Timor-Leste Legal News December 2006
UNMIT Daily Media Review 28 December 2006
Illegal Occupation – Justice Minister Domingos said that the illegal occupation of houses is against the law. He suggested to those people whose houses are occupied by other inhabitants that they should file reports with the office of the Prosecutor-General and the Office of Land Property for processing and investigation. The Office of the Minister of Justice has instructed the Director of Land and Property to collect the data of how many houses have been occupied illegally and the government will take action against the illegal occupants in accordance with the law of Timor-Leste, added Mr. Sarmento.
PM Horta: Alfredo wants to contribute to stability – Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta stated that during the a recent meeting in Dili between Defence Force Chief, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak and AWOL F-FDTL, Major Alfredo Reinado, it was agreed that Major Reinado would relocate from his current position in Covalima district to a new location in either Manufahi or Ainaro district to facilitate the ongoing process of dialogue.
Quoting Major Reinado, PM Horta said that he was prepared to face justice for his responsibility regarding the Fatuahi incident, but on the accusations of possessing ammunition, for which he was arrested and detained, Reinado refuses to acknowledge the accusations. He claims when he came to Dili he was escorted by the Australian forces and they knew he was in possession of such ammunition, so if there was any violation he should had been stopped.
PM Horta further stated that the solution to Major Reinado’s case, as well as those of Majors Agusto Tara and Marcos Tilman, could be reached through dialogue. Meanwhile, MP Alexandre Cortereal from UDT stated that the negotiations between the government and Major Reinado is normal to find a solution to the crisis as neither party would win one hundred percent. (DN, STL &TP)
UIR to be reactivated in January 2007 – Speaking to the press following his visit to PNTL’s Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR) Headquarters yesterday, Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta stated that starting January the UIR will be reactivated and would officially cooperate with the UN Police to help address the violence. Before returning to duty on the streets again, however, UIR will first undergo training with the Portuguese National Republican Guard (GNR). Reacting to the concerns about the equipment of the unit seized by the Australian Police which has not been returned, PM Horta said that this issue would be negotiated with the UN. Speaking with members of UIR, PM Horta called on them to cooperate with UNPol to maintain law and order and not to play with the criminals who only want to create problems. (DN, STL &TP)
UN POLICE DEPLOYED IN ALL 12 DISTRICTS OF TIMOR-LESTE AS POLL PREPARATIONS MOVE AHEAD New York, Dec 28 2006 3:00PM United Nations police officers have now deployed in all 12 of Timor-Leste’s districts to help end the low-level gang violence in the country and provide security for the electoral experts who are helping prepare for next year’s polls, the UN envoy said today, as he stressed the world body’s commitment to the elections.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, speaking in the last press conference of the year, said the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) will work closely with the people and authorities to ensure free and credible polls.
“UNMIT has also deployed electoral experts in all the districts,” he said, noting that UN eight Police were also sent. “UNMIT will assist the authorities of Timor-Leste and the people of Timor-Leste to provide the necessary conditions for free, fair and credible elections,” Mr. Khare added, while acknowledging that while the security situation has much improved, particularly since the deadly violence earlier this year, much still remains to be done. “I agree that we have to undertake many more actions to ensure that not only are there no weapons in civilian hands but that people feel, people believe, that no such weapons remain in civilian hands.”
The Security Council created UNMIT in August to help restore order after fighting, attributed to differences between eastern and western regions, broke out in April and May and led to the deaths of at least 37 people and forced about 155,000 people or 15 per cent of the population to flee their homes. As part of UNMIT, there are currently over 900 international police officers from 25 different countries implementing screening and mentoring programmes for the National Police force of Timor-Leste under the Police Supplemental Agreement, a deal signed at the start of this month under which the UN has full responsibility for policing.
Also speaking at today’s press conference was the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Security Sector Reform Rule of Law in Timor-Leste, Eric Tan, who stressed the importance of UNPOL being in all the 12 districts, while noting that security in the capital, Dili, continues to improve. “The presence of UNPOL in the districts outside Dili… allows us to have a very good sense of the security situation there,” he said, calling this “especially crucial” in the light of the coming elections. “Security in Dili continues to improve,” Mr. Tan said, adding that adjustments to the UN Police concept of security operations have proven effective.
