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Timor-Leste Legal News April 2007

July 1, 2012

UNMIT Daily Media Review 27 April 2007

Horta asking ISF to halt the operation on Alfredo – Prime Minister Horta asked the ISF to cease the operation to capture fugitive Reinado. By continuing the operation, the ISF would be challenging the decisions made by the president and the prime minister.  (TP)

PDC calls for changing the president of the court of appeals – The Christian Democratic Party (PDC) proposed to replace the president of the court of appeals.  PDC said that the current president makes inappropriate decisions. The PDC president mentioned that no decisions have yet been made on 50 cases which had been presented to the court.  (TP)

Government waiting for the official letter from PR to halt operations on Alfredo – Deputy Prime Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva said that the government has not received any official letter from President Gusmão requesting to halt the operation on Alfredo. “The government is waiting for the official letter from the president of the republic,” said Aleixo on Thursday (26/4) at the Palacio das Cinzas in Caicoli, Dili, after meeting with President Gusmão.  (DN)
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UNMIT Daily Media Review 26 April 2007
Rerden: “ISF has not halted the operation on Alfredo” – In response to Horta and President Gusmão’s declaration to halt the operations to capture fugitive Reinado, the Commander of the ISF, Brigadier General Mal Rerden, said that the ISF will not halt the operation until it receives a clarification letter from the government. “ISF has not received any formal letter from the government requesting to halt the operation.  Once ISF receives the letter, it will discuss the issue with the government,” said Rerden on Wednesday (25/4) at the ISF office in Caicoli Dili.

In addition, Rerden said that the operation to capture Alfredo could be easily stopped, however a public declaration to so should first come from the government.  (DN)

General Prosecutor does not want to mediate Alfredo’s case – The Prosecutor General (GP), Longuinhos Monteiro, said that the GP would not mediate a dialogue but rather would take the case through a proper legal process. “I don’t want the youth or the public in general to say that the GP intervened in some way.  The GP will take the case through the proper legal process,” said Longuinhos on Wednesday (25/4) at his office in Caicoli Dili. (DN)

Estanislau asks for an investigation on the case of rice distribution – At a press conference on Wednesday (25/4) at the Office of Ministry of Agriculture Dili, the Minister of Agriculture and Vice Prime Minister, Estanislau Aleixo da Silva, said that if Prime Minister Horta insists on an investigation, then the Minister of Labor and Solidarity and Community Reinsertion, Arsenio Paixão Bano, should be investigated. He explained that the rice was distributed to the population in Balibo by MTRC as government assistance to the people. “If the Prime Minister does not agree with it, then the case will be investigated.  Arsenio is being courageous,” said Estanislau. (TP)

Government ignoring CII recommendation – The Chief of Human Rights Assosiasaun Hak, Aniceto Neves, reportedly told journalists on Wednesday (25/4) at his office in Farol Dili, that the government is ignoring the recommendations made by the Commission of International Investigation (CII), which was formed by the United Nations to investigate and analyze the atmosphere of Timor-Leste during the crisis.

He said that ignoring the recommendations is a way for the government to protect those involved in the crisis and who have not yet been arrested.

He said that the government has no intention of bringing these actors to court as recommended by CII.  (STL)

Population in Hudi Laran flee from their homes to Hosana Church – In the past two days, at least 13 families from Hudi Laran moved to IDP camps due to confrontations between martial arts groups, 7-7 and PSHT in Bairo Pite.

On Tuesday night, some evacuated to Seminário Fatumeta IDP camp and others to Hotel Hong Kong then on Wednesday morning they moved to Cathedral Villa Verde.

Members of PSHT used homemade weapons, looted and damaged property and fired a man, who was immediately brought to a hospital in Dili by UNPol.  (STL)
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JSMP JUSTICE UPDATE The perpetrators of a shooting that occurred in the Jardim IDP camp in 2006 are acquitted  23 AprilL 2007 INTRODUCTION At the end of March 2007 the Dili District Court examined and decided a case involving two defendants who had been accused of committing a crime in September 2006 at the Jardim IDP camp in Dili. The hearing was presided over by a Panel of international and national judges. The prosecution unit was represented by Prosecutor Baltazar B. (an international) and the two defendants were represented by their respective lawyers Benevides Correia Barros (Liberta) and Pedro Aparicio (Legal Consultant).

