Timor-Leste Legal News June 2007
Watchdog wants Timor corruption charges – AAP 29th June 2007, 17:31 WSTCriminal charges should be laid over alleged corruption within a government ministry, East Timor’s new independent watchdog said, on the eve of parliamentary elections. The Office of the Provedor for Human Rights and Justice (PDHJ) said it had recommended that the Prosecutor General lay criminal charges over alleged corruption within the Ministry of State Administration.
The PDHJ – which serves as East Timor’s human rights commission, ombudsman and anti-corruption commission – said an investigation into the allegation followed a complaint from within the ministry. A further 13 cases of alleged human rights abuses and maladministration had been referred to East Timorese police for further investigation, the body said in its annual report handed to parliament this week. The recommendation comes as authorities step up security ahead of the election, in which up to 522,000 East Timorese will vote for one of 14 parties vying for control of the fledgling nation’s parliament.
Bad weather has posed a major challenge for organisers. Roads and bridges have been washed away by heavy rain in recent days, hampering efforts to deliver ballot papers and election materials across the remote and mountainous country.
However, a UN spokeswoman said preparations were running smoothly, with UN and Australian army helicopters delivering the material around the rugged half-island. Analysts expect the poll to be a race between two main parties – the ruling Fretilin party and the CNRT, a party headed by former president and guerilla fighter Xanana Gusmao. However, neither party is expected to win an outright majority of seats.
In its report, the PDHJ said it received 109 complaints in 2006, but a third were deemed to be outside its jurisdiction, or were withdrawn. Aside from the 14 referred to authorities, 57 complaints are still eing investigated by the body, the annual report said. The office, which opened just over a year ago, has also initiated eight investigations of its own, including into alleged human rights violations, corruption and maladministration. “Overall the Provedor has received excellent cooperation including from the most senior public officials,” the report’s executive summary says. “There is just one exception to this, which constitutes a serious breach of the PDHJ law.”
The report includes 13 recommendations to government, including the establishment of a mechanism to require the president, prime minister, government ministers and senior public servants to declare their financial assets, and for public officials to declare conflicts
of interest. It also recommends a government working group be established to discuss the development of an anti-corruption law in the tiny nation, which gained independence in 2002. AAP
UNMIT Daily Media Monitoring: 27 June 2007
F-FDTL remained neutral during last year’s crisis – At the official launch of the new F-FDTL uniforms on Tuesday (26/6) in Dili, Prime Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva acknowledged the contributions made by the F-FDTL and lauded their neutrality during last year’s crisis. Mr. da Silva said that the F-FDTL consistently maintains its professionalism and discipline while defending this country. (DN)
Government announced the KN report – The Timorese Government on Tuesday (26/6) announced the release of the report by the Notable Commission (KN) regarding the cases against the F-FDTL and the petitioners, who abandoned the F-FDTL HQ during last year’s crisis. Prime Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva said that there are 21 recommendations for the F-FDTL and 8 for the petitioners which need to be resolved. (DN)
F-FDTL and ISF case will be investigated – In response to reports that the International Stabilization Forces (ISF) and the F-FDTL exchanged fire near the Timor Telecom compound in Dili last Sunday (24/6), the F-FDTL Commander, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, reportedly said that an investigation is ongoing to clarify what occurred that evening. (DN)
Rerden: ISF has halted the operation – At the official launch of the new F-FDTL uniforms on Tuesday (26/6) in Dili, the Commander of the International Stabilization Forces (ISF), Brigadier Mal Rerden, said that the ISF has halted the operation to capture the former Commander of the Military Police, Alfredo Reinado Alves and his supporters. Mr. Rerden confirmed that the ISF has received the official documentation from President Jose Ramos-Horta to halt the operation. (DN)
F-FDTL is ready to have open dialogue with Alfredo – At the official launch of the new F-FDTL uniforms on Tuesday (26/6) in Dili, F-FDTL Commander Brig. Gen. Taur Matan Ruak confirmed that the F-FDTL is ready to have an open dialogue with the former Commander of the Military Police, Alfredo Reinado, and his supporters. (TP)
Major Benitez: “ISF is not an enemy of F-FDTL” – While attending the launch of the F-FDTL uniforms on Tuesday (26/6) in Dili, the ISF Spokesperson, Maj. Ivan Benitez said that the ISF is not an enemy of the F-FDTL but rather a partner working to assure the security of Timor-Leste. Furthermore, he said that the ISF is here to help the Timorese Government and the UN to strengthen the security sector in order to maintain stability and peace in the country. (TP)
Estanislau: F-FDTL’s door is closed to petitioners – Prime Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva on Tuesday (26/6) informed that the 591 petitioners, who had abandoned the F-FDTL headquarters during last year’s crisis, will no longer have the opportunity to return. He said that based on the report of the Komisaun Notaveis, it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the petitioners are able to sustain their lives. (STL)
CNRT Calls for Judiciary Review Dili 27th June 2007 – With parliamentary elections looming on Saturday 30th June, CNRT today announced plans to commit the necessary resources to overhaul East Timor’s ineffective judicial system, left weakened by five years of Fretilin administration. Extensive personnel shortages, a major backlog of cases, and a lack of legal capacity have led to inconsistent law enforcement. This has prevented the judicial system from effectively serving the legal needs of the citizens of East Timor, and prevented the development of the rule of law.
The UN commissioned 2006 Special Commission of Inquiry (COI) found East Timor to have ‘a minimally functioning judicial system’. The same report also warned of a ‘lack of public confidence in the impartiality of the investigation and prosecution process’. Both are indications that the previous government has failed to deliver the appropriate support and resources to the judicial system.
Widespread changes are required throughout the judiciary, as the process of enforcing law and order in East Timor progresses.
Regarding the issues of corruption and review of administrative actions of government, it is necessary to clarify, and in some cases redefine, the responsibilities of important roles such as the Inspector General, the Provedor. In order to foster transparency and accountability within the government, both the Inspector General and the Provedor must be given absolute authority and independence to work of their own volition in the best interests of the people.
Other fundamental elements of East Timor’s constitution that have been largely ignored by Fretilin will be recognised by CNRT immediately. The enforcement of anti-corruption legislation and the creation of an effective witness protection program are both urgent priorities of CNRT. There is no excuse for the progress of the East Timorese people to be hindered by the existence of corruption within the government. Moving forward, the people of East Timor should feel confident that under CNRT control, the government will serve the interests of the people, not its own.
The 2006 U.S. State Department’s human rights report on East Timor summarized the judicial situation in East Timor by saying, ‘Even under normal circumstances, access to justice was noticeably constrained’. It was the master of understatement and this is yet another damning indictment that confirms the unacceptable failures of Fretilin in the last five years.
