Timor-Leste Legal News September 2007
UNMIT’s Daily Media Review 28 September 2007
The Catholic Church disagrees with the CTF citing “manipulation” – The Catholic Church has disagreed with the establishment Truth and Friendship Commission (CTF), because according to the Church, the Commission could damage victims’ rights by offering impunity to those who have committed human rights violations. “I think that the Commission will not contribute to justice and will make military sympathizers heroes,” said the Director of Peace and Justice of the Baucau Diocese, Fr. Martinho Gusmao. Fr. Gusmao also said he will not participate in the Commission. (DN)
John Hutcheson: “ISF deployed 4 placements in eastern part” – The commander of the International Security Forces (ISF) says there are currently four deployments to support the F-FDTL and UNPol in maintaining security in the eastern part of the country. Speaking to the journalists on Thursday (27/9) in a Press Briefing in Caicoli, Mr. Hutcheson said that all people should know the work of ISF in Timor-Leste is to support the communities who are facing security problems. The soldiers who are deployed in Baucau, Viqueque, Watulari and Lospalos are partnering with the F-FDTL, UNPol and PNTL to maintain security across the country. (DN)
Xanana-Paulo signed travel authorization of Railos, Fretilin presents to NP – The Fretilin MP Elizario Ferreira said a travel authorization letter for Railos, which signed by the former President Xanana Gusmao and the former PNTL Commander Paulo Martins shows he was granted official permission relating to last year’s crisis. Speaking to the journalists on Thursday (27/9) in the national parliament, Mr. Ferreira said that the travel authorization shows that Railos is being afforded immunity and was able to authorize arson, theft and intimidation of people in Liquicia. “This shows where the crisis comes from, and Mr. Paulo himself recognizes that they signed the authorization letter,” added Mr. Ferreira. (DN)
Government to identify the status of IDPs – The government is going to create coordination team to identify the status of the IDPs in camps before building houses and facilities for them. The State Secretary of Council of Ministries, Agio Pereira said that the coordination team will identify who are the IDPs and who are not. Mr. Pereira also said the Ministry of Solidarity has funding to prepare shelter for IDPs ahead of the rainy season. (TP)
Gusmao delivers budget solutions to East Timor AAP MediaNet Press Releases October 9, 2007 Media Release: Government of East Timor This is a media release – distributed by AAP MediaNet. – October 9, 2007 Dili- His Excellency Xanana Gusmao, Prime Minister of East Timor, in collaboration with the newly appointed Minister of Finance, Ms. Emilia Pires, this week delivered sweeping national reforms in Parliament with the Proposed Law of the General Budget for the Transitional Period/2007.
The highly regarded Minister Pires, who was sworn into the IV Constitutional Government of East Timor on August 8, 2007, received her Bachelors degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Latrobe University, received her post graduate studies in Government Law from the University of Melbourne and has a Masters of Science in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Minister Pires is considered a foremost expert in planning, development and finance of developing nations, having masterminded the first National Development Plan of East Timor and East Timor Vision 2020.
Her professional career includes a role as a Senior Aid Management Specialist for the World Bank and multiple appointments to key public service roles in Australia, East Timor, and with the United Nations in Gaza and the West Bank . Pires is uniquely qualified to spearhead Gusmao’s plan to decentralize and reform government financial operations.
Pires stated before the budget announcements ” We have witnessed severe immobilization in government procurement under heavy centralization of the previous government. Last year only sixty-five per cent of the overall budget was executed with some ministries, like education, only spending five per cent of the allocated capitol development budget. This is not only unacceptable in a developing nation, but shameful for those Ministers who were obviously so unfit for office.
My office is now set to regulate, monitor and audit the decentralization of financial operations to key ministries. Service delivery is now the ethos that I am promoting.
The Ministers in our government will be utilized for their expertise and trusted in the management of their portfolios to expedite and ensure we meet our budget expenditure targets, to serve the citizens of our nation.”
