture center, but managed by BNU. PM Horta said that according to a survey last year the total amount that will need for renovating UMA FUKUN is US$600.000. PM Horta also added that in future he will also look to the old market building which now abandoned.

500 International Police in Dili – Brig. Slater has reportedly told journalist that there are 500 international police on duty in Timor Leste to secure the peoples of Timor Leste. These 500 personnel compose by four countries; Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Portugal. Brig. Slater also added that these international police will deploy to 5 stations in all Dili. The international police will be on duty start early morning and end by midnight and the international forces will continue from midnight to early morning. Brig. Slater said if the international police during their duty need assistance they could contact GNR and GNR will immediately attend.

Brig. Slater also mentioned the visit of Australian PM during which he said that Australia will still stay in Timor Leste as long as Timor Leste Government needed and they will not involve in any political affairs. Only Timorese who could solve the political problems, he said.

Slater on issue of demonstration to intervene the judiciary – On issue that there will demonstration to intervene the preliminary investigation of former Prime Minister Alkatiri, Brig. Slater reportedly stated that so far he did not receive any information that there be will demonstration but if it will happen international forces and police are ready to take measures with those who want to stop the process of investigation.

PG Longuinhos Monteiro on Former Prime Minister Alkatiri case – Speaking to journalists Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro have reportedly said that on 20 July the former Prime Minister, Alkatiri will come to the Office of the Prosecutor General to give his declaration on illegal distribution of weapons to civilian. Mr. Monteiro continued that 20 July was a day that they have agreed to hold preliminary investigation.
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East Timor: Defense asks arms charges be dropped against ex-minister – Dili, July 18 (Lusa) – Defense lawyers for East Timor’s former interior minister, Rogério Lobato, indicted on charges of having armed purported “death squads”, have asked a Dili court to drop the accusations, arguing that the country’s attorney-general had exercised his position illegally.

Macau-based lawyers Paulo Remédios and Luís Mendonça de Freitas told Lusa by telephone that they had presented the motion in Dili Friday.

“The case has been tainted from the start because Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro was not the Attorney-General of the Republic at the time the process (against Lobato) was opened”, the defense lawyers said. Monteiro, who has served as attorney-general since 2001 under Dili’s then-UN transition administration, was formally sworn in to his post Monday by President Xanana Gusmão.

Monteiro indicted Lobato last month of on four counts that carry a maximum sentence of 15 years – criminal association, illegal possession of weapons, conspiracy and attempted revolution. Monteiro has summoned former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri for questioning on Wednesday by investigating magistrates as a “suspect” in the same case.

The president demanded the resignations of Alkatiri and Lobato, holding them responsible for weeks of violence that left 37 dead and more than 130,000 people displaced and forced Dili to call in international peacekeepers. SAS/EL. Lusa
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Prosecutor’s General Starts Questioning Mari – Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro told the media on Wednesday, the questioning process for former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri starts today (20/7) in relation to allegations of gun distribution to civilians. Monteiro said the International Prosecutor Luis Mota would question Mari Alkatiri, a suspect as per implications by former Interior He also said he believes the former Prime Minister will bow to the law and follow the process as the decision on the questioning date was a mutual agreement. Minister. Alkatiri would be accompanied by 9 defence lawyers from overseas.

The hearing on the former Interior Minister would be in Dili District Court, said Timor-Leste’s Prosecutor General adding the investigation process has been complete and is now under draft accusation. He informed that journalists who wish to attend the interrogation session could do so provided they have a complete ID card for security measures and be in the court by 8:30am.

In a separate article, MP Manuel Tilman, (KOTA) said the presence of international lawyers in Timor-Leste as defence lawyers needs the authorization of the National Parliament. “According to the law, jurisdictional functions would be allowed if it the law permits then we can contract in the present case. I have not seen a law that allows international lawyers to come and defend a Timorese,” said Tilman.