The inabilities of the judicial system to date will require a comprehensive review of the police investigative processes, and their involvement in the legal system, the enforcement of penal codes, and of the court system. To facilitate the process of delivering justice to the people of East Timor, CNRT will move to establish a significant number of legal scholarships that would allow citizens to eventually take full control of their judicial system. Likewise, CNRT intends to provide enhanced judicial training to all judicial and court actors so as to begin to reverse the personnel shortages that have plagued East Timor’s judicial system in recent years.
The judicial system must also be able to respond to civil law matters, that gives the private sector access to the judicial resolution of disputes, thus giving certainty, one of the rule of law precepts. It is equally essential for the government and CNRT will do this, to introduce corporate regulation and the necessary implementation mechanisms as well. Alternative dispute resolution is recognised in the Constitution and to this end to foster the development of the commercial sector, thus stimulating economic growth, CNRT will introduce commercial arbitration in line with UNCITRAL principles. Without these measures the young nation will inevitably face the cronyism, nepotism and development of monopolies, that have grown up under the current Fretilin administration. Ends.
New judicial officers for Timor Leste Fretilin Media release 27 June 2007 – Timor Leste’s Minister for Justice, and FRETILIN candidate for the upcoming elections Dr. Domingos Sarmento has welcomed the swearing in of eleven Timorese judges, nine prosecutors and seven public defenders, nearly 40 per cent of them women.
The judges, prosecutors and public defenders are the first intake to have completed the two and a half year training course at the Legal Training Center established at the initiative of the FRETILIN government in 2002. They are the first post-independence Timor-Leste nationals ever to have been professionally trained and certified to work as judicial officers.
“I would like to congratulate all of them for all their dedication, diligence and persistence over the past two and a half years. This is a very proud day for me, the government and for the people of Timor-Leste whom they have been trusted to serve and whose constitutional and civil rights they have taken on the responsibility of safeguarding,” said Sarmento, who was Dili District Court President between 2000-2001.
“We should also be very proud that 40 per cent of them are women. Our young nation faces a great challenge to redress the imbalance between men and women. This task will be helped by the fact that over one third of our judicial corps are women. “From its formation in 1974, throughout our long struggle for independence and sovereignty, FRETILIN has maintained the liberation of women as one of its main social and political objectives. When I was a combatant with the FRETILIN forces during the Indonesian occupation between 1975 and 1980, I fought alongside, and with the invaluable assistance of many women compatriots, including some who died during the struggle.
“The growing role of women in the legal system and other areas of society is a fitting recognition of those women who gave so much or the ideals of an independent, democratic society where the rule of law prevails,” Sarmento said.
Another 15 judicial officers are undergoing training and will be eligible to take up their roles later this year. The recently sworn in judges, prosecutors and public defenders have all been working in their respective roles since being sworn in as interns on 3 June 2006.
“They took up their positions at a very difficult time, soon after the political and constitutional crisis broke out. What is normally a very difficult job was made even more difficult by the attacks on the judiciary since that time,” Sarmento said. “They have already acted with the political and ethical independence we would wish them to display. As Timorese judges they will come under a lot of pressure; political, social, from personal interests, family interests and international interests. I have faith that the high quality professional and ethical training FRETILIN initiated has equipped them to meet these and other challenges.
“FRETILIN has always been committed to improving the justice sector.”
The newly sworn in judicial officers are examples of good collaboration between the government, UNDP, other bilateral donors and especially the Community of Portuguese Speaking Nations to develop the capacity of judicial officers in a sustainable way.
“When the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) appointed me as a judge in February 2000, our training by the UN was to take us to the Darwin Magistrates Court for one week’s judicial familiarization training. I am confident from my own personal experience that these judges and future judges coming out of the Judicial Training Center will be eminently better equipped than we were.
“The FRETILIN government is committed to increasing funding and support for the work of judges, prosecutors and public defenders in order to assure their total independence. One example is the construction of residences for judicial officers who have to relocate with their families to the courts. We can do this now that we have more money from the petroleum fund, money we did not have up until this year.”
UNMIT Daily Media Monitoring: 26 June 2007
F-FDTL and ISF exchange fire – The International Stabilization Forces (ISF) and F-FDTL exchanged fire near the Timor Telecom compound in Dili last Sunday (24/6) evening. There were no related injures reported. SRSG Atul Khare confirmed that the incident involved both the ISF and the FFDTL. “The shots heard on Sunday night were warning shots that came from ISF and F-FDTL weapons,” said Mr. Khare at an UNMIT press conference on Monday (25/6). (STL)
SRSG: “UNMIT respects the state’s decision to stop the operation on Reinado” – At an UNMIT press briefing on Monday (25/6) SRSG Atul Khare stated that UNMIT respects the state’s decision to stop the operation to capture the former Military Police Commander, Alfredo Reinado Alves and his followers. According to Mr. Khare the state also emphasized the importance of justice in this democratic country. The SRSG said that justice is a precondition for reconciliation. (TP)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 21 June 2007
Attorney-General to clarify stipulations made in letter to Alfredo Reinado – The Military, Security, and Political Observer, Julio Tomas Pinto, said that President Horta’s order to stop the ISF-led operation to capture former Military Police Commander, Alfredo Reinado Alves and his men, should be seen as a platform to determine whether a solution should be taken through dialogue or the justice system. Furthermore, Mr. Pinto said that the Attorney-General should explain the stipulations made in the letter to Reinado. (TP)
Attorney-General and Alfredo’s lawyer will meet with Bishop Alberto – Attorney-General Longuinhos Monteiro and Alfredo’s lawyer Benevides Correia Barros will meet Mgr. Alberto Ricardo da Silva to discuss a peaceful solution to the Alfredo Reinado case. “This will be the first step taken towards solving this case,” said Mr. Longuinhos on Wednesday (20/6) at his office in Dili. (TP)