Based on the observations of JSMP, the Court rendered a final decision in this case without examining witnesses and evidence. This was due to the unexplained absence of the witnesses (including the victim) who had been properly summoned by the court, as well as the fact that the prosecution had not presented any evidence. Considering the absence of the witnesses, the Public Prosecutor, in accordance with his authority, requested for the Panel handling this case to adjourn the hearing. This would give an opportunity to the witnesses (including the victim) to appear before the court and provide testimony in order to reveal the legal facts. However the prosecutor’s request was rejected by the court because the defendants had been held in pre-trial detention at the Becora prison for 6 months. The Panel proceeded with the trial and heard the prosecutor’s recommendation of sentence, the final plea of the defence and then rendered its final decision.

The defendants in this case, Xavier Freitas and Gastao P, had been accused by the prosecutor of committing a criminal act deemed in conflict with the law.   The indictment cited the following criminal violations: an attempt to commit a crime[1], the commission of violence against another person in collaboration and in public[2], murder[3] and carrying firearms/dangerous weapons to a public meeting or demonstration[4].

In his recommendation of sentence, the prosecutor only referred to statements made by witnesses and the victim before the police (during the preliminary stage of investigation). In their final plea, the lawyers representing the defendants rejected the indictment and the prosecutor’s recommendation of sentence claiming that these allegations had no factual or legal basis. Moreover, the lawyers for the defendants claimed that statements made during the investigative phase could not be used in court[5] and the prosecutor had been unable to present any evidence (firearms), witnesses or victim to support the indictment. Also, one of the defendants was not present at the scene of the crime when the act allegedly took place (had an alibi)[6]. As there were no clear indications that the defendants had committed a crime, and considering that they had been held in pre-trial detention for 6 months, the counsel for the defence requested that they be granted compensation[7].

After hearing the prosecutor’s recommendation of sentence and the final plea from the defence, the Panel examining this case decided to fully acquit the two defendants as there was no strong evidence (witnesses or exhibits) to support a conviction.

LEGAL FACTS AND ANALYSIS

Legal Facts

In relation to the aforementioned case, JSMP would like to reveal a number of legal facts that form an essential component in the trial of this matter.

The legal facts are as follows;

a. The need to examine what factors were behind the unexplained non-appearance of the witnesses and victim after they had been properly summoned by the court on two occasions.

b. The panel’s decision to reject the request for an adjournment in order to facilitate the examination of witnesses and victim. Were there any legal grounds underlying the panel’s decision to reject the prosecutor’s request that the hearing be adjourned to allow the examination of witnesses and victim, or was the Panel’s decision based on standard reasoning that the witnesses and victim had been properly summoned.

c. Decision to fully acquit the defendants.

A principle of law is that when a judicial examination fails to establish that a person has committed a crime, then that person must be acquitted.  In the aforementioned case, evidence had not been presented to establish the involvement of the defendants.  In its decision, the Panel of Judges stated that the defendants had not been found guilty of committing a criminal act in September 2006 as no witnesses had been presented to support the prosecutor’s indictment. JSMP believes that the court did not engage in a full procedural examination of the aforementioned case as the victim was in fact injured as a result of being shot with a firearm and several witnesses provided statements about this matter to the police.

JSMP believes that if this case was not supported by evidence or witnesses then the defendants should have been fully acquitted at the pre-trial stage and should not have been held in pre-trial detention for a period of 6 months at the Becora Prison.  The law states that no person shall be detained without sufficient legal grounds.

2.2. Legal Analysis

JSMP is restricting its legal analysis to the Panel’s decision to reject the prosecutor’s request for an adjournment.

JSMP believes that the request submitted by the prosecutor for an adjournment was made in accordance with Article 48 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, however the Panel’s refusal of this request was not based on any provisions of the criminal procedure code.

JSMP believes that the request of the prosecutor to present the witnesses and the victim was based on the following legal considerations:

–  Article 141 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code states that where the witnesses are not present, a date shall be set for that purpose. The purpose of this article is to allow for an adjournment when a witness, victim or defendant fails to attend a scheduled hearing. The Court will only be able to determine the legal facts after hearing testimony from the witnesses and victim.