In the short time since Pires has taken office, she has instituted a budget cycle based on the calendar year, which allows more efficient planning and execution within the nine month period of the transitional budget and the three month interim period from October to January. The focus is on continual administrative management and execution while allocating time to develop enhanced legislative and administrative processes for the passage of future budgets.
“We are committed to building best practice and fiscally sound administrative foundations for the government to successfully execute service delivery. This is our job as public servants, to serve.”
The Citizens of East Timor will benefit from the transitional budget with pensions and relief assistance to the IDP’s, and to the long suffering and patient Veterans of East Timor. Additional appropriated funds of 23.2 million USD will be committed to both new and existing programs including: $1.2 million for youth employment schemes, 3.9 million for The Food Security Program, allocations of 206k to each Chefes du Suco (Village Leader) for community development and 104k to the district administrators for local improvements in their service delivery roles, $850,000.00 to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries on farming assistance, livestock vaccines, reforestation and to purchase equipment such as nets and boat motors as well as fish food to develop fish farms.
Gusmao has delivered his electoral promises, together with Pires, East Timor is on the road to recovery under an accountable and transparent administration who is committed to ease the suffering of its dignified and humble citizens.
East Timor fears Lobato may dodge jail – September 24, 2007 – 7:04PM AAP East Timor’s government fears a jailed former minister, allowed to eave the country for medical care, won’t return to serve his sentence for arming hit squads during last year’s unrest.
The government has also flagged a possible corruption inquiry related to the case of the former Fretilin government’s interior minister Rogerio Lobato. Days before the Fretilin government lost power in August, a judge ordered his release from a Dili prison for urgent medical treatment in Malaysia. The order was made despite only one of three doctors who examined Lobato saying he needed overseas medical care. The other two – including an Australian doctor – had said he could receive adequate care in East Timor. Before Lobato left the country early last month, East Timor’s new government had expressed concern he might seek to remain overseas.
But East Timor’s new justice minister Lucia Lobato – a younger cousin of Rogerio Lobato – said he was allowed to leave because the government could not be seen to overrule the courts. “We could not interfere with the courts. It’s a sensitive and confused situation,” Ms Lobato said this week. But she admitted her government remained “very worried” that Lobato would flee. Lobato was convicted earlier this year of manslaughter and supplying arms to civilian hit squads tasked with eliminating government opponents in 2006.
Some 37 people were killed in the unrest, which brought the nation to a standstill.
Lobato was allowed to leave East Timor after a legal agreement was reached, saying he must return immediately after treatment. In his court order allowing overseas treatment, Judge Ivo Rosa said the constitution enshrined the right of prisoners to adequate medical care. But the former interior minister did not leave jail like an average felon.
Justice minister Lucia Lobato said he was allowed out of jail without a single document being shown to its director. He then flew to Kuala Lumpur on August 8 in a Kuwaiti-owned Lear jet. He had with him $US30,000 ($A35,250) from the Timorese treasury for “expenses” paid by then Fretilin prime minister Estanislau da Silva after a request from his then justice minister, Domingos Sarmento. The newly-elected government of Xanana Gusmao may hold an inquiry to examine possible corruption charges.
Lucia Lobato raised questions about the nature of Lobato’s medical condition. She queried why he had been operated on for a back complaint rather than the prostate and heart problems one doctor said he had. She said Judge Rosa had also said three experts recommended treatment abroad when in fact only one did. Of three examining doctors in Dili hospital, only Cuban Aniceto Cabeza Suarez recommended overseas treatment. An Australian surgeon specifically stated that his various complaints were not life threatening and could be treated in East Timor. A third doctor, a Chinese urologist, simply said Lobato should be given new medication for a benign prostate condition. Timorese ambassador Juvencio Martins has said Lobato had a spinal disc operation in Kuala Lumpur on August 21 and has since been discharged to recover in a rented apartment. Lucia Lobato said she was particularly concerned that Malaysia had so far not responded to East Timor’s requests that it must ensure Lobato does not leave Malaysia.