Prime Minister concerned over Xanana’s remarks – In response to CNRT President Xanana Gusmao’s remarks that government funding for the communities would foster corruption, Prime Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva called upon the political parties to avoid making such inflammatory remarks. “Xanana’s comments contradict the government’s plans which was approved by the Parliament,” said Mr. da Silva on Wednesday (20/6) in Dili. (TP and DN)
Fretilin supports Horta’s position – The ruling party Fretilin has supported President Jose Ramos-Horta’s position that an amnesty should not be granted for serious crimes against humanity as it would not be consistent with the international law. “In-depth investigations into the criminal actions must be conducted in order to build respect for human rights and the laws,” said Aniceto Guterres in a press letter. (TP)
Valentim: “Investigation into corruption cases will take time” – In response to the concerns raised at the PDHJ workshop on Tuesday (19/6), Valentim Ximenes said that investigations into corruption cases will take time and would require sufficient resources and education in order for them to be properly conducted. (TP)
Longuinhos calls on Alfredo not to bring the weapons to the dialogue – Attorney-General Longuinhos Monteiro called on the former Military Police Commander, Alfredo Reinado, not to bring the weapons to the dialogue. “The meeting with Alfredo must be free of any threats or intimidation,” said Mr. Monteiro on Wednesday (20/6) at his office in Dili. (STL)
Church will not take part in the dialogue with Alfredo – The Bishop of Dili, Mgr. Alberto Ricardo da Silva, told journalists on Wednesday (20/6) that the church would not mediate the dialogue between the government and Reinado. (STL)
Kudalai’s family asked UNPol to investigate the case – The family of the victim of the fatal shooting that took place in Viqueque on Sunday (3/6), called on UNPol to do an in-depth investigation and identify the perpetrator. (STL)
Daily Media Monitoring: 20 June 2007
East Timor’s President halts search for fugitives – East Timor’s new President on Tuesday called off the Australian-led search for fugitive ex-Military Police Commander, Major Alfredo Reinado Alves and his followers, who are wanted for a series of fatal shootings that took place last year. “I have heard all parties, including the United Nations, and today I decided that the police and military operation to capture Alfredo Reinado and his men should stop,” Ramos-Horta told reporters on Tuesday (19/6) in Dili. (STL, TP, DN and TVTL)
Fr. Martinho: the F-FDTL and petitioners case should be resolved fairly – In response to accusations made by the petitioners’ Spokesperson, Gastao Salsinha, regarding the Notaveis Commission report, the Director of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Baucau Diocese, Fr. Martinho da Silva Gusmao, said that the state should resolve the case of F-FDTL and petitioners fairly. According to Fr. Gusmão, this would not be the final solution but a step forward towards dialogue and justice. (TP)
Barris: “police should be neutral during campaigning” – During a visit to the PNTL in Aileu district on Monday (18/6), Interior Minister Alcino Barris said that the police should be impartial during the campaigning period and should maintain law and order so that the people could exercise their rights freely. (DN)
Clemency law only benefits some groups – Socialist Party (PST) representative, Pedro da Costa, on Monday (18/6) said that he disagreed with the clemency law approved by the Parliament as it only benefits some groups. (DN)
Government must build police stations in villages – The coordinator for the refugees from Ermera district, Julio do Rosario Lemos, called on the new government to build permanent police stations in the villages (Sucos) in order to guarantee the security of the people, especially those living in rural areas. The IDPS currently live in the Jardim Barbosa da Costa Farol IDP camp in Dili. (DN)
Sebastiao: “corruption should be eliminated from the ministries” – At a workshop held by the Human Rights and Justice Provedor (PDHJ) on Monday (18/6) in Dili, Sebastiao Dias Ximenes stated that the objective of the workshop was to find ways to combat corruption in all ministries across the country. He mentioned that the PDHJ has received 20 corruption cases and investigations are currently ongoing. (DN)
TLGOV: Presidential Declaration About Major Alfredo’s case
PRESIDENCIA DA REPUBLICA GABINETE DO PRESIDENTE His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Timor-Leste met yesterday, for two hours, with His Excellency, the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Francisco Guterres &Lu-Olo, the Deputy Prime-Minister (and Ministerial Coordinator of the Government), Mr. Rui Maria Araujo, the General Prosecutor, Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro, the Force Commander of F-FDTL, Brigadeer General Taur Matan Ruak, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Atul Khare.
His Excellency, the President, formally invited the abovementioned dignatiries – representatives of the Timorese State and the United Nations – to discuss Alfredo Alves Reinado’s case. Also on the meeting agenda was the analysis and debate of other F-FDTL and PNTL/UIR members, whom, after the sequence of events of the 28th of April of 2006, abandoned their barracks.
His Excellency, the President, informed all distinguished participants in this meeting about his impressions on the Presidential Visit – from the 16th to the 17th of June – to Same District, sub-District of Alas and Suku Auberliku, where he had the opportunity to talk with District and Local authorities and common citizens residing there.
Together with His Excellency, the General Prosecutor, and the Chief of Staff of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of United Nations, His Excellency, the President, debated separately with PNTL/UIR members and some of the so-called petitioners. The dialogue, all along, was strongly marked by a very open and positive attitude from all participants and His Excellency the President has to acknowledge the unconditional openess from all towards handing over all weapons in their possession and to promote dialogue with their camarades on duty, their superiors, and to find a fair and just solution for the on-going situation.
In yesterday’s high coordination meeting it was decided that some urgent measures would be taken in order to create the needed conditions to achieve a final solution to Major Alfredo’s case sometime soon in absolute compliance with justice and truth.
His Excellency the President also met with the Bishop of Baucau and the Bishop of Dili, respectively, Reverend D. Alberto Ricardo da Silva and D. Basílio do Nascimento, with whom he had the opportunity to discuss the abovementioned issues.
In result, having listened to the opinion of all the abovementioned dignitaries, convinced that the democratic rule of law has to be preserved with firm commitment, that the criteria of justice has to be the same to all, and also, that as a principle, the avenue of dialogue has to be continuously explored until a just and fair solution to all these problems is found, His Excellency the President determines that, as of today, all military and police operations committed to the chase and arrest of Major Alfredo Reinado and all his fellow comrades cease immediately.
His Excellency the General Prosecutor together with the legal representatives of Major Alfredo Reinado will proceed immediately with the necessary steps regarding the initiation of dialogue, with the direct involvement of the Church in its capacity as dialogue facilitator, in order for all required conditions to be fulfilled for Major Alfredo to hand himself in together with all the weapons in his possession.