Before celebrating his birthday, the PM hit a child in the street Timor Post Article 27 December 2006 Dili, TP Even though for his 57th birthday, Tuesday (26-12), Prime Minister Dr. Jose Ramos Horta invited young children to dine together at his residence in Areia Branca, Meti Aut, in order to show that he always places great importance on children’s well being today and their future, at another time in reality he showed a different side.
On the Friday before the Prime Minister celebrated his birthday (15-12) a 13 year old child was a victim of violence when he was hit by the head of government and Nobel Laureate for Peace together with Bishop Belo in Norway in 1996. The young boy with the pseudonym Ajoy, was hit only because he had lit a firecracker that went in the direction of the PM’s car, accompanied by one security car. Soon after the assault occurred, a Portuguese security officer put the victim Ajoy in the car and took him to the Fatuhada police station.
Because he was scared and knowing he was just a child, after he was released within an hour, Ajoy chose to remain silent about the incident and continued to live at the IDP camp by the airport. His family has lived there since the political and military crisis. However TP was successful at meeting Ajoy under his tarpaulin tent at the airport on Saturday 23-12. Although scared, Ajoy was able to calmly describe the violent incident involving the PM. Ajoy stated that on that Friday afternoon, Ajoy, like other children, were playing with small fireworks along the street around Lafatik with some friends.
It was there, Ajoy stated, that when PM Horta’s car with a security car passed close by, he lit a firecracker. But he did not do it to hit the car. Ajoy says the firecracker did not hit either car. “The firecracker I lit did not hit the PM’s car. Nor did I light the firecracker because the PM was going by. But before the incident, we had already been playing there.” said Ajoy.
Perhaps because it surprised them, Ajoy (a first year secondary student) said the two cars stopped suddenly. The Portuguese security officer, armed with a pistol, got out of the car and grabbed and held Ajoy while PM Horta hit his face twice.
As to what he felt about such conduct on the part of the PM, Ajoy lowered his head and said: “I was surprised when he (Horta) came up to me and straight away slapped my face. He hit me twice on the face. But I couldn’t do anything because perhaps I had done wrong and that’s why he hit me.” After he was hit, Ajoy said, the Portuguese security officer put him in the car with Horta’s concurrence to take him to the Fatuhada police station. After they left Ajoy at the police station, Horta and his security officer continued on their way to the center of the city.
Because Ajoy was a child and was not culpable, the police there took him back to the IDP camp where he resides.
Meanwhile on the other hand when speaking with TP at the President’s palace, PM Horta acknowledged what he had done to the child Ajoy. But he said that he did not hit the child twice in the face, he hit him once and pulled his ear.
The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate considers the method of hitting he used as an appropriate means to discipline an unruly child. “A slap and pull on the ear is to teach him not to be naughty. The problem is with stone throwers and parents aren’t teaching their children. I appeal to fathers to ensure that their children don’t do these things, throwing stones at people’s cars randomly. Government and private citizens have spent thousands of dollars because of the bad behavior of children, because parents don’t teach their children.” As to whether the child really stoned Horta’s car, Horta answered: “Yes, yes. He threw stones at my car and many other people’s cars. Using a firecracker, that I didn’t see.”
This conduct by the PM was witnessed by many people because it was a very public incident. When TP met with a witness who lives near the street at Lafatik, the witness said: “I certainly saw Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta hit the young child in the street over there (Lafatik).” As to the incident of the PM Horta hitting the child, the witness agreed with what the victim stated. “The white foreign security officer got out of the car and grabbed the victim. PM Horta got out of the car and slapped the victim’s face. I saw that Horta perhaps was surprised by the noise of the firecracker at the moment when his car passed by.”
The witness, who did not want to give his-her name for reasons of security also said, “As the most senior member of government, PM Horta must not display that attitude in public.”