–  Article 250 (4) of the Criminal Procedure Code states that the judge shall order the interruption of the hearing after it has started if a person who cannot be immediately replaced and whose presence is indispensable fails to appear at the hearing or becomes unable to attend it; and where it is absolutely necessary to produce further evidence, which is unavailable at the time the hearing is in progress; or any prejudicial or incidental matter, the  settlement of which is essential for a reasonable adjudication of the case or that renders the continuation of the hearing highly inconvenient.

–  Article 251 of the Criminal Procedure Code which states that the absence of procedural participants (including a witnesses or victim) before the hearing has started may result in a postponement.

–  Article 261 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code which states that the absence of the aggrieved person may justify the postponement of the hearing only if the court believes that his or her presence is essential for the discovery of the material facts.

The indictment issued against the defendants cites articles carrying sentences ranging between five and fifteen years imprisonment, meaning that these charges are categorized as serious crimes. For this reason a thorough and vigorous examination is required to not only reveal the facts, but also to uphold the legality and objectivity of testimony provided by witnesses during the trial.

JSMP believes the non-attendance of the witnesses and victim indicates that they were unable to state objectively and with certainty who actually carried out the shooting that occurred at the Jardim IDP Camp in 2006. Did the two defendants actually commit the act, or was it perpetrated by another individual who is yet to be identified by the investigators, namely the police and the prosecution unit.

CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATION

Conclusions

Considering the facts and legal analysis outlined above, JSMP concludes that;

–   The failure of the witnesses and victim to appear before the court and provide testimony indicates that they are uncertain about who carried out the aforementioned shooting.

–    The Panel examining this case did not give serious consideration to the  aforementioned articles relating to the failure of the witness and victim to appear before the court and reveal the legal facts

–  The Prosecutor should not have submitted the indictment to the court without sufficient cause/legal grounds, including the preparation of witnesses and victim as well as items of evidence.

Recommendation

JSMP recommends for the Court to have take a proactive stance and conduct thorough and vigorous examinations of its cases before rendering a decision, especially when handling serious crimes (cases carrying a sentence in excess of 10 years imprisonment). The prosecution should not have submitted an indictment to the court without sufficient evidence and witnesses, and rather should have requested for the release of the defendants to avoid them being held in pre-trial detention for 6 months.

As the Court has acquitted the defendants and found them innocent of the crime accused, then the court should have made a ruling in its decision on the issue of compensation for the defendants who have been held in pre-trial detention for six months, in accordance with the provisions of the RDTL Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Code.

[1] Article 53 (1) of the Indonesian Penal Code
[2] Article 170 (1) of the Indonesian Penal Code
[3] Article 338 of the Indonesian Penal Code
[4] UNTAET Regulation No. 05/2001, Section 4.4
[5] Article 267 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code
[6] Article 32 (3) of the RDTL Constitution which states that Criminal liability is not transmissible.
[7] Article 31 (6) of the RDTL Constitution

For further information please contact: Leonidio Marques Legal Researcher Unit E-mail: nidio@jsmp.minihub.org Or please contact the Director of JSMP: Timotio de Deus E-Mail: timotio@jsmp.minihub.org Telp. +670 3323883
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JSMP JUSTICE UPDATE The legal reasoning of the Court conflicts with the legal facts 26 April 2007 INTRODUCTION On 19 March 2007, the Baucau District Court handed down a decision in a case of serious maltreatment which was committed in 2006 within the jurisdiction of Baucau. The Defendant in this case was sentenced to four years imprisonment and fined $US 50. The Panel of Judges stated in their decision that on 23 June 2005 the defendant DA deliberately and illegally committed an act of serious maltreatment against the victim ACX that resulted in serious injuries to the victim.

This hearing was presided over by a Panel consisting of 2 international judges and one national judge. The Panel read out the personal particulars of the defendant and outlined the criminal act that was alleged in the indictment, as well as mentioning the facts that had emerged throughout the trial[1]. The decision was read out by the Presiding Judge at the beginning of the hearing and described how the defendant had confessed to the acts he had committed against the victim. The evidence presented together with witness testimony supported the Prosecutor’s allegations that the Defendant had in fact maltreated the victim causing an injury to the victim’s foot. However, JSMP is of the opinion that this injury should not be classified as serious.