Palace of the Ashes, 19th of June 2007
UNMIT Daily Media Review 19 June 2007
PDHJ received 23 cases of violence – At a press conference held by DN on Monday (18/6), Silveiro Pinto Baptista from the Human Rights and Justice Provedor (PDHJ) informed that PDHJ received 23 cases of human rights abuses committed by the ISF, UNPol, PNTL and F-FDTL. (DN)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 18 June 2007
LABEH: PDHJ should investigate the corruption case – The Director of Lalenok ba Ema Hotu (LABEH), Christopher Henry Samson, said that Human Rights and Justice Provedor (PDHJ) should investigate the alleged corruption case in Xanana Gusmao’s cabinet during his term as President. (TP)
Horta meets Alfredo’s men and petitioners – President Jose Ramos-Horta met with Alfredo’s men and the petitioners on Saturday (16/6) in Fatuberliu, Manufahi. The objective of the meeting was to find ways to resolve the problems of the petitioners and PNTL members who fled Dili during last year’s crisis. (TP)
Fugitives are ready for dialogue – The former Commander of the military police, Maj. Alfredo and the petitioners’ spokesperson, Gastao Salsinha, reportedly declared that they would both be ready to come down to Dili and negotiate on behalf of their supporters. (TP)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 15 June 2007
Ballistics machine to arrive from Australia – At a press conference held by UNMIT on Thursday (14/6), SRSG Atul Khare informed that the Australian Federal Police will send a ballistics machine in order to identify the bullet recovered from the Viqueque incident that occurred last week. Mr. Khare added that Luis da Silva has been imprisoned while awaiting trial. (DN)
UNPol’s action needed to stop violence in Ermera – Fretilin representative Francisco Soares has condemned the recent violence targeting Fretilin supporters in Ermera district during the past few days. He called on UNPol to take immediate action to stop the violence and intimidation in the district. (DN)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 14 June 2007
UNPOL will set up seven police stations in Dili – The UNPol Police Commissioner Rodolfo Tor informed journalists that UNPol will set up seven police stations in Dili to strengthen the security force currently in place. Mr. Rodolfo added that the seven police stations will be located in Biro Pite, Kampung Liberdade (Comoro), Fatuhada, Ailook Laran, Tuana Laran and Fatumeta. (TP)
The Court has the authority to capture the perpetrators involved in last year’s crisis – In response to the recent demands made by the former commander of the military police, Alfredo Reinado, to capture the perpetrators of last year’s crisis, Feliciano Fatima Alves from the Commission responsible for security said that the court has the authority to capture them after a warrant has been issued. “Only the court has the authority to issue this warrant,” said Mr. Alves on Wednesday (13/6) at the national parliament. (STL)
PDHJ gets evidence of violence – After monitoring the 13 districts across the country, the Human Rights and Justice Prosecutor (PDHJ) said that it has evidence that political parties in the districts are violating the code of conduct. (STL and TP)
Sinco-Sinco object to the accusations – The Sinco-Sinco group headed by Antonio dos Santos and Lebo denied and objected to the accusations made regarding their involvement in terrorizing and intimidating the population in Ermera district over the last three weeks. “These are false accusations and there have not been any confirmations made by the victims,” dos Santos said on Wednesday (13/6) at the national parliament. (STL)
Inconsistency in the laws regarding gambling – In response to the issue of illegal gambling in Dili, the lawyer of the Game Zone Company, Natercia B. de Deus, said that the case involving Game Zone is very complicated and different from the other cases. She added that the cases demonstrate the inconsistencies in the laws of Timor-Leste. (STL)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 13 June 2007
Gambling is not allowed by the government – The Government of East Timor has never issued licenses for private businesses to operate casinos in the country. The issue of illegal gambling was raised after some companies misused their business licenses for gambling purposes. “Some businesses misused their licenses to operate illegal gambling activities. These businesses should respect the country’s laws,” said the Chief of the Business Registration Department at the Ministry of Development, Domingas da Costa Guterres, on Tuesday (12/6) in Dili. (STL and TP)
ETLN Editor Note: See further: ROCCIPI Analysis of the Social Problem of Gambling in East Timor on the East Timor Law Journal
Claudio Ximenes reappointed to Head Court of Appeals – President Jose Ramos-Horta officially swore in Claudio de Jesus Ximenes as President of the Court of Appeals for the period 2007-2012. Ximenes said that during the next term he will look into the human rights programme which started in 2004. (STL, TP and TVTL)
Horta: “Alfredo confuses me” – President Jose Ramos-Horta said that the recent demands made by the former Military Police Commander, Alfredo Reinado, and the petitioner’s Spokesperson, Gastao Salsinha, for the state to hold a dialogue with him soon have confused him and the two Bishops. Horta said that a dialogue would require collaboration between Alfredo’s group and the state. “The state wants to organize a meeting but now Alfredo and his men want to do something else,” said Mr. Horta on Tuesday (12/6) in Dili. (TP)
Illegal Gambling, SRSG, Atul Khare congratulated the Police – Last Saturday afternoon, Timorese police officers led a successful operation to quash illegal gambling rings in Dili, with the support of United Nations police and the International Stabilisation Force (ISF). The operation began at 1745hrs, with police and ISF cordoning off several roads in Dili and raiding three illegal gambling venues in central Dili. Each gambling hall was found to have more than 50 gambling machines. In total, police seized 259 machines and US$20,000 in cash. Ninety people were arrested for identification, and a further four were detained and are facing charges. Police also seized a pen gun, 9mm ammunition and a glock magazine from one owner’s residence.
Atul Khare, the head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), congratulated the police for their work over the past couple of weeks: “The success of this operation demonstrates the excellent cooperation between UNPol and the PNTL, supported by the ISF. To arrest 94 people so soon after apprehending the person responsible for the killing in Viqueque last week demonstrates the growing strength of the security sector of Timor-Leste. These sorts of operations will continue.”
PNTL took the lead for planning Operation ‘Elliot Ness’, which began over two months ago. It involved 20 PNTL officers and 24 UNPol Officers. Four platoons of ISF were also present to provide a security cordon and logistics support.
Julio: “screening necessary for police at district levels” – Further to the fatal shooting that took place in Viqueque last week, Military and Political Observer Julio Tomas Pinto said on Friday (8/6) in Dili that the PNTL screening should not only be for those involved in the incident but should also be done for those involved in political parties, particularly at the district level. (TP) UNMIT Daily Media Review 12 June 2007
President of the Court Of Appeal To Be Sworn in Tomorrow – Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 12th, at 09.30, H.E. President Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta will swear in the President of the Court of Appeal, Dr. Claudio de Jesus Ximenes, at the Official Residence of President of Republic, Salao Nobre in Lahane, Dili.
Dr. Claudio de Jesus Ximenes, an East Timorese born in Ermera with 21 years of experience as a judge in Portugal, will be officially reappointed as a Judge and President of the Court of Appeal, the highest judicial authority in the country. He is also the President of the Supreme Council of the Judicial Magistrature.
The Court of Appeal is currently the highest judicial organ in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and has complete jurisdiction in the whole country. It is an independent body, charged with making the final decisions on all judicial matters, including decisions on constitutional-juridical and electoral matters. The Court’s decisions overrule the decisions of any other authority in the country.
“After wide consultations with political parties, church and civil society, I thought that at this time the reappointment of Dr. Claudio Ximenes was the appropriate decision to make,” President Ramos-Horta said.