East Timor man decapitated in attack November 19, 2007 – 5:59AM – A 29-year-old man was decapitated in an attack thought to be linked to gang violence in East Timor, a hospital official and a relative said on Sunday. The man was attacked with a sword outside a store near the parliament building in the capital Dili by a group of men waiting in a taxi, a relative of the dead man said. An official at the national hospital in Dili, where the body was taken, said the victim’s head had been severed from his body in the attack and police were investigating.
The former Portuguese colony was plunged into chaos last year after the sacking of 600 rebellious soldiers triggered violence that killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their homes. Foreign troops had to be brought in to restore order and security has improved, although sporadic violence, vandalism and arson persist, with an unemployment rate of around 50 per cent helping fan a gang culture among bored youths. Last week, a man died after an arrow pierced his heart during gang fighting in districts near East Timor’s capital. Indonesia annexed East Timor in 1975 after long-time colonial power Portugal had set it free. East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia in a violence-marred referendum in 1999. It became fully independent in 2002 after a period of UN administration. – 2007 Reuters
TRIAL COMMENCES IN CASE RELATING TO THE SHOOTING OF PNTL MEMBERS THAT OCCURRED IN 2006 JSMP Press Release 09/18/2007 – On 18 September 2007, the Dili District Court opened the trial in the case relating to the shooting of members of the National Police Force (PNTL) which occurred in front of the Ministry of Justice on 25 May 2006, at a time when Timor Leste was in crisis.
This case was one of the cases recommended by the International Commission of Inquiry, so it was given serious attention by the international community as well as the wider community in Timor Leste, as it was one of a series of incidents that occurred during the crisis that have been classified as serious crimes.
The trial was attended by a huge number of people, and consequently the Dili District Court (operating out of the Court of Appeal) organized additional measures such as stringent security during the hearing. However we are quite concerned about the presence of F-FDTL’s members in military uniform who were on full alert and fully armed.
Before the hearing commenced the translator announced that during the hearing all people present should turn off their mobile phones and the court clerks conducted a check to make sure that no witnesses were present in the court room. However closer examination revealed that a witness from the F-FDTL named Major Maukalu was actually present. After being informed by the prosecution unit that he was one of the witnesses who would be summoned by the court to provide testimony about the shooting incident, Major Maukalu and his colleagues refused to accept this information and he protested because he believed that the court had not provided any notification that he would be summoned as a witness. Major Maukalu was adamant that he would remain in the court room. However, the lawyer Arlindo Dias Sanches approached him and explained the relevant procedure. Thereafter Major Laukalu was willing to remove himself from the court room.
After these matters had been cleared up, Judge Ivo Nelson Rosa Batista de Caires (International Judge), Judge Hugo Perdal (International Judge) and Judge Antoninho Goncalves (National Judge) entered the court room to start the hearing, however after the presiding judge conducted a check to see if all of the defendants were present in the hearing, it became evident that one of the F-FDTL members was absent. There should have been 12 defendants, namely 11 F-FDTL members and one Police Inspector.
Considering that one of the F-FDTL members who was a defendant in this matter had failed to attend the hearing, the presiding judge decided to discontinue the hearing in accordance with Article 253.1 of the Timor Leste Code of Criminal Procedure which states that “the defendant’s presence at the hearing is compulsory, except as otherwise stated in the law” and decided to continue the trial at 9:30am on 20 September 2007 at the Dili District Court (operating out of the Court of Appeal).
JSMP accepts that this decision was made in accordance with Article 253.1 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and the decision issued by the presiding judge should be respected and observed because the aforementioned article gives full authority to the presiding judge to adjourn the hearing in this matter.