FACTS AND LEGAL ANALYSIS

–  Legal Facts

In the aforementioned case of maltreatment the defendant was convicted by the Panel for having violated Article 354 (1) of the Indonesian Penal Code[2].
Article 354 (1) of the Indonesian Penal Code is directly related to Article 90 of the Indonesian Penal Code which states:
The definition of “serious injury” includes, among others, any harm or injury which is permanent or which endangers the life of the victim, or prevents the victim from continuing his or her work, or impairs any of their senses, or renders them crippled or incapacitated, or causes psychological damage for longer than four weeks.
Also relevant is Article 351 (2) which states that if such an action results in serious injury, the sentenced imposed shall not exceed five years imprisonment.

The Court assessed that the Defendant had in fact violated the aforementioned articles and therefore sentenced the Defendant to 4 years imprisonment (less time spent in temporary detention) and a fine of US$ 50.

After reading out its decision the court summarized its justification for grading the crime and determining the appropriate sentence. Instructions were also given on how and when the sentence was to be executed, together with other obligations imposed on the convicted person, such as the duration and type of any restrictive measures[3]. The convicted person and his lawyer did not accept the decision and declared their intent to lodge an appeal.

– Legal Analysis

Based on the aforementioned legal facts, JSMP wishes to determine if the articles applied by the Baucau District Court were in fact correct or in conflict with the legal facts. It is important to note that this legal analysis merely refers to the applicable legal procedures and does not intend to interfere with the decision issued by the court.

We hereby discuss the three articles considered by the Panel in determining their decision.
Article 354 (1) of the Indonesian Penal Code which states that:
Any person who deliberately causes serious injury to another shall be convicted of serious maltreatment and shall be sentenced to a maximum term of imprisonment not exceeding eight years.
The important wording here is “causes serious injury” which means serious maltreatment. According to the Indonesian Penal Code this article can be applied when the Defendant intended to cause serious injury to the victim, or in other words, the victim suffers a serious injury and if the consequences of the defendant’s actions are minor, then these actions should be categorized as ordinary maltreatment, and the appropriate article for consideration is 351 (1) of the Indonesian Penal Code and not Article 354 (1).

If a judge decides to use Article 354 (1) of the Indonesian Penal Code as grounds for a decision, then automatically Article 90 of the Indonesian Penal Code should also be considered as the two articles are closely linked. Article 90 of the Indonesian Penal Code states that:
The definition of “serious injury” includes, among others, any injury which is permanent or which endangers the life of the victim, or prevents the victim from continuing his or her work, or impairs any of their senses, or renders them crippled or incapacitated, or causes psychological damage for longer than four weeks.

The elements of Article 90 of the Indonesian Penal Code which need to be tested and established, amongst others, are;
a, any injury that is permanent or which endangers the life of the victim,
b, or prevents the victim for continuing his or her work,
c, impairs any of their senses,
d, incapacitates,
e, or causes psychological damage.
JSMP concurred with the statement made by the defence that several of the elements of the aforementioned article were not established. The victim was able to appear in court without any inconvenience and was only suffering a minor injury to the foot. The judge only gave consideration to the medical report and doctor’s statement presented by the prosecution and did not consider the actual physical condition of the victim who appeared normal when attending the hearing.

Also, Article 351 (2) states that:
“if such an action results in serious injury, the sentence imposed shall not
exceed five years imprisonment”.

As stated above, the victim only appeared to be suffering from a minor injury, based on his physical appearance when he attended the court to hear the announcement of the decision.

CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS

– Conclusions

Pursuant to the facts and legal analysis outlined above, JSMP concludes that the articles cited in the indictment, and subsequently considered by the court in determining its sentence, were not actually proven. When deciding on the sentence, Article 351 (1)[4] would have been more appropriate, as the actions of the defendant should have been categorized as light maltreatment in line with the injury suffered by the victim.

– Recommendations

In the aforementioned case, JSMP recommends that the decision making process should refer to the facts and should reflect the seriousness of the injury inflicted on the victim by the defendant’s actions.  The actions of the defendant also need to fulfill the requirements of the articles alleged against him in order that justice can truly be upheld. What is meant here is justice that is acceptable to both parties, namely the defendant and the victim.