Immediately following the ceremony, the President of the Republic, the President of Parliament, the Prime Minister and the President of the Court of Appeal will hold a joint press conference. Only media personnel accredited with the Office of the President will be allowed access at the Salão Nobre in Lahane, Dili. – END-
Daily Media Review: 11 June 2007
Horta’s statement could raise instability – Christian Democratic Party (PDC) member, Antonio Ximenes, said that the statement made by President José Ramos-Horta on the involvement of some PNTL members in the incidents that took place in Viqueque could raise instability in the country. “During our campaign in Viqueque, we gathered information from PNTL members that the people had lost their confidence in the PNTL,” said Mr. Ximenes on Saturday (9/6). He added that President Horta should withdraw the comments he made at the PNTL academy in Dili last Thursday (7/6), as such statements could create instability in the country. Last Thursday, President Horta said that he had lost confidence in the PNTL. (STL)
Democratic Party: Fretilin should be responsible for Viqueque incidents – The Democratic Party (PD) representative, Julião Mausiri, called on Fretilin to take responsibility for the fatal shooting that took place in Viqueque last week (3/6). Mr. Mausiri said that Fretilin supporters in the area disrupted the activities of the other political parties. (STL)
Urahou case: PD has not received letter from CNE – In response to the rumors that Democratic Party (PD) members were involved in burning houses in Urahou Lisapat, Ermera district last 30 May, PD Spokesperson Rui Menezes said on Friday (8/6) at the National Parliament that PD has not received any letter from the CNE in reference to the case. Mr. Rui also said that the party objected to such violence, as well as other information stating that PD has split up. (STL)
Tribunal decides to imprison the man responsible for Viqueque’s fatal shooting – The Dili District Court during the first interrogation on Friday (8/6) decided that the suspect of the fatal shooting in Viqueque and PNTL member, Luis da Silva Guterres, should be imprisoned while the investigations on the case proceed. (STL)
President asks UNPol to improve PNTL – Following the fatal incident that took place in Viqueque last week (3/6), President José Ramos-Horta called on the UNPol Commissioner to make an extra effort to improve the PNTL. “I have given the UNPol Commissioner two-three days to reflect on ways to improve the PNTL,” said Mr. Horta after meeting with the members of the political parties, the SRSG, DSRSG Rieske Nielsen and the UNPol Commissioner on Thursday (6/6) at the UNMIT Headquarters, Dili. (STL)
Suspect gives reason behind fatal shooting in Viqueque – At the first judicial interrogation at the Dili District Court on Friday (8/6), the suspect of the fatal shooting that took place in Viqueque, Luis da Silva Guterres, declared that he shot the victim after Kudalai (the victim) hit him. (TP)
Fugitives Alfredo and Salsinha call for dialogue – The former commander of military police, Major Alfredo Reinado and the petitioners’ Spokesperson, Gastão Salsinha, called on the Government to organize a meeting soon. “We are very patient, however, if this meeting continues to be postponed, we will end the opportunity for dialogue,” said Reinado and Salsinha on Tuesday (10/6) at the border of Suai, Covalima. (TP)
Political parties asked to avoid speculating on the Viqueque case – While attending the swearing-in ceremony of the Vice Minister of Health on Friday (8/6) at the Palacio da Cinzas in Dili, Prime Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva called on all political parties and the Timorese people not to speculate on the Viqueque incident, which led to the death of CNRT member, Afonso Kudalai. (DN)
94 Arrested in Gambling Raids in Dili – June 11, 2007 DILI: On Saturday afternoon, Timorese police officers led a successful operation to quash illegal gambling rings in Dili, with the support of United Nations police and the International Stabilisation Force (ISF).
The operation began at 1745hrs, with police and ISF cordoning off several roads in Dili and raiding three illegal gambling venues in central Dili.
Each gambling hall was found to have more than 50 gambling machines. In total, police seized 259 machines and US$20 000 in cash. Ninety people were arrested for identification, and a further four were detained and are facing charges. Police also seized a pen gun, 9mm ammunition and a glock magazine from one owner’s residence.
Atul Khare, the head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), congratulated the police for their work over the past couple of weeks:
“The success of this operation demonstrates the excellent cooperation between UNPol and the PNTL, supported by the ISF. To arrest 94 people so soon after apprehending the person responsible for the killing in Viqueque last week demonstrates the growing strength of the security sector of Timor-Leste. These sorts of operations will continue.”
PNTL took the lead for planning Operation ‘Elliot Ness’, which began over two months ago. It involved 20 PNTL officers and 24 UNPol Officers. Four platoons of ISF were also present to provide a security cordon and logistics support. Gambling is illegal in Timor-Leste.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 08 June 2007
Man wanted for fatal shooting in Viqueque submits himself – The suspect of the fatal shooting that took place in Viqueque last Sunday (3/6), Luis da Silva, has submitted himself to the PNTL in Viqueque on Thursday (6/6). The Commander-Designate of PNTL, Afonso de Jesus, speaking to a journalist via mobile phone in Viqueque said that the suspect had been seriously wounded in the mouth during the incident. (STL)
President loses confidence in PNTL – President Jose Ramos-Horta reportedly declared that he has lost his confidence in the PNTL for not fulfilling its role in ensuring law and order in the country. Mr. Horta revealed that he lost his confidence in the PNTL members who were involved in the crisis. Mr. Horta also pledged that the PNTL will undertake a serious screening process in June. (STL)
Fretilin’s supporters suspected to be involved in disturbances – At a press conference held by the CNE on Thursday (7/6) in Dili, the CNE Spokesperson, Maria Angelina Sarmento, stated that the National Congress for the Reconstruction of East Timor (CNRT) suspected that the supporters of ruling party Fretilin caused disturbances and killed CNRT supporters, as witnessed on Sunday in Viqueque. She added that the CNE has presented such evidence to the CNRT. PDHJ also requested the CNE to investigate the issue of utilizing state property during the electoral campaign. (STL)
Alcino-Afonso deflecting involvement in Viqueque case – In response to the accusation published by the media on Wednesday (6/6) that Interior Minister Alcino Barris and PNTL Commander Alfonso de Jesus were involved in the Viqueque incident last Sunday (3/6), Mr. Alcino and Mr. Alfonso declared that they objected to such accusations. (STL)
PNTL should change its attitude to restore the people’s confidence – President José Ramos-Horta stated that the PNTL should change its attitude in order to restore the confidence of the people of Timor Leste, which he claims was ruined during last year’s crisis. “There is no tolerance for the police. Next month it will be reformed,” stated Mr. Horta in a speech last Thursday (6/8) at the PNTL academy in Dili. (TP)
Security maintenance will be tightened for the elections: Ramos Horta – At a meeting held by UNMIT on Thursday (7/8) at the UNMIT Headquarters in Dili, President Jose Ramos-Horta stated that the electoral process in many countries is not always 100% successful. However, as the President of the Republic he will work hard to collaborate with UNPol and the International Stabilization Forces (ISF) to uphold security during the parliamentary elections on 30 June. (TP)
Using other party’s attributes in electoral campaign: CNE considers it as a crime – Fretilin has protested to the CNE in response to the Fretilin-reformist’s use of Fretilin features during the CNRT electoral campaigns. The CNE Spokesperson, Maria Angelina Sarmento, confirmed on Thursday (7/6) at the CNE office in Dili, that article 46 of the electoral law considers the usage of names of other candidates and attributes of the another party during an electoral campaign as a crime. She added that the CNE will send a letter to the Public Ministry and CNRT party, which is headed by former President Kayrala Xanana Gusmao, requesting an investigation. (DN)
CNRT Calls for an End to the Erosion of Constitutional Rights MediaNet Press Release Wire MEDIA RELEASE 7 June 2007
Dili – 6th June 2007 – Secretary General and spokesperson of CNRT, Dionisio Babo Soares, today called for Fretilin to respect the constitutional rights of East Timorese Citizens in light of the upcoming June 30th Legislative elections.