JSMP fully respects the members of the F-FDTL who appeared at the court to give support to their colleagues who are defendants in this case, however JSMP regrets that some members of F-FDTL were unwilling to be searched by the police who were providing security for this trial, and some members of the F-FDTL where fully armed and providing security in a manner that was far too excessive. Things like this should not occur because everyone is same in the eyes of the court, and members of the community could see that they were trying to place pressure on the judicial actors, especially recalling that the hearing was being attended by the families of the victims who have been severely traumatized.
JSMP also recommends that members of the F-FDTL who attend the trial should respect all court procedures, such as allowing themselves to be searched before entering the court room, just like everyone else, in order to avoid setting a bad example, because the community know that this institution is in the process of positive reform after the 2006 crisis. JSMP also hopes that F-FDTL will demonstrate to every one else that the negative perceptions held by the wider community towards them are not accurate.
For further information, please contact Roberto da Costa Pacheco Email: email@example.com Coordinator of Legal Research, JSMP
UNMIT Daily Media Review 18 September 2007
Nino Pereira: the Alliance government is constitutional – The Spokesperson of the Alliance Youth, Nino Pereira, said that the Xanana-led government is constitutional, legitimate and legal based on Art. 106 of the Timorese Constitution. Mr. Pereira said that the Alliance Youth is unhappy with political leaders who continue to say that the Alliance government is unconstitutional or that it is a de facto government. “These kinds of statements, without a proper explanation of what they mean, do not help in educating the people,” said Mr. Pereira. (DN)
Police to provide security at the airport – The acting Commander of PNTL, Afonso de Jesus, said that the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) and UNPol will provide security at the airport as some public servants and people do not feel secure in the area. (DN)
ISF and F-FDTL conduct joint operation in Lospalos – The Commander of the International Stabilization Forces (ISF) in Timor-Leste, Cpl Ben Sanders said that the ISF conducts joint operations with the F-FDTL in Lautem District to maintain peace and stability for the local community. Furthermore, Mr. Sanders explained that the ISF is present in Lospalos to assist and reconstruct the F-FDTL. (DN)
Alfredo’s case sets bad precedent for justice – The MP from Fretilin, Arsenio Bano, said that the dialogue between the state and Alfredo will set a bad precedent for the justice system. The mandate was to capture Alfredo and now he wants to have a dialogue. “This means that others could request a dialogue even after they commit a crime,” said Mr. Bano. Mr. Bano also urged the government to clarify the Alfredo case – whetther this is a political or criminal case. (STL)
UNMIT Weekly number 8 14 September 2007 UN Police Hand Over ‘Police Defensive Tactics’ Manual to PNTL http://unmit.org/unmisetwebsite.nsf/f042de6a6630334a4925723c003b1a25/$FILE/08.weekly.english.140907.pdf
UN Police officially handed over the ‘Police Defensive Tactics Training Manual’ to the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) in a ceremony that took place on Wednesday 12 September at the PNTL Academy. The training manual is a simple and clear way to instruct police officers how to handle threats in non-lethal ways, without risking death or unnecessary injury. It covers such approaches as unarmed combat and the use of police batons, pepper spray and handcuffing. The Guest of Honour at the ceremony was the RDTL Secretary of State Mr. Francisco Guterres. Other guests included Deputy SRSG Mr. Eric Tan, the UN Police Commissioner Mr. Rodolfo Tor and the General Commander of the PNTL Mr. Alfonso de Jesus. The project to train the PNTL in defensive tactics began under the UN Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL) mission, but was postponed after the crisis of April / May last year. To carry on the work of the project, the UN Police decided to produce a training manual documenting defensive tactics that conform to UN and international standards. Along with the ceremonial handover of the training manual, training certificates were given to PNTL instructors. PNTL Close Protection Officers also received commendations for their outstanding work during the election period.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 17 September 2007