As to whether there are a lot of stones thrown at cars in that area as Horta said, the witness indicated that after the PM hit the child Ajoy, he certainly saw cars being stoned but he only saw government cars going past Lafatik. He said, that the government cars were stoned because an unidentified group were upset with the PM’s conduct in hitting a young child.
On the other hand, the family of the victim said that they understood what the PM did because perhaps the child was already in the wrong. They ask only that as a national leader, PM Horta shouldn’t hit the child in public as that can dirty his name. The victim’s family said that like a father, Jose Ramos Horta has the right to teach Ajoy and they also recognize that what Ajoy did was perhaps wrong. At the same location, the coordinator of the airport IDP camp, Jose da Conceição, said that he received a complaint about PM Horta slapping the child. Also he didn’t want to politicize the incident because the victim’s family had already informed him that the child was in the wrong.
But Jose said that PM Horta’s conduct was not right because Horta is a national leader and recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize. “Like a father, Horta can teach naughty children but also not in the public eye because it’s not appropriate. As Prime Minister, Horta must control himself to not do anything that can dirty his name.” Meanwhile whilst answering about Horta’s attitude, the President of the Democratic Christian Party, Antonio Ximenes, feels sad and strongly criticizes PM Horta’s conduct as not on the right path because it just dirties the image.
Alkatiri is still a suspect: Monteiro – In response to news and rumours that former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri’s case of allegations of illegal distribution of weapons had been dropped, the Prosecutor General, Longinhos Monteiro stated that there is no official announcement as yet from his office on the issue. Asked about the status of Alkatiri in this regard, Monteiro said that “so far, his status is still as a suspect and there have been no changes yet to this status.” Monteiro further stated that in case of any change, whether archiving or processing the case, the public would be notified of all the processes and arguments supporting it. (DN & STL) Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 27 December 2006
UNMIT Daily Media Review 22 December 2006 National Media Reports
Taur Matan Ruak and Somocho meet Alfredo Reinado – Defense Force Commander, Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak, and the Vice Minister for Interior, Agostinho Sequera Somocho, yesterday met with AWOL F-FDTL Major Alfredo Reinado at the F-FDTL National Headquarters in Tacitolu. Speaking to journalists at the conclusion of the meeting, Major Reinado stated that the meeting aimed to find a good solution to end the crisis, but it would be up to the government to decide. He added, “…but an important thing is a freedom of access for me.” Meanwhile, Brigadier Matan Ruak stated that he was mandated by the TL Head of State to hold the meeting with Major Reinado.
On the question of Major Reinado’s status, however, Brigadier Matan Ruak declined to comment saying “it is beyond our competency; it is a question that involves the judicial system or the State.” Alfredo Reinado was flown to Tacitolu from his hideout by an Australian helicopter accompanied by two bodyguards, one of which was a UIR agent. (DN, STL &TP)
PM Horta: UN agrees to accelerate the reactivation of UIR – Speaking to journalists after the meeting of the Superior Council for Security and Defense at the Office of the President yesterday, Prime Minister Horta stated that the United Nations had agreed with the proposal of the government to accelerate the reactivation of the PNTL Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR). Likewise, the Superior Council for Security and Defense had also agreed that UNPol should work with the unit to assist the UN Police. Meanwhile, PM Horta stated that his government was about to prepare a decree law to prohibit the illegal importation of alcohol from Atambua and Kupang in Indonesia. (DN)
Reactions to Alkatiri’s case being archived – The Portuguese news agency, LUSA, reported on 20 December that the case of weapons allegations against former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri would have to be archived due to lack of evidence. Confirmed via telephone for his comment, Alkatiri stated that he had not been officially notified and hence he would refrain from making any comment. The Deputy Secretary General of Fretilin, Jose Maria dos Reis congratulated his comrade Alkatiri for what he called “never escape from justice” and that it should serve as an example to every Timorese.