“The people of East Timor have fought long and hard for their independence and the establishment of a free and fair democracy,” stated Soares. “To date the incumbent Fretilin Government seems intent on eroding their rights and making it as hard as possible for our citizens to execute their right to a free and fair vote”.
“In May legislation was forced through Parliament to make it impossible for political parties to be called to account for intimidation and illegal practices during the election campaign. Those who raise issues risk being charged and the penalties are goal and fines. Who can afford to risk this? Accountability mechanisms, through free speech, ensure the adhesion to the rules for all parties and people involved. Without this mechanism of free speech, parties are free to act knowing they will not be brought to account. This is morally repugnant and constitutionally unacceptable.
“Legislation was also passed to remove the photographs of candidates from voting forms, an essential mechanism for a largely illiterate population to recognise the candidate they wish to vote for. In previous elections photographs have featured on voting forms. The only conclusion to be drawn is that is was an obvious attempt by Fretilin to ensure that the image of popular leader and national hero His Excellency, President Xanana Gusmao is not present on the June 30th ballot papers. Far worse than this, is that this act impairs the civil liberties of the people, who have the right to cast an informed vote. Photos are one way to facilitate an informed vote.”
“These are the actions of a Party desperate to cling to power with little regard to the constitutional rights of the people it claims to serve and represent. It has grand rhetoric of sovereignty, but acts against the peoples’ basic and fundamental rights. Such attempts do not lend credence to a fair democracy, and must end to ensure the credibility of our young nation.” – ends –
Arsenio Bano: Movement group violated electoral law – The spokesperson of the ruling party Fretilin – Arsenio Paixao Bano, said that the “Frretilin movement group” violated article 46 of the electoral law by using names of other candidates and attributes of the party in their electoral campaign. He said such actions can confuse the voters, specifically the Fretilin supporters. (TP) UNMIT Media Review 7 June 07
UNMIT Daily Media Review 06.06.07
The suspect in the Viqueque case officially becomes a fugitive – The United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste says the suspect in the case of a fatal shooting in Viqueque on Sunday is officially wanted. UNMIT is treating the incident that happened in Viqueque very seriously. The person responsible is officially wanted in relation to the fatal shooting,” UNMIT spokesperson, Allison Cooper said on Tuesday (5/6) during an interview at UNMIT headquarters at Barracks-Caicoli, Dili. Ms. Cooper said that the suspect is the subject of police search. (STL)
Political, security and military observer says disarm PNTL of Viqueque – The observer of politics, security and military, Julio Thomas Pinto said the best way to proceed after the fatal shooting of a person in Viqueque on Sunday is to process with police screening in the regions. Mr Pinto said this would be more effective than spreading inaccurate information about the incident. (TP)
After the public consultation, president will promulgate law of clemency – The leading parliamentary party, the Fretilin has approved a law of truth and clemency despite the controversy raised by the opposition. The opposition has called on the President to consult with civil society, church and the victims before signing off on the law. (TP)
The Prime Minister calls upon the Ministry of Interior to investigate Viqueque case – The Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Estanislau da Silva said he is deeply saddened about the incidents in Viqueque that has resulted in a death. He has called for a full investigation into the incident. “On behalf of the government, I’d like to give our condolences to the family of the victims,” said Mr. Estanislau. Furthermore, Mr. Estanislau said that the government will do its best to protect people from further violence. (TP)
Political party appeals supporters to remain calm – The president of the Democratic Party (PD), Fernando de Araujo Lasama has appealed to party supporters in Viqueque to be calm and avoid any provocation from others that will lead to insecurity. “I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to all supporters of PD not to become involved in violence,” said Mr. Lasama. (STL and TVTL)
Commander of PNTL: PNTL did not shoot Afonso-Kudalai – The commander of the PNTL, Afonso de Jesus has said that the fatal shooting in Viqueque on Sunday was not done the PNTL but rather an individual who works for the PNTL. (TP)
Minister brings corruption case to tribunal – At a press conference held by LABEH on Tuesday (5/6), the executive director of Lalenok ba Ema Hotu (LABEH), Christopher Henry Samson stated that of the 55 corruptions cases against all ministries, the Ministry of Health has presented the case to court. “The Ministry of Health is setting a good example for other ministries to follow,” said Mr. Samson. (TP)
The search continues for a wanted man in Viqueque – June 6, 2007 DILI: United Nations and Timorese police officers are continuing their search today for a PNTL officer who is accused of shooting a man in Viqueque on Sunday afternoon. The incident occurred one hour after the completion of a National Congress for Reconstruction of Timor-Leste (CNRT) campaign rally in Viqueque town, when a man from the nearby town of Ossu was fatally shot in a marketplace.
The search for the accused officer is continuing by foot and air as it is believed that the man escaped into the mountains. The search is being lead by UNPol and supported by the International Stabilisation Forces (ISF). Investigations into a second incident in which two people were shot during a disturbance at a road block in Ossu are also continuing. The incident resulted in one death. Ballistics testing is ongoing in relation to the two incidents.
Eric Tan, the deputy head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) said that UNPol Police Commissioner Rodolfo Tor travelled to the on Monday to meet with the family of the victims as well as senior officers from both the PNTL and UNPol. “It is important to note that Sunday’s incidents involve only a few PNTL officers. We know who they are and we are currently searching for them. The majority of Timorese police officers across the country are working well and are participating in an ongoing process of reconstitution.