[1] JSMP believes that the elements of the decision fulfill the requirements set out in Article 281 of the Criminal Procedure Code
[2] Article 354 (1) states that any person who deliberately causes serious injury to another shall be convicted of serious maltreatment and shall be sentenced to a maximum term of imprisonment not exceeding eight years.
[3] Pursuant to Article 282 of the Criminal Procedure Code
[4] Article 351 (1) states that the punishment for maltreatment shall not exceed two years and eight months or a maximum fine of Rp. 4.500.

For further information please contact: Leonidio Marques National Legal Researcher E-mail: nidio@jsmp.minihub.org

Or please contact the Director of JSMP: Timotio de Deus, Director JSMP E-Mail: timotio@jsmp.minihub.org Telp. +670 3323883
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New Zealand Defence Force Air Force Helicopters to Boost Security Efforts in Timor Media Release 19 April 2007 The first of the two Iroquois with support crew will leave Ohakea Air Force Base on an Air Force C-130 Hercules 8am on Monday and the second helicopter will follow later in the week. Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Rear Admiral Jack Steer said the helicopters would significantly enhance the capabilities of the Australian-led Combined Joint Task Force currently serving in the country. The Combined Joint Task Force already includes 150-strong New Zealand Defence Force personnel who are conducting security operations in Dili.

“The Iroquois and their crews will work alongside Australian Defence Force aviation assets already in Timor Leste to insert and extract patrols and assist with the provision of aero medical evacuation and air logistic support,” Rear Admiral Jack Steer said. “That the first Iroquois is expected to begin flying on ANZAC day is particularly fitting. The close co-operation between the Australian and New Zealand Defence Force contingents which make up the Combined Joint Task Force has been key to the success of security efforts in Timor Leste so far.”

The Defence Force personnel and Iroquois helicopters deploying next week are drawn from the Ohakea based 3 Squadron. They will remain in Timor Leste for approximately three months as the first rotation of what will be a 12 month deployment. ENDS
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UNMIT Media Monitoring 18 April 2007

Barris: “Paul Martins is a member of the PNTL” – The Minister of Interior, Alcino Barris, told journalists on Tuesday (17/4) at the Ministry of Interior Villa Verde Dili, that Ex-General Commander Paul de Fatima Martins is considered by the Ministry as a member of the PNTL, so he has to be registered, interviewed and evaluated  before returning to his previous tasks. (DN)

President of the republic asks the ISF to halt the operation on Alfredo – Prime Minister Ramos Horta said that the ISF will stop its pursuit of Alfredo Reinado and his men in order to resume dialogue. He expects that within the month, President Xanana would meet Brigadier Mal Rerden, the commander of ISF to discuss the issue. TP

Horta: “UN stays 5 more years in TL” – Ramos Horta, at a press conference at the Government Palace yesterday, said that Timor-Leste needs the UN to remain for another 5 years in order to improve the professionalism of the PNTL and F-FDTL. (DN)

Barris: “Security policy in TL is not in a predicament” – The Minister of Interior, Alcino Barris, reportedly said that security management is not a problem as the PNTL’s strategies continually progress in relation with the current situation.  (DN)
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Sergeant who ‘threatened to kill’ faces Timor inquiry – The Age Andrea Petrie April 18, 2007 A VICTORIAN policeman working in East Timor on an international peace-keeping mission has been accused of threatening to kill a motorist who was later discovered to be an adviser to the Government.

Sergeant Peter Beames, who has 35 years of police experience, is on international deployment in the troubled nation. He is believed to have intercepted a car in the Ermera district, west of Dili, on February 20, after he saw it being driven erratically. He approached the driver after the car was parked outside the Hotel Tropical Inn. When Sergeant Beames asked to see the driver’s licence, the man refused to let him take down his details.

Sergeant Beames, a Vietnam veteran, is understood to have told the driver that he could be arrested for not co-operating, but the man still refused. The driver, Jose Manuel Gomes Guterres, complained in a letter to the Special Representative to the Secretary-General, Dr Atul Khare, claiming that Sergeant Beames assaulted and threatened to kill him.