He added that according to the Constitution and UNTAET regulations, to become a public defender and defend a citizen in a court one must be a national citizen or Timorese citizen. Tilman is of the opinion that now with the presence of international defence lawyers with former Prime Minister Alkatiri’s case is opening up the door so that in future, those Timorese studying law in the country would be valueless. He hopes the lawyers defending Alkatiri cannot exist as the only named, but also leave the door open to the national lawyers as well, adding, if the international lawyers come to assist the Timorese counselor lawyers that’s fine but if they come to take away the Timorese place he disagrees, saying it would be opening a bad page for future generation. (TP)
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Hit Squad – Prosecutors will question Alkatiri in the capital, Dili, today over his involvement in an alleged hit squad to target his opponents, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported on its Web site. Alkatiri has denied the allegations. United Nations special envoy Ian Martin yesterday stressed the need for a “sustained” UN presence in East Timor ahead of elections, the UN said on its Web site. Howard said during his visit he expected troops will remain in East Timor “for some time,” without setting any timetable. East Timorese voted for independence in a 1999 referendum after a 24-year occupation by Indonesia, which invaded the territory when it was a Portuguese colony in 1975. The country, which became independent in May 2002, lies about 500 kilometers (310 miles) north of Australia. The UN has been operating in East Timor since 1999, helping organize elections and the creation of government institutions. (Bloomberg)
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Ex-Timor PM’s movements restricted – PROSECUTORS today slapped travel restrictions on East Timor’s ex-prime minister Mari Alkatiri but have yet to decide whether to charge him over allegations that he set up a secret political hit squad. Prosecutors said they intended to collect statements from at least three witnesses in the case, including Jose Ramos Horta, who replaced Alkatiri as prime minister. Demonstrators booed and denounced Mr Alkatiri as a “dictator” when he emerged from more than two hours of questioning by prosecutors behind closed doors in Dili this morning. He has denied allegations that he authorised the arming of a gang recruited to eliminate his political rivals. Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro said Mr Alkatiri had not been placed under house arrest, but the former leader must report his movements to authorities. Mr Alkatiri, who was forced to resign in June after weeks of bloody unrest, did not make any comment after his interrogation.

The hearing was guarded by about 20 Australian-led peacekeepers and six armoured cars. About 50 demonstrators rallied outside with banners that called Mr Alkatiri a “traitor”, “dictator” and “predator”. He was summonsed for questioning in connection with the case late last month. Initially he refused to turn up, claiming he had immunity as a member of parliament. He also wanted to wait for his lawyers to come from abroad. Mr Alkatiri appeared before prosecutors today accompanied by two Portuguese lawyers and guarded by armed Australian peacekeepers. He seemed composed and did not speak to the crowd of reporters waiting for him. His lawyers, Jose Antonio Barreiros and Arnaldo Matos, arrived from Lisbon on Tuesday. Mr Matos is better known as a 1975 founder of the Maoist MRPP party, with which the former prime minister was associated during his student days in Lisbon. Mr Alkatiri’s legal team also includes Australian, Indonesian, Mozambican, and Malaysian lawyers. His former defence minister, Rogerio Lobato, is under house arrest on four charges related to the same case.

It is understood that Mr Lobato has implicated Mr Alkatiri in the scandal. Monteiro did not disclose details of today’s hearing, but said “all the questions were raised and all the answers given.” “There have been seven witnesses already, we estimate we need three more. One of the witnesses is the actual prime minister,” he said. (News.com.au) From: Agence France-Presse By Jill Jolliffe in Dili July 20, 2006
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East Timor’s Ex-Prime Minister Questioned By GUIDO GOULART The Associated Press Thursday, July 20, 2006; 5:08 AM
DILI, East Timor — Prosecutors questioned East Timor’s former prime minister on Thursday over allegations he ordered a hit squad to kill political opponents during recent unrest in the country, officials said. Mari Alkatiri was cooperative and would be summoned again for more questioning in the next 15 days, said Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro.

“We asked the questions and Alkatiri answered then,” Monteiro told reporters. Alkatiri denies the allegations, which were a factor in his resignation. The claims were made by the self-proclaimed leader of the alleged hit squad, Vincente “Railos” da Concecao. Da Concecao has told reporters that Alkatiri and former Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato armed his group in May and told them to kill outspoken church officials and political opponents.

The claims emerged during weeks of street violence sparked by a decision by Alkatiri to dismiss 600 rebellious soldiers _ more than
40 percent of the country’s army _ and were seized upon by the former prime minister’s critics, including President Xanana Gusmoa.

Lobato already has been indicted in the case and is to face trial later this month. Monteiro said Alkatiri was not under house arrest, but had to report to prosecutors if he left his residence.