Meanwhile, President of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Mario Carrascalao stated yesterday that Alkatiri could be set free if he is innocent but that should be based on an investigation as recommended in the report of the International Commission of Inquiry. Echoing PM Horta’s doubts on Alkatiri distributing weapons, Carrascalao said that, “personally, I too do not believe that Dr Alkatiri distributed weapons, but as Prime Minister at the time, he should be responsible for what members of cabinet were doing. (DN & STL)
Government will hold dialogue with leaders of Martial Arts Groups – Prime Minister José Ramos Horta yesterday stated that the Government would try to hold a dialogue with all leaders of martial arts groups, taking into account that the two martial art groups: PSHT and 77 still continue to create problems in Dili. PM Horta also said that in order to stop the fighting between the two groups, there would be a strong reinforcement of international police forces, such as the Formed Police Units from Bangladesh and Pakistan as well as PNTL’s Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR). Moreover, PM Horta said that the Government would take some measures next week in order to accelerate the process of collecting illegal weapons, and would take measures in regard to martial arts groups. (STL, DN)
Radio and TV News
President Xanana meets Superior Council of State at the Palace of Ashes – Yesterday President Xanana Gusmao met with members of the Superior Council of State to discuss the security situation as well as to decide on the date for the coming parliamentary and presidential elections. As far as the security situation is concerned, all members of the State Council have agreed to re-activate UIR in order to help UNPol and the International Forces to restore peace and stability in the country. On the topic of the dates for the national elections, President Gusmao has proposed several options but no consensus has been reached. The meeting will continue on 26 December 2006. The decision for the dates for the elections is the responsibility of the President of the Republic but consulting with others is also considerably important.
SRSG Atul Khare yesterday met with Prime Minister – Horta at the Palacio do Governo. This was the first official meeting between the two, and they met to discuss the security situation and the preparation for the forth coming elections. After the meeting SRSG Khare told media that UNMIT has been deploying UNPols to the districts to secure the situation for the future elections, and he also appealed to the public to not be afraid, and stressed that UNPol will strive to ensure that the National Elections are held without violence and fear.
Alfredo meets Brigadier Matan Ruak at the HQ of F-FDTL in Tasitolu – The Commander of F-FDTL, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, yesterday met with Alfredo Reinado at the Headquarters of F-FDTL in Tasitolu. This was the first meeting between the two after Alfredo deserted from the Police Military. After a 40-minute meeting, Alfredo told the media, without disclosing details, that the meeting aimed to find a solution to the problem. Brigadier-General Taur said that the meeting was very positive. Mr. Taur also stressed that it was a good sign; everybody expressed interest to solve the crisis faced by the country and the willingness to continue engaging in dialogue.
Apply criminal law against gangsters and criminals – Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta said that the Government will continue to work with UIR and UNPol to control the security situation. Prime Minister Horta added that the members of martial arts groups who continue to engage in fighting and killing will be considered as gangsters and criminals and will no longer be seen, in the eyes of the government, as martial arts groups. So, the government will apply the criminal law against such individuals and groups, but will continue to maintain an open door policy to dialogue with the leaders of these martial arts groups.
‘No decision’ in Alkatiri case, says Attorney-General 21-12-2006 11:38:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-8616992 Temas: Dili, Dec. 21 (Lusa) – No decision has been taken on whether to continue with investigations into former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri’s alleged involvement in the arming of civilians during East Timor’s recent turmoil, Attorney-General Longuinhos Monteiro said Thursday.
Authorities drop Alkatiri arms investigation for lack of evidence – 10-12-2006 13:05:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-8614080 Temas: Dili, Dec. 20 (Lusa) – The East Timorese Attorney-General’s office shelved its investigation into allegations that former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri was involved in a scheme to arm civilians during the wave of violence seven months ago Wednesday for lack of evidence, a judicial source told Lusa.