Mr Guterres is a lawyer and adviser to East Timor’s Council of Ministers. The Government took his allegations seriously and has demanded an investigation.

Sources have told The Age that Mr Guterres’ recollection of events had not been corroborated by any witnesses. A spokesman for the Australian Federal Police confirmed that an investigation had been launched by the United Nations. The spokesman said Sergeant Beames was among 50 Australian police working for the UN’s mission in Timor-Leste. “All police officers in Timor-Leste are bound by United Nations police procedures and codes of conduct and the AFP is aware that the UNPOL professional standards and discipline office is currently investigating this matter,” he said.

Victoria’s Police Association yesterday vowed to stand by Sergeant Beames. Union secretary Paul Mullett said the Government was “obviously believing one version of events over another in terms of what was said during the one-on-one conversation”, which he said could cause diplomatic tension between the two nations.

“This is just a politically motivated allegation that will potentially compromise a police officer who has an outstanding reputation,” he said. “Quite clearly, the Prime Minister has a responsibility to resolve what could become a highly charged political issue.”

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon would monitor the investigation.
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Hunt for Reinado called off – From correspondents in Jakarta April 17, 2007 09:11pm THE prime minister of East Timor today said he was calling off the hunt for a fugitive rebel leader blamed for last year’s unrest to lure him back to the negotiating table.

“The military operation on Major Reinado has to be stopped to give a chance for the attorney general, Reinado’s lawyers and the (East Timor) bishops to resume dialogues,” Jose Ramos Horta said.  “The president will meet parties involved today and tomorrow to stop the military operations,” he said.

Major Alfredo Reinado, a renegade soldier, has been on the run since crack Australian troops attacked his mountain hideout earlier last month in a failed bid to capture him. His refusal to surrender cast a long shadow over impoverished East Timor’s landmark presidential election this month, although he said he would not disrupt the poll. Five of his armed supporters were killed during the raid on his hideout, which triggered rowdy protests.

Major Reinado has been a persistent problem for East Timor’s Government and is said to have a band of armed followers and to enjoy support from disaffected youths and the backing of an ethnic group living in the nation’s west. The fugitive was criticised for his role in unrest last year that killed at least 37 people, displaced 150,000 and led to the dispatch of Australian-led international peacekeepers.
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Army admits to searching Dili homes – April 15, 2007 – 5:34PM The Australian Army has admitted it entered Dili homes and searched them on Thursday, contrary to its earlier denial.

People from the Kampung Alor District of the East Timorese capital had accused Australian soldiers from the International Stabilisation Force of searching homes without permission and leaving them in disarray. One of them, Rosa Soares, said she was asked if she had seen fugitive Timorese officer Alfredo Reinado, wanted on attempted murder and other charges arising from political violence last year.

On Saturday, the force denied officers had raided any homes. But on Sunday, it said the denial was wrong.

“The statement was based on the best information we had at the time, but was wrong,” an army spokesman said. “Yes, we did enter a number of premises during the operation.” He said that “all houses were entered with the permission of owners. We searched them alongside UN police”.

The army also had denied that the raids were linked to the Reinado manhunt. The army spokesman said the “primary role” of the raids was election security. He added that a charge by Timorese human rights activist Jose Luis Oliveira concerning the detention of Reinado’s family three days earlier, on April 9, was wrong.

Mr Oliveira had said that during four hours of questioning Australian soldiers asked Reinado’s relatives how they had voted in the presidential election that day, which he said was “a violation of human rights”.

The army spokesman said questions concerning the election were asked but “they were not specifically asked `who did you vote for’.” © 2007 <http://www.smh.com.au/notebn/aap.html>AAP
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Dili anger over Australian raids – April 14, 2007 – 4:35PM Dili residents are angry about the latest Australian military operations, apparently undertaken to increase pressure on the fugitive Major Alfredo Reinado.

Eight Reinado family members were detained during a night-time raid on their central Dili home on Monday, a move prompting criticism from human rights watchdog Yayasan Hak.

“The soldiers think Alfredo is in Dili. His uncle Victor Alves’s house was encircled, and relatives taken to an Australian camp for questioning,” rights activist Jose Luis Oliveira said.  He said they were interrogated for four hours. “Among the questions asked was how they voted in the elections,” Oliveira said. This is a violation of human rights.”