Xanana: “I have given my apology” – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said that he has apologized to the Timorese people – especially those in the East – for his televised speech on March 13 2006. In his speech on TVTL on 13 March 2006, Mr. Xanana Gusmao, who was the President of the republic at that time, unintentionally said that the people from Manatuto to Oecusse were products of militias who instigated sporadic violence throughout Dili and caused thousands of people to flee their homes — and these people are still IDPs today. In response to Mr. Xanana’s statement, Fretilin’s Secretary-General, Mr. Mari Alkatiri said that it is too late for the Prime Minister to apologize. He should go to court for using illegal forces to kill people in Same. According to Mr. Alkatiri, the presence of the Australian forces should be considered illegal as the agreement has not yet been ratified. (DN)
Parliament approves Alliance government’s program; Fretilin opposes decision – The National Parliament approved the new government’s development programme for the fiscal period of 2007/2008. Fretilin opposed the Parliament’s decision and rejected the government’s programme saying that it did not have any substance and it was unconstitutional. In his statement, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said that the approved programme must be implemented and carried out properly for the development of the country. (TP)
Solving Alfredo case necessary for stability – The Parish priest of Suai, Father Natalino Sousa Gama, said that stability and security will only come after the issue of Alfredo and the petitioners is solved. Father Natalino asked the government to not only make promises but to implement what they promise. (TP)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 14 September 2007
The Alliance is committed to solving Alfredo’s case – The Task Force Team stated that the Alliance government is committed to solving the case of Alfredo and the petitioners through dialogue. The Secretary State of Security, Francisco Guterres, said that at the present the team is identifying how best to carry out the dialogue. (STL and DN)
Judge Ivo Rosa: I will not end the warrant to capture Alfredo – International Judge Ivo Rosa said that he will not end the warrant to capture Alfredo Reinado Alves – “I will maintain my position to not end the warrant, but if there is appeal from Claudio, I will end it — ¦he is the only one who can intervene in the decision of a judge to give a warrant to capture such a suspect,” said Judge Ivo. (DN)
Francisco Guterres: the government to restructure PNTL – State Secretary for Security Francisco Guterres said that the government will prepare to restructure the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) in order to make it a legitimate police force. “We are preparing to hold consultations. It’s important to have every stakeholders’ viewpoint so that we have a model for policing that the whole country agrees with,” said Mr. Guterres on Thursday (13/9) in the national parliament. (DN)
UNMIT Daily Media Review – 12 September 2007
The state to end the warrant to capture Alfredo Reinado – The state will consult with the president of the court of appeal, Claudio Ximenes, to find a solution with regards to the warrant to capture Alfredo Reinado Alves. Speaking to the journalists after the High Level meeting on Tuesday (11/9), Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that they are waiting for Mr. Claudio Ximenes who is presently on leave. “When he comes back, we will look at the warrant for the capture of Mr. Reinado,” said Mr. Gusmão. He added that the state should talk to the organs of the state, since the state should not intervene directly in the judicial process. He said that the task force has been established and is composed of the secretary of state for defence and representatives from other organs which have an interest in solving the problem. (TP)
New Zealand to train F-FDTL – The Commander of the New Zealand Forces in Timor-Leste, Lieutenant-General Jerry Mateparae, held a meeting with Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão and the Secretary of State for Defence, Julio Thomas Pinto, on Tuesday (11/9) to discuss improving the capacity of the F-FDTL’s members through military training. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mr. Julio Thomas Pinto said that New Zealand wants to cooperate with Timor-Leste in defence. “New Zealand will help Timor-Leste, particularly in the defence sector,” said Mr. Pinto. He added that Mr. Jerry also informed them that New Zealand is ready to share their experience of military development and is ready to help prepare the training for the members of F-FDTL. (TP and DN)