The violence was the worst to hit East Timor since it broke from Indonesian rule in 1999. At its peak it saw rival factions of the security forces fighting in the capital Dili and later descended into gang warfare. At least 30 people were killed 150,000 fled their homes into makeshift camps. Jose Ramos-Horta was installed as Alkatiri’s replacement last week.
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Don’t leave town, former East Timor leader told – DILI, July 20 (Reuters) – Former East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has been banned from leaving the capital Dili on suspicion of arming civilians during recent violence, the attorney-general said on Thursday. Alkatiri resigned in June after weeks of violence, which only ended with the intervention of thousands of international troops led by Australia.

“His status is a city detainee and he cannot leave the city for 15 days. If he wants to leave the city then he must ask permission of the attorney-general,” Longuinhos Monteiro told reporters after questioning the former leader. Asked about Alkatiri’s legal status related to the case that has already implicated former Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato, Monteiro said “a suspect”.

Prosecutors questioned him for two hours at Monteiro’s office. Australian commandos and armoured vehicles surrounded the building to prevent any violence by Alkatiri’s supporters. Monteiro, who declined to elaborate on details of the allegations, said he would summon more witnesses to strengthen the case against Alkatiri, including newly appointed Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta.

East Timor plunged into political crisis nearly three months ago when Alkatiri dismissed around 600 soldiers, mostly from the country’s
west, after they protested against discrimination. Nobel laureate Ramos-Horta, previously the foreign minister, has promised to restore security and confidence to East Timor ahead of general elections due next year.

Australia led a multi-national force in 1999 following a vote for independence marked by violence blamed largely on pro-Jakarta militia
with ties to the Indonesian army. East Timor became a fully fledged nation in 2002 after a transitional period of U.N. administration but it remains one of the world’s poorest countries and has massive unemployment.

However, in decades to come it is due to receive billions of dollars from energy resources that are now being developed.

20 Jul 2006 06:35:45 GMT Source: Reuters By Lirio da Fonseca
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Former East Timor PM questioned over ‘hit squad’ 4.00pm Thursday July 20, 2006 RADIO AUSTRALIA – East Timor’s former prime minister, Mari Alkatiri, has faced questioning by prosecutors over allegations he authorised the arming of a hit squad to eliminate his rivals. Mr Alkatiri, who did not make any comment to the media, was questioned for about two hours. Heavy security surrounded the prosecutor-general’s office, with six tanks parked on the streets outside and about 20 Australian troops guarding him. About 50 demonstrators rallied outside the building, carrying banners and shouting anti-Alkatiri slogans.

Mr Alkatiri has engaged at least four foreign lawyers to defend him against allegations that he authorised the transfer of weapons to a civilian militia group to target his political enemies. He has repeatedly denied any involvement but agreed to face prosecutors for interrogation. Mr Alkatiri resigned as prime minister in June amid pressure to take responsibility for violence in May that left 21 people dead and forced 150,000 people to flee their homes.

The country descended into chaos after Mr Alkatiri sacked 600 soldiers from the west of the country who had complained of discrimination. A United Nations special envoy, Ian Martin, has stressed the need for a “substantial” UN police presence in East Timor.

He said it was necessary to create the conditions for credible parliamentary and presidential elections in 2007. Mr Martin has been on a fact-finding tour of East Timor to help conflicting parties address their grievances. His recommendations for a new UN mission will be detailed in a report due out in August. The envoy said that while the size of the deployment had not been finalised, the police force would need to be “substantial as long as elections place a premium on security.”

A UN administration and security forces numbering in the thousands ran East Timor after the nation voted for independence from Indonesia in 1999 until 2002. Only a skeleton UN team has remained. About 3200 foreign peacekeepers, including NZ troops and police, have been patrolling the capital, Dili, since the latest unrest erupted in May.
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UNOTIL Daily Media Review 19 July 2006

Opposition Parties Present Electoral Law Project – The opposition parties, PSD, PD, ASDT and  other small parties presented an electoral law project to the National Parliament on Tuesday (18/7) and according to Maria Paixão (PSD) the aim of the document is to establish a law favourable to the majority bench  as well as small parties. Paixão said according to her in the past year the majority of the party in the Parliament have been doing everything even though certain things are not correct. MP Rui Menezes (PD) said the project law would establish a law with quality to secure a democratic election and guarantee liberty for all citizens and  guarantee political and democratic legitimacy nationally  and internationally. He said the document is not a competition with document already presented by the majority bench hoping the two documents can be joined to produce an electoral law with quality. (TP)
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UNOTIL Daily Media Review 18 July 2006