On Thursday, houses in the inner suburb of Kampung Alor were surrounded and searched around 4pm (local time), raising occupants’ hackles. Widow Rosa Soares said soldiers entered her house with guns in hands. “They held up a photo of Major Alfredo and asked if I had seen him. Then they went through each room, searching drawers, and pulling things out,” she said. Next-door neighbour Ana Maria was alone with three children when soldiers appeared at her front door, but in this case they asked permission to enter. She said they searched each room, pulling out drawers and overturning mattresses. “We were scared,” she said. “My son Iko asked: ‘Mummy why are foreigners searching our house?”‘

A spokesman for Australia’s International Stabilisation Force (ISF) denied Thursday’s operation was linked to Reinado, or that any homes had been entered. “UN police and ISF forces conducted operations in relation to electoral security,” he said. “Our targets were gangs and illegal weapons.” He said “many illegal weapons” were confiscated, including a home-made rifle.

Ana Maria said the troops returned things to their place before leaving, but Ms Soares said they left her house in disarray, as did neighbour Jacinto de Andrade, a deputy for the opposition Social Democrat Association. “They forced entry,” he said. “These troops were supposed to come here to free us, not to violate our rights. This system reminds us of Indonesian times.”

The spokesman denied the charges. “We did not enter any houses,” he said.

The ISF is currently sending regular unsolicited SMS messages to mobile phones in East Timor calling on Reinado to surrender. “We want a peaceful solution-when are Reinado and his fugitives coming to check this with us?” an army text sent out to Dili phones last night asked. AAP
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Press Conference Non Governmental Organisations Don’t Agree with the Model of Public Consultation led by the Ministery of Natural Resources, Minerals and Energy Policy Timor-Leste NGO Forum Caicoli Street, Dili-East Timor, phone 7240107 – 7254912 /etngocentre@hotmail.com On 22 March 2007, the Ministry of the Natural Resources, Minerals andEnergy Policy (MNRMEP) gave notice of public consultation on the proposedDecree-Laws for downstream petroleum activity in Timor-Leste, through thedaily newspaper Timor Post. The drafts of these decree Laws can beaccessed through the government websites: http://www.timor-leste.gov.tl/EMRD?index.asp orwww.transparency.gov.tl. After discussing among civil society organizations in Timor-Leste on 2April, and considering several issues such as the campaign and electionfor the Republic President and the Parliament, we in civil society areissuing this press statement to request the Ministry of NaturalResources, Mineral and Energy Policy to consider our proposal as follows:

We agree that the State is responsible to create laws or regulationsto regulate Petroleum activities.

The timeline for this public consultations led by the Ministry ofNatural Resources, Minerals and Energy Policy which is only 15 days, isvery limited. This is not enough time for the public to be able toparticipate. Therefore, we urge the Minister to extend the publicconsultation process and to invite more people who are knowledgeable toprovide ideas and perspectives to improve these laws, as these laws arevery important for the future of Timor-Leste.

We think that it would be better to pass these decree laws after theparliamentary election so that more people can pay attention and givecomments for these decree laws. Under the current troubles for ourpopulation, it is hard for people to concentrate for a good discussion onthese laws.

We urge to the MNRMEP to thoroughly study other countries’experiences by inviting experts from the National Oil Company (NOC) suchas Statoil in Norway or Petronas in Malaysia, to have forum discussion.This will be the comparative study for the experience from thosecountries.

We urge the MNRMEP to make it easier for people to access thesedocuments by distributing hard copy, because most people don’t haveinternet access.

We urge the MNRMEP to facilitate these laws in the official languageTetum and working languages authorized in Timor-Leste, such as Englishand Indonesian, so that the Government will get more and betterrecommendations to improve the quality of these laws.

We propose a model of consultations which includes two waycommunications, so the Government should listen to the Timor-Leste’speople’s ideas. The consultations should involve debate and should be atall levels: District, sub-district, sucu and aldeia. Consultation shouldnot be only a formality to legalize the process, but through publicconsultation, the Government should listen to thoughts from all partiesin order to produce good law and policy.

Because these laws are important, we urge to the MNRMEP not to rushpassage of these decree laws. We worry that without a proper mechanismfor public consultation, the laws will be low quality which will bringnegative impacts for the future of Timor-Leste.