Officers in Ossu, Uatulari and Viqueque Town have been placed on desk duties until the investigations are concluded and UNPol is patrolling the area in the meantime Mr Tan said today. He added that a process of screening for PNTL officers has been completed in Dili. A total of 1200 officers underwent the process, and while 200 of those need further investigation, the remainder had undergone firearms recertification. To further ensure safe use of firearms, all firearms in the Dili district are issued to police units, rather than individuals, and are used by police officers only when on duty.
The same process will be extended to the remaining 12 districts in Timor-Leste.For photos of Commissioner Tor’s visit to Viqueque yesterday please visit http://www.unmit.org For more information please call UNMIT Spokesperson Allison Cooper on +670 7230453.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 05.06.07
The UN strengthens electoral security after two fatal shootings in Viqueque – The acting chief of the UN Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) Eric Tan, said today that security in Viqueque is being revised following the death of two people in the district on Sunday (3/6).
The first incident occurred one hour after the completion of a National Congress for Reconstruction of Timor-Leste (CNRT) campaign rally in Viqueque town when a man from the nearby town of Ossu was fatally shot in a marketplace at 15.45, following an altercation between CNRT supporters and opponents. UNPol responded quickly and brought the situation under control with the use of tear gas and warning shots to disperse the crowd. The man was believed to have been shot by an off-duty PNTL officer and a search is underway to apprehend the suspect.
The second incident occurred when a group of CNRT supporters, accompanied by Mr Gusmao, returned the body of the deceased man to Ossu. Initial reports indicate that PNTL fired shots to control a crowd at a roadblock near Ossu. A 24-year old man was fatally shot and a second 16-year old youth was injured. The CNRT political party is headed by the former President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmao. “We are treating both shootings seriously,” said Eric Tan, the acting head of UNMIT.
“Initial investigations show that the first shooting happened an hour after the rally had concluded. Security was provided for the rally itself. The motivation of the killing is at this stage unknown,” he said. “Neither incident suggests an attempt on Mr Gusmao’s life,” Mr Tan said. UNMIT’s senior leadership attended a meeting convened by President Jose Ramos-Horta, with Prime Minister Estanislau da Silva, Minister of the Interior Alcino Barris, the International Stabilization Forces and the F-FDTL in Dili this morning.
The ISF has also deployed a platoon to the region. The United Nations will reinforce its security plan ahead of the June 30 election. Timor-Leste’s most senior leadership also insisted in today’s meeting that retaliation for yesterday’s event will not be tolerated and have again urged political supporters to remain calm and abide by democratic principles to ensure a free and fair election process, said Mr Tan. (STL)
The law of amnesty approved – At a plenary section of national parliament on Monday (04/6) presided over by vice president of national parliament, Jacob Fernandes and the permanent secretary, Francisco Carlos, approved law No. 30/I/5a regarding truth and measurement of clemency for diverse infractions. A DN journalist observed that the members of national parliament from PD, PNT and PST who participated left the plenary before national parliament approved the law. In response to the approved law, the member of national parliament from the Democratic Party (PD), Jose Nominando said that PD’s principle has been clear that PD disagrees with a law of clemency or amnesty. (STL)
PNTL action considered barbarian after the Viqueque incidents – The president of PST, Nelson Tomas stated on Monday (4/6) at a press conference held in PST office Balide Dili related to the two fatal shooting in Viqueque, that four political parties namely, National Congress of Reconstruction Timor (CNRT), Democratic Party (PD), East Timor Socialist party (PST) and Coalition of PSD/ASDT considered that the action of the PNTL in Viqueque district as barbarian. (STL)
East Timor President accuses police over shootings – East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta said it was police personnel who shot dead two activists during the campaign rallies for a new party headed by former East Timor President Xanana Gusmao. A group of five armed men opened fire on Alfonso “Kuda Lay” Guterres at the rally by the National Congress of Reconstruction of Timor (CNRT) party in the eastern town of Viqueque on Sunday, he said.
Later in the evening, gunmen also killed another CNRT activist identified as Domingos in Ossu, also in Viqueque district. Another man was wounded in the attack, Mr Ramos-Horta said. “They were CNRT elements who were shot dead by members of the PNTL (the national police),” Mr Ramos-Horta told journalists at the presidential palace. He said the shooting incidents were “saddening” but were also “major crimes which should receive severe punishment.”
“There is no impunity in this country,” Mr Ramos-Horta said. He said the incident had embarrassed the nation and the country since the police, who should be trusted by the people and able to safeguard the elections, had failed in their duty. “Several members of the PNTL have engaged in crime … We see that indiscipline is still very strong within the PNTL,” the President said. He said UN police had begun an investigation into the incident.
Campaigning kicked off last week for the crucial June 30 elections to choose a new prime minister and parliament. The polls are expected to be a tough contest between the CNRT and Fretilin, which has dominated parliament since East Timor officially gained independence from Indonesia in 2002.
Several people were reportedly injured on Thursday when violence erupted between CNRT and Fretilin supporters at a campaign rally in the eastern city of Baucau, in the district of the same name. Baucau, Viqueque and Lautem districts were strongholds of Fretilin, the former resistance movement. (STL)
CNE calls on public ministry investigating Viqueque case – The CNE spokesperson, Fr. Martinho Gusmão reportedly said that CNE considered the incident between Fretilin’s supporters and CNRT’s supporters in Viqueque district, Ossu on Sunday (3/6) as a crime. CNE observes that a fatal crime occurred during the campaign and the public ministry should investigate this case because it has ruined the electoral campaign for the parliamentary election, said Fr. Gusmao. (STL)
Fatal shooting supporter of CNRT, police scapegoat – The president of republic, José Ramos-Horta acknowledged that the PNTL will lose credibility as a result ofthe member of PNTL who shot the militant of CRNT to death in Viqueque district on Sunday (3/6).