Portuguese Government Supports Alkatiri’s Lawyers – The Portuguese government is strongly supporting the team of lawyers defending the former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, reported STL Tuesday. According to this daily correspondent’s investigation in Lisbon, the team supported by the government of Portugal is aimed to stopping Mari from being imprisoned on allegations of guns distribution to  civilians, adding each lawyer would cost around 1500-2000 euros per interview. Five lawyers would cost around 7000-10,000 euros without including accommodation, transport and other expenses.The cost would not be paid by Fretilin but by the Portuguese government, financing  the law firms João Galvão Telles, João Soares and Associates, Jose Antonio Barreiros and Associates.  The lawyers defending Alkatiri arrived in Dili on Monday. (STL)

Approval of Budget Depends on Plans – The President of the National Parliament, Francisco Lu’Olo Guterres  said the budget will only be approved when the Parliament receives plans from the new government on how to implement it. Guterres said the dismissed government already had a proposed budget to be implemented but he has no idea what the new government budget is like.

In a separate article he  said he disagrees with the extraordinary congress as proposed by Grupu Mudansa Fretilin/ Fretilin Group for Change, saying that he was elected in the recent party congress using the voting system of show of hands.

Cristo Rei Residents Complain Against  Forces – A group of Cristo Rei population, which covers the area of Becusi, Becora reportedly said they paid a visit to President Gusmão to present their complaints about the search operation by the intervention forces in Becora. According Ermelinda Pinto, the group’s spokesperson,  on 14 July  the intervention forces did a search operation on information received about guns, a grenade, pistols and other light weapons hidden in that area. She said they searched the house including inside the grounded maize but did not find anything, but  11 people were detained including her son who had arrived on the same day from the sub-district of Lakloho. They continue under detention and only one person has been released. (STL)

Prosecutor General and Deputy Sworn-in – Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro and his deputy, Ivo Valente were sworn-in on Monday in the Palace of Ashes despite efforts by the majority party MPs to restructure the Republic Prosecutor’s General reported Timor Post. According to this newspaper  the efforts indicated  the MPs wanted to get rid of the Prosecutor General  in relation to the crime accusations involving Fretilin leaders namely Rogério Lobato and Mari Alkatiri. Speaking at the ceremony President Gusmão said the necessity for the courts to function with capacity, liberty and independence is fundamental for the survival of democracy of a sovereign state. President Gusmão stressed no one should be above the law, noting “we have been verifying in the last year, the law is greatly applicable to the common citizen, poor citizen, to the citizen who that lacks knowledge of the laws we produce”. On his part, Longuinhos Monteiro said  he would act independently.

On the same occasion, President Gusmão  asked the government to reform the PNTL with the aim to develop it into a professional institution, reported STL. The Minister of Interior, Alcino Barris also told the media, the Public Ministry must be supported therefore the restructure of PNTL would be crucial to develop a strong and professional police force to fully support the Public ministry.   (STL, TP)

Population is Not Planning To Protest – The spokesperson for the National Forum for Unity and Justice, Eduardo de Deus Barreto, alias Dusae,  said the population of Ermera does not have plans to hold  a demonstration in Dili to dissolve the Parliament, reported Timor Post.  Barreto  said they have put their trust and are giving time to the President of the Republic and the new Prime Minister and to other members of the government to carry their work for the nation.  They would like the government to pay attention to the people affected by recent crisis. He said they do not want the dissolution of the Parliament out of respect of RDTL Constitution which has been written with the blood and bones and any process must be followed according to law and order. Eduardo Barreto further said there are civilians in Ermera District still in possession of guns and using it to terrorize the population in that area. (TP)

Summary of RTTL news 17-07-06

Swearing-in Ceremony of Prosecutor General – President Xanana Gusmão presided over the swearing-in ceremony of Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro and Vice Prosecutor General, Ivo Jorge Valente for four year terms. . In his speech President Xanana asked the Prosecutor General to change the mentality of civil servant to become servants for all peoples. The President also added that the Prosecutors General must help those problems that people are facing right now.

Meanwhile Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro has asked all peoples to understand the function of prosecutors. Mr. Monteiro also added that in short time the Prosecutor General office will call more people in regarding of the distribution of illegal weapons.

MP Leandro Isac comment on Monteiro’s sworn-in – Speaking to journalists MP Leandro Isaac reportedly said that he believes that Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro will do his task as a professional; he will change the mentality of civil servant to serve peoples of Timor Leste. Meanwhile at the Presidential office there are several people who protest the international forces because the international forces have captured their relativities.