Those points that we have explained are our concerns about these decreelaws, and for the attention of the Ministry of the Natural Resources,Mineral and Energy Policy, we would like to give thanks.

Dili, 04 April 2007 Core Group for Transparency

Justino daSilva (Fongtil Secretariat) Tomas Freitas, Luta Hamutuk Mario Araujo, AMKV Carlos A. B. Florindo, ETADEP Julino Ximenes, Perkumpulan HAK Guteriano Nicolau, La’o Hamutuk
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EAST TIMOR: Police back on the streets  ABC Radio Australia Last Updated 4/04/2007 3:32:46 PM During last year’s crisis in East Timor, the police force was demobilised after its running battles with factions of the army and the collapse ofboth forces. Now after a slow rebuilding process, local officers are joining their international counterparts in providing security for next week’s election.

Listen http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/asiapac/programs/s1889009.htm

Presenter/Interviewer: Karon Snowdon Speakers: Australian Commander in East Timor, Brigadier MalRerden; East Timor’s Interior Minister, Alcino Barris; Gaspa Sanpao, resident of Dili

SNOWDON: Each year the East Timor police force, the PNTL celebrates its anniversary. This year, the seventh, has a special significance – itmarks the return of the force after it was taken off the streets during last year’s chaos. The Commander of the international security force,Australian Brigadier Mal Rerden, marks the significance of the presence of the 2,500 local police back on East Timor’s streets.

RERDEN: Well it’s an important step forward for the future of East Timor. The East Timorese police force is being mentored and developed under a UN program with the UN police actively involved every step of the way. Andthis is a very important process to ensure that the police force isreestablished in an appropriate way.

SNOWDON: In April and May last year, East Timor’s crisis involved battles between the police and sections of the army after 600 soldiers weresacked by the government, sparking the crisis. Shots were fired into demonstrating army soldiers who had complained of discrimination by theirofficers. It began weeks of violent turmoil much of it between the opposing security forces and included the gunning down of 12 unarmed police officers, about 20 other deaths, the resignation of the prime minister and the dislocation of society. Australian, New Zealand andPortuguese troops were sent to restore order and UN sanctioned international forces will remain in the country for another year at least. That includes almost 1,500 international police. The interior minister at the time, Rogerio Lobato, was last month sentenced to seven and a half years in jail for his part in the crisis, including distributing weapons to a civilian hit squad and manslaughter. His replacement, Alcino Barris, has taken over responsibility for the PNTL and says more than 1,000 police have so far undergone the screening process.

BARRIS: Now, all of of them, both 1,300 already make the screening and are sent to the academy.

SNSOWDON: Six hundred and fifty have passed the first phase and are working with the UN police. Any suspected of involvement in criminal activity or of a breach of discipline last year are further investigated. Interior minister Barris says he is accelerating moves to professionalise the force and says the public can now be confident of their localpolice.

BARRIS: During the crisis the commanders collapse but now we feel happy because I think everybody is very motivated to [train]. Now, we try to make the best.

SNOWDON: Eighty year old Gaspa Sanpao says he’s fed up with gang violence in his suburb of Dili. He hopes a new police post opened in Baro Pitae just last week will make a difference.

GUSPA: I am Guspa, we want my area safe but the young boys make problems, make trouble fighting in Bairro Pite. We like Australia and want Australian police and Portugal police come to make our country safe. But the young boys still fight and make problems.

SNOWDON: Brigadier Mal Rerden says it will be some time before the PNTL operates on its own.

RERDEN: And in going back out on to the street they’re integrated in withthe UNPOL UN police patrols. So you have a very measured, controlled process for reengaging and bringing them back onto the streets.
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Northern Territory News April 4, 2007 Wednesday Diplomat in court – EAST Timor’s first ambassador to Australia is being sued by a Territorian for alleged sexual harassment. Jorge Da Conceicao Teme, now a spokesman for a Fretilin group supporting Jose Ramos Horta in East Timor’s presidential election, will contest the allegation. The complaint has been made by Margarida de Araujo, who lives in Darwin. The case is alleged to have arisen from when she worked at the East Timor embassy in Canberra between 2004 and 2005.

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