I have had a discussion with the minister of interior, Alcino Barris, acting special representative of UN, Eric Tan, Commander of F-FDTL, Taur Matan Ruak, commander of the ISF, Brigadier Mal Rerden and the Prime Minister, Estanislau Aleixo da Silva on how to reinforce the security in electoral campaign since the police have lost the people’s confidence,” said Mr. Horta before departing to Indonesia on Monday (4/6) in Palacio da Cinzas Caicoli Dili. (TP)
Fatal shooting supporter of CNRT, Fretilin demands investigation – Ruling party Fretilin reportedly demanded that CNRT conduct an independent investigation into the fatal shooting of the CNRT supporter in Viqueque district on Sunday (3/6). (DN)
F-FDTL instructed, deploying in three eastern districts – In response to the conflict which happened on Sunday (3/6) after the rally of CNRT in Viqueque resulting in two fatal shootings, the president José Ramos Horta said on Monday (4/6) that he has ordered the commander of F-FDTL, Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak, to coordinate with International Stabilization Forces (ISF) to deploy F-FDTL in three districts namely Baucau, Lospalos and Viqueque in assuring security for such high risk places. (DN)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 04.06.07
Benevides: “Alfredo demands Indonesian asylum bid, it’s his right” – Reports from unnamed sources state that fugitive Alfredo Reinado Alves is in Jakarta and is seeking asylum in Indonesia. In response, the lawyer for Alfredo Reinado, Benevides Correia Barros said that he is not aware that that is the case. “I haven’t heard this information form my client, however if he wants to seek asylum it’s his right” said Mr. Benevides via Mobile. (STL)
Alfredo is prepared to come to Dili within four hours – The fugitive Alfredo Reinado Alves has stated he is ready to come to Dili within four hours if the operation to capture him is stopped. “I am ready to go to Dili within four hours, if the government and state halt the operation against me,” said Alfredo via his letter to the press on on Sunday in response to the rumors published by some media about his requested asylum in Indonesia. (TP)
New Swedish Contribution targets Justice Sector – UNDP 31 may 2007 Demonstrating a strong commitment to long-term development needs and improved rule of law in Timor-Leste, the Swedish Government announced a three-million US$ contribution to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Justice System Programme for a three-year period.
The signing ceremony in the presence of representatives from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Embassy of Sweden in Jakarta, as well as the DSRSG/UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Finn Reske-Nielsen was conducted on 28 May at the office of the Resident Representative in Dili, Timor-Leste. The rule of law is a key pillar of democratic governance, peace and stability. Effective rule of law is, however, dependent on the key institutions having the adequate skills, systems and resources to effectively deliver the public service of justice.
UNDP and the Council of Coordination in the Justice Sector have been working closely through the “Justice System Programme” to boost the 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, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, United States and technical cooperation from Brazil.
The joining of Sweden in the coalition of partners supporting the programme is a significant milestone for the programme and the sector. The funds will be used to maintain the current level of support to the judiciary, with 32 international staff providing judiciary functions, mentoring and on the job training.
Thanking SIDA for its significant contribution, DSRSG/UNDP Resident Representative, Finn Reske-Nielsen reiterated the importance of supporting the judicial system in the country, saying this area is among the key pillars for the country’s sustainable peace and stability.
The DSRSG said that increased long-term Institutional capacity building of the legal sector will go a long way in “confirming that the days of impunity are over.”
In his remarks, Mr. Johan Hallenborg, the Sida Regional Adviser on Democracy and Human Rights, stressed the linkage between sustainable development and human rights, noting that the poor are often disadvantaged in terms of access to justice, trapping them into a vicious cycle of poverty. “To break this cycle fair and effective justice systems that also serve as checks and balances to other powers are critical and the best way to reduce risks associated with violence and poverty.”
We want justice for crimes Fretilin Media release 1 June 2007
FRETILIN the largest political party in Timor-Leste (East Timor) today said that it supports the prosecution of people who have committed crimes against the East Timorese people in the period between 1975 and 1999.
Aniceto Guterres, a FRETILIN parliamentary candidate, today in Dili said that “FRETILIN believes the search for justice should begin with thorough investigations into crimes which lead to prosecutions, trials and sentencing. This is because respect for human rights and the rule of law is of utmost importance for our emerging democracy.”
He said “FRETILIN is the only political institution that has consistently defended the right to justice for the victims of human rights abuses in Timor-Leste.
“It was FRETILIN who insisted that the legislation creating the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) and the Commission for Truth and Friendship (CTF) not include amnesties or immunities for people who committed serious crimes between 1975 and 1999.”
He added “the granting of amnesty should not be a pre-condition for cooperating with investigations. Amnesty is just a tool to be used in appropriate circumstances, say for example, where it can lead to the uncovering of the truth which is also essential to achieving justice and reconciliation.”
Guterres said that the CAVR and CTF is only the beginning of the search for justice. FRETILIN will give high priority to progressing the recommendations from the Final Report from the CAVR (“CHEGA!”) through prompt debate in Parliament.
“The pursuit of justice is essential for this nation because even the crimes of 1999 have not been resolved satisfactorily. This has meant that people involved with the pro-autonomy militia now hold senior positions in some political parties or are candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections which will mean that they could be elected to National Parliament, the supreme law making body of Timor-Leste.”
“In terms of opposition parties pointing fingers, some of them should be looking more at their own houses than at others.”Regarding Timor-Leste’s relationship with Indonesia, Gutteres said: “It is important to promote good relationships with our neighbours and this is something the FRETILIN government has always done. However, this should not result in our nation doing things which result in justice not being pursued or the process of reconciliation between our nations neglected”.
Guterres said “When FRETILIN speaks about justice we are not talking about simple words r theorizing. We are committed to the process of justice, truth and healing which will lead to true reconciliation for the people of Timor-Leste who are an inspiring and proud people and who deserve the dignity of due process and the rule of law.” For more information please contact: Jose Teixeira (+670) 332 2970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
UNMIT Daily Media Review 01.06.07
UNPol detained 4 suspects of Ermera incident – At a press conference held by UNMIT on Thursday (31/5) in UNMIT HQ Obrigado Barrack Caicoli Dili, the acting UNPol commissioner, Hermanprit Singh stated that UNPol and PNTL have detained 4 suspects and identified 18 people from the incident took place in Suco Hurahu, Ermera district where 16 houses were burnt. (DN)
Local organization forcing UN to reform the judicial system – The Director of Judicial System and Monitoring Programme (JSMP), Timotio de Deus told journalists on Tuesday that monitoring in three district courts (Baucau, Oecusse and Covalima)found that people are not satisfied with justice due to political interference and a lack of transparency. JSMP has asked the UNDP to make contracts with international tribunals to increase the number of judges to facilitate the judicial system in Timor-Leste. He also said that UN does not have any commitment to follow the recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry.
PNTL deployed URP in Ermera – The minister of interior, Alcino Barris said that the national commander of PNTL will deploy Unidade Reserva Polisia (URP) in Ermera to reinforce the security to stop house burning. (STL and TP)
Alteration law opens door for religious (priests, nuns and bishops) people to be jailed – The member of the national parliament from the Christian Democratic Party (UDC/PDC), Vicente Guterres said that changes to the law promulgated by president Jose Ramos Horta opens the door for religious (priests, nuns and bishops) people to be jailed. “I think the law could be unconstitutional and undemocratic” revealed Mr. Guterres on Thursday (31/5) in national parliament. (STL)