Horta continues to defend Alkatiri – Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta continues to defend his predecessor, the former PM Mari Alkatiri as being innocent regarding the allegation of illegal weapons distribution. Speaking at a joint press conference with the visiting Australian Minister of Justice and Customs on Monday, Horta said “I’ve never and I’ll never believe that Dr. Alkatiri ordered the distribution of weapons,” during the crisis as some suggested.” The Prime Minister added that the former PM stepped down because of the political responsibility he had and not because of any other responsibilities. Making the comment, however, PM Horta stressed that he was not trying to intervene in the judicial process being undertaken in this country. (TP)
Politically, the opposition does not recognize the electoral and CNE laws: Menezes – The spokesperson of the Democratic Party (PD), Rui Menezes stated at the national parliament yesterday that politically the opposition parties do not recognize the laws on the national elections and the National Electoral Commission (CNE) on the grounds that no consensus was ever reached. “PD, PSD, ASDT, PNT, UDT, and PPT as opposition parties have taken our position that we would not participate in the electoral law and the law on the National Electoral Commission, and we have made it clear that politically we will not recognize the laws on CNE and electoral totally.” The fundamental question upon which no consensus was reached, Menezes continued, was the question of electoral organs CNE and STAE. (TP) UNMIT Daily Media Review 20 December 2006
UNDP, AUSAID. TLGOV PRESS RELEASE NEW AUSTRALIAN AID PACKAGE TARGETS THE JUSTICE SECTOR – 20 December 2006 Demonstrating a continued strong commitment to long-term development needs and improved rule of law in Timor-Leste, the Australian Government has announced an AUD$2.5 million dollar contribution to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The signing ceremony involving the AusAID Development Cooperation Counsellor, Robin Scott-Charlton, and the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Finn Reske-Nielsen was conducted 19 December at the office of the Resident Representative in Dili, Timor-Leste.
The rule of law is a key pillar of democratic governance. Effective rule of law is, however, dependent on the key institutions – courts, prosecution service, Justice Ministry – having the adequate skills, systems, and resources to do their job effectively, and in order to follow-up on the recommendation of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report. UNDP and the Council of Coordination in the Justice Sector have been working closely through the “Justice System Programme” to boost institutional capacity in the Ministry of Justice, the courts and the prosecution service for administration of justice. The programme is currently implemented with support from Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Portugal and technical cooperation from Brazil.
With the pledge of AUD$ 2.5 million – AUD$ 2 million for the prison sector and AUD$ 500,000 through AusAID, for additional international
technical assistance for the courts, prosecution and public defense, Australia becomes the first country to contribute funds, after UNDP and the Council of Coordination requested additional support for the justice sector in June and September 2006 to handle the additional caseload arising from the current crisis.
“This support is crucial at a time when the national justice institutions are under extreme pressure due to increased backlog in light of recent events. We thank Australia for this precious contribution and hope that other partners will follow suit in increasing their assistance, as an effective judicial system will be vital for the stability of the country,” said the (DSRSG) and UNDP Resident Representative, Finn Reske-Nielsen.
“Effective and efficient judicial and criminal systems are crucial to consolidate the rule of law and ultimately for sustainable human development. With this contribution we reinforce Australia’s commitment to the justice sector, this time aiming at improving prison services capacity and supporting the courts in delivering justice to the people,” said Robin Scott-Charlton.
Cognizant that the rule of law and recognition of human rights remain central to effective peace building and to sustainable development UNDP, the UN’s leading development agency has a wealth of experience in supporting the justice sector in many developing countries.
For more information please contact; Renato Da Costa on email@example.com, +670 724 4376 Sammy Mwiti on <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com, +670 732 7152
Dialogue between F-FDTL and Major Alfredo – Commenting on the F-FDTL delegation sent by Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak to meet with Major Alfredo Reinado, the Timorese Political and Military Observer, Julio Tomas Pinto, stated that it was a positive step towards peace. In a separate article, AWOL F-FDTL Major Alfredo Reinado stated that his group has complete evidence to prove that there are illegal guerilla groups in the jungle. These illegal groups, Reinado added, have been created by the former Government under Mari Alkatiri’s leadership who provided strong political and financial support. He said some of the weapons belonging to these groups are now at his hands. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta stated that his government has no evidence to suggest that Major Reinado receives weapons through the border. The District Administrator of Covalima, Inacio Pires, denied that his administration has been in contact with Major Reinado and his group. (STL, DN, TP)
Autopsy needed to establish the truth: SRSG Khare – The Head of UNMIT, SRSG Atul Khare, has called on the family of the late Sebastiao Tomas de Jesus to allow an autopsy on his body in order to reveal the truth around his death, as the bullet will determine the type of weapons used to shoot him. The 20 year old de Jesus was shot dead in a clash between the martial arts groups PSHT, the group to which he belongs, and ‘Seti-Seti’ in Kampung Alor area on Sunday. A family member of Sebastiao has accused the UN Police from Australia as the perpetrator, but the SRSG appealed not to blame anyone before an autopsy is performed.