Fretilin reformist makes consolidation party – Vicente Maubossi a member of Fretilin reformist reportedly told journalists that Fretilin as bigger party must follow the law not violate law. Fretilin reformist would like to rebuild the party not destroy it. Meanwhile Railos also was asking a national defender to defend him while he has to go to tribunal to testify about his accusation of Alkatiri. Member of Fretilin reformist, Aderito de Jesus is ready to assist Railos at Tribunal.

Minister of Justice on foreign defenders – Minister of Justice, Domingos Sarmento reportedly told journalists that there will four foreign defenders who already in country to defend Alkatiri. Mr. Sarmento continues that the foreign defenders will cooperate with national defenders.
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11-07-2006 East Timor: Alkatiri to appear before ‘death squad’ investigators as ‘suspect’ – Liquiça, East Timor, July 11 (Lusa) – Former East Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri will be questioned as a “suspect” on allegations he ordered the arming of hit teams to kill opponents, Attorney General Longuinhos Monteiro told Lusa Tuesday. Monteiro, in comments following the surrender of weapons by a self-styled hit squad leader, said Alkatiri, who resigned June 26, denying the allegations, would be heard by investigating magistrates July 20.

“The first summons we issued (to Alkatiri) is as a suspect”, Monteiro told Lusa. “The accusations are the same as those made against (former Interior Minister) Rogério Lobato”, he added. “They are together in the same process and after hearing (Alkatiri) we will decide whether to open a new process or continue with a single case”.

Lobato, who like Alkatiri was forced to resign by President Xanana Gusmão as a step to ending the country’s months-long wave of violence, was formally indicted last month. Lobato has been charged on four counts that carry a maximum sentence of 15 years: criminal association, illegal possession of arms, conspiracy and attempted revolution.

Monteiro spoke to Lusa in Liquiça, 30 kilometers west of the capital, after a ceremony during which self-proclaimed hit squad chief Vicente “Railos” da Conceição handed over 11 automatic weapons in the presence of Prime Minister José Ramos Horta, who replaced Alkatiri Monday.

During the festive ceremony, where several thousand people gathered at a soccer field, Railos repeated his claims that his men had been armed by Lobato in May under orders from Alkatiri with instructions to eliminate political opponents. He said he had accepted the weapons but refused to carry out the orders to kill.

The attorney general told Lusa that Lobato had also confessed to arming a second hit team with seven weapons, a so-called Group 5-5, whose actions and whereabouts were unknown. “The first point we want to clarify is (Alkatiri’s) knowledge of the facts, when he became aware” of the alleged plot, Monteiro said. “We have the statements” from Lobato and Railos, “other testimony and the May 8 meeting”, he said, referring to a meeting between Railos and Alkatiri at the then prime minister’s home.

The death squad allegations surfaced last month after the arrival in Dili of a nearly 3,000-strong international peacekeeping force to quell weeks of violence that initially pitted rival security force factions against each other and then spiraled into communal gang rampages of arson and looting.

UN officials have said the violence that erupted in late April killed 37 people, injured more than 100 and displaced nearly 150,000 from their homes, mostly in the capital.
—–
07 July 2006 East Timor prosecutor suspects Alkatiri in weapons distribution case – DILI (AP): East Timor’s ousted prime minister was summoned Friday by the tiny nation’s chief prosecutor to answer allegations of involvement in the illegal distribution of weapons to civilian militias.

“We have issued a new summons for Mari Alkatiri to come to the prosecutors office to be questioned as a suspect in the case of illegal weapons distribution,” Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro said in a statement.

Alkatiri, who resigned last month amid public protests and strong political pressure to step down, has denied wrongdoing, but failed to show up for questions in the case, citing political immunity. Prosecutors on Friday again ordered him to appear for questioning, this time as a suspect, on July 20. Alkatiri and former Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato reportedly armed hit squads to eliminate political opponents.

A statement distributed by prosecutors via telephone text message gave no details of the charges and a spokesman for the prosecutors office was not immediately available for comment. Mari Alkatiri’s spokesman, Jose Manuel Guterres, said: “We do not have any information on that and we do not want to make any comment.”

It is unclear if Alkatiri has the right to immunity after he was automatically reassigned a seat in Parliament when he stepped down as the head of government.

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