In relation to the death, the Head of PSHT Group, Jaime Xavier do Amaral, has sent a letter to ask the National Parliament urging the government to look into the case. However, do Amaral dismissed the claim that his member was shot by the Australian Police saying he was shot by the Australian military. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has called on the Martial Arts Groups to stop violence saying, “If they don’t want to die, stop killing each other.” (STL, DN, TP)
Proposed law No. 26/2006 on Parliamentary election is approved – The National Parliament yesterday approved proposed law No. 26/2006 on Parliamentary elections. The opposition parties have agreed with Fretilin party on the following points: a) in every group of four persons there must be one woman candidate; b) 5% votes has been reduced to 3% to have a seat in the Parliament; c) Members of F-FDTL can cast their votes but they will not go to the voting station wearing uniform; d) counting of the votes will be done in the local station, in case of rain, the votes can be transported to the districts and counted there.
Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review Tuesday, 19 December 2006
UNMIT: UNPol arrest suspect on rape charges Dili, 26 December 2006 – United Nations police in Dili have arrested one suspect on charges of rape and sexual abuse, following a month long investigation into the crimes which took place in October and November. The arrest was made yesterday afternoon in the vicinity of the Vila Verde area in Dili.
UNPol Spokesperson Monica Rodrigues stated that “the manner in which all three cases of rape were executed have been very similar. UNPol investigators have traced the activities of the suspect and have examined all the facts, thus leading to the arrest”.
UNPol attached to the national Vulnerable Person Unit (VPU) are experienced police officers dealing with complaints, investigations and sensitive cases of rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. The national VPU team collaborates closely with the Division of Social Services of the Ministry of Labour and Community Reinsertion in handling such sensitive cases as well as in ensuring the welfare of victims. With the increase of UNPol deployments to all the districts in the country, district VPU units will also be established to ensure that support mechanisms are in place for victims of such acts.
UNPol Police Commissioner Tor states that the deployment of UN police officers, to complement PNTL already assigned in the districts, and their work within Dili, is important to ensure the overall security of the people of Timor-Leste. “We are committed to train, motivate, mentor and improve the work and delivery of police services by the national police in the country. Members of public should feel free to approach the officers in time of need”.
With the establishment of the VPU units in the districts, and the continued operation of the national VPU office in Dili, UNPol assures all victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and assault that reported cases at the various police stations and posts in the city and in the districts are handled in confidentiality.
For additional information, please contact: Monica Rodrigues, Spokesperson, UNPol – tel: +670 733 1650 Laila Shamji, UNMIT Public Information Office – tel: +670 728 5787
AFP: UN police deny firing in fatal Timor clash – Monday, December 18, 2006. 11:08pm (AEDT) United Nations police in East Timor say none of their officers opened fire during a clash between rival martial arts gangs in which a man was shot and killed on Sunday. It says there has been no report from its national operations centre that a UN police officer fired during the fight. New UN special envoy Atul Khare says four people have been arrested and the case is being investigated. “Until the autopsy is conducted and the bullet is actually recovered, it is impossible to determine without doubt what type of firearm was used,” he said. Three other people, including a UN interpreter, were killed earlier this month in a resurgence of gang violence in the tiny nation.
East Timor was rocked in April and May by clashes between security force factions that quickly degenerated into street violence involving youth gangs. At least 37 people died in the bloodshed, which prompted the deployment of 3,200 Australian-led peacekeepers to restore calm. Their numbers have since been reduced to around 1,100, bolstered by the presence of about 1,000 UN police.
RT: Man shot dead during gang violence in East Timor 17 Dec 2006 12:50:52 GMT Source: Reuters DILI, Dec 17 (Reuters) – A man was shot dead during a gang fight involving more than 100 people near the Australian embassy in East Timor’s capital on Sunday, a family member said. Joaquim, the brother of the dead man, told Reuters his brother was killed when international security forces fired into a crowd after the violence erupted in the Kampung Alor area. Neither U.N. nor government officials could be immediately contacted for comment.
East Timor violence leaves one dead – December 17, 2006 – 6:39PM Hundreds of gang members battled with guns and machetes in East Timor’s capital Dili today, officials and witnesses said, killing one and injuring two. A young man was shot dead near the city’s largest mosque, apparently by a rival gang member, before UN police intervened, said UN police spokeswoman Monica Rodrigues. It was the latest violence in the nation of fewer than a million people, where unrest killed dozens and toppled the government earlier this year.
Foreign peacekeepers restored relative calm in June, but sporadic violence has left more than a dozen dead in recent weeks.
“We know a firearm was seen in the crowd,” UN police spokeswoman Monica Rodrigues said. “The firearm was used to shoot at rival gang members.” She countered claims by a witness that UN police had shot the gang member.
Raimundo do Reis Pinto, 20, said he saw UN police from Bangladesh “shoot my brother”, but Rodrigues denied that that the police were at the scene when shots were fired. Police were investigating the shooting and she could not say if they had used firearms.
Dili National Hospital supervisor Zony Santos said a man had died of gunshot wounds after arriving at the hospital and two others were injured.
East Timor was thrust into chaos in April and May following the sacking of 600 soldiers by then Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri. Rival police and army factions battled in the streets and clashes later spilled over into widespread gang warfare, looting and arson. At least 37 people were killed and 155,000 fled their homes in the capital, Dili, amid the violence – a sign of continued political instability seven years after independence from Indonesia. AP
Manuel Tilman: the job of General Prosecutor mixed with politics – MP Manuel Tilman in Committee A of the NP stated that General Prosecutor Longinhos Monteiro mixes his work with politics. Tilman added that the General Prosecutor must more pay more attention to his tasks and especially focus more on the judiciary problems and not be preoccupied with political interests. (TP)
Leandro: if I go to prison, it’s base on discrimination so a revolution could emerge – MP Leandro Isac stated that if those national leaders still discriminate, and if he must go to jail, then the leaders must be prepared to face the consequence. He added that a mental and physical revolution could emerge. (TP, JN-Diario)
Threatening Labadai and Railos could lead to loss of evidence – Both MPs Alexandre Corte Real and Manuel Tilman stated that when Marcos Piedade Labadai and Vicente da Conceção Railos still receive threats from some groups or person, evidence could be lost because of the threats. Therefore the Public Prosecutor must be responsible for 24-hour security in order to protect them as witnesses. (TP, JN-Diario)
Source: United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste Public Information Unit Daily Media Review Friday, 15 December 2006
Prosecutor General Lacks Will – The Prosecutor General has been accused of lacking the will or intention to resolve the problem by not providing protection to the two eyewitnesses, Rai Los and Labadai, who were in the Public Ministry Office on 30 November, the day of the preliminary hearing for Rogerio Lobato. Jose Luis Oliveira, Director of HAK Association, said such an attitude is not contributing to the efforts of the youth, the President and others in ending the current violence in Dili. He said unless the judiciary system of Timor-Leste functions, the efforts will be worthless. He said that the Prosecutor has the competence to mandate the security institutions as well as ask the police to provide security for the suspects and the accusers. The Director of HAK said the eyewitnesses to Lobato’s case were accompanied to Dili by PNTL officers from Liquica District and both were not taken to the court which shows that either the Prosecutor is not honest with his work or does not have good intentions. (DN)
More Than 1000 People Detained By Forces – The Office of the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice issued a communique on Friday stating that international forces and the UN have captured a total of 1,074 people and 38 of this number were children between the ages of 9 and 18. The document said that on 20 November police interviewed two detainees between the ages of 9 and 14 alleged suspects for their involvement in arson and murder in Maubisse, Ainaro sub-district. Both were later released. The communique stated that the data is based on the current human rights situation and that between 24-30 November police in some districts detained 16 people, including 13 year-olds, for alleged involvement in murder. (DN)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 12 December 2006
Dili District Court faces a lot of challenges – The unpredictable security and political situation of Dili poses many challenges to Dili District Court. There are a lot of pending cases due to unavoidable circumstances faced by the Court. Most of the time witnesses and even the accused do not come to the hearing process. Witnesses fear for their safety because the situation does not allow them to travel from their locations to the court.
Paulo: the accusation of Portuguese Prosecutor to Abilio was illegal – Both Dr. Paulo Dos Remedios and Dr. Nelson de Carvalho, defence council of Abilio Musquita Mausoco, rejected the accusation that their client was in possession of illegal weapons, as stated by the Portuguese Prosecutor. The defenders stated that the weapons held by Abilio were PNTL weapons and not illegal weapons.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 14December 2006
Public Prosecutor considers MP Leandro Isaac a suspect -In relation to the alleged case of assault on the residence of the commander of F-FDTL Taur Matan Ruak on 24 of May, the public prosecutor this week sent a notification letter to the National Parliament (NP) asking for authorization for MP Leandro Isac to make his statement. Leandro Isac stated that he is ready to present his statement to the public prosecutor but the process in the NP is not transparent and allows for discrimination. He said that he was not satisfied that the NP should grant authority for his statement and not do the same for Mari Alkatiri. In the meantime, Dr. Claudio Ximenes, President of the Court of Appeal stated that Mari Alkatiri’s case in relation to the illegal distribution of guns distribution is still in process. (JN-Diario, STL, TP)
ORJUMARTIL surrenders bullets to PM Horta – Organization of Maubere Youth of Timor-Leste (ORJUMARTIL) yesterday surrendered over 50 bullets to PM Ramos Horta. President of ORJUMARTIL Antonio Railakan stated that the bullets were in their possession since Indonesian time. Jose Manuel Fernadez, the State Secretary for Sport and Youth, was also present to witness this event. (STL, JN-Diario)
PM Horta: Brig Gen Taur Matan Ruak contacts Maj. Alfredo – PM and Minister of Defense Ramos Horta stated that Brig Gen Taur Matan Ruak, on his own initiative, contacted Maj. Alfredo Reinado in order to create dialogue so that he could solve the current problem. Horta stated that recently Brig Gen Matan Ruak ordered two members of F-FDTL to meet Maj. Alfredo Reinado to convey the message that the Brigadier wishes to converse with him and his group. (JN-Diario)
Lu-Olo: Hasegawa and Abilio Araujo become witnesses for Lobato case – President of the National Parliament Francisco Guterres ‘Lu-Olo’ was yesterday informed of the notification letter from the Public Prosecutor regarding the witnesses for the alleged case of illegal distribution of weapons against Rogerio Lobato. The letter states that 4 MPs (Francisco Branco-Fretelin, Jacinto Maia-Fretelin, Jaco Fernades, vice president of NP and Elizario Ferreira-Fretelin) ex-SRSG Dr Sukehiro Hasegawa and Dr. Abilio Abrantes Araujo would be called as witnesses for the case. In the meantime, Vice President of PNT party, Aliança de Araujo stated that their party would not authorize their president Abilio Araujo to be a witness because they see no justification. (JN-Diario, STL)
Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 13 December 2006
UNPOL Were Not Notified About Protection – Speaking during a press conference last Thursday, Interim Police Commissioner Antero Lopez said UNPOL had not been notified to provide protection to Labadai, the eyewitness to the Rogerio Lobato’s case. Lopez said they have been providing protection to other eyewitnesses, noting that when Labadai went to Prosecutor’s Office he had protection. But what is not clear, the Acting Police Commissioner said is why Labadai did not just walk to the building, since in his point of view the whole place had been secured. On the rumours that Labadai had been shot, Antero Lopez said police were awaiting confirmation. (TP, STL)
Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 09 – 11 December 2006