President of court of appeal backing the CPLP’s judges – The Timorese lawyer Benevides Correia Barros suggested that president of the court of appeal Mr. Claudino Ximenes should take a step back following some cases in which the judges of Portuguese Speaking Countries Community (CPLP) intervened. Mr. Correia stated that as the president of the court, Mr. Ximenes should send back such judges when their duties come to an end. “Mr. Ximenes should not constantly defend them in this country and extend their contracts,” said Mr. Correia on Tuesday (11/9). He added that CPLP judges could work instead in Timor-Leste as advisors and not intervene directly in such cases. (TP)
Prime Minister Xanana to lead the “Task Force” dialogue with Alfredo – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that the ‘Task Force’ established by the government will hold a dialogue with Alfredo Reinado Alves and his followers. He stated that the ‘Task Force’ will be led other members of the government, such as the State Secretary of the Defence. Speaking to the journalists after the High Level Meeting on Tuesday (11/9) in the Presidential Palace in Caicoli, Mr. Gusmão said that the â€˜Task Force’ has been formed to engage in dialogue with Mr. Reinado Alves – it is however on hold until the president of the court of appeal, Mr. Claudio Ximenes, returns from leave. (DN)
Benevides Barros: “Alfredo wants to be judged by the Norwegian judge” – The lawyer of Alfredo Reinado Alves, Benevides Correia Barros, reportedly said that after the dialogue, his client Reinado wants to be judged by the Norwegian judges, and that Reinado himself totally rejects the judges from Portuguese Speaking Countries Community (CPLP). Speaking to journalists on Tuesday (11/9) in Hotel Timor, Mr. Barros said that Mr. Reinado rejects the possibility that the judges from CPLP should preside over his case, because the CPLP’s judges went against the decision of President Jose Ramos-Horta to officially halt the operation on 19 June 2007. Mr. Correia added that Mr. Reinado holds the competency of President Horta in highest regard. (DN)
Government discusses methods for the dialogue with Alfredo – According to the agenda of the government, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão will lead a ministerial meeting to discuss the available methods of dialogue between Alfredo Reinado Alves and the government to find the best solution. Speaking to the journalists on Tuesday (11/9) in his office, Mr. Julio Thomas Pinto said that there is enough good will to solve Reinado’s case. “The location will be prepared by the Prime Minister and the National Unity Movement for Justice (MUNJ),” said Mr. Pinto. (STL)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 11 September 2007
Jose Luis: government has effort to solve Reinado’s case – The Vice Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres has met with the coordinator of the National Unity Movement for Justice (MUNJ) to discuss the case of Alfredo Reinado. “We have discussed the problem but we need to be careful not to create expectations that the problem of Reinado or the petititioners will be solved today or tomorrow,” said Mr. Guterres. He said it’s a complex problem and that the government is working on it. (TP)
Fretilin to conduct national retreat, insist against the position of PM Xanana – Fretilin is having a national retreat on the 28th September in the district of Same and will reflect on the recent situation, including the future political plan for the party. Arsenio Bano, the vice president of Fretilin said that members of other political parties invited, including the social society to participate the national retreat of Fretilin. Mr. Bano also said that the national retreat will discuss Fretilin’s rejection against the President’s decision in forming the new government. (TP)
Government gives two options to Alfredo Reinado – The Government has reportedly made the offer of Ermera and Suai district as places for Alfredo Reinado and his groups to stay during the process of dialogue. The offer has reported been agreed to, but Reinado is yet to nominate in which location he will stay. During the dialogue, the International Stabilization Forces (ISF) have been requested to stay 20km away from the talks. The lawyer of Reinado, Benevides Barros said Reinado needs the Catholic Church to mediate the process of dialogue and the Humanitarian Center of Dialogue will be the facilitator of the dialogue. (STL)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 10 September 2007
Manuel Tilman: solving Alfredo’s case, the failure of general prosecutor – Manuel Tilman, MP from KOTA said that the unsolved case of Alfredo Reinado should be considered a failure of the Prosecutor General’s. (PGR). “It has bee the Prosecutor General’s failure that this case has not been transparent or professionally dealt with. “Some days ago the Prosecutor met with Reiando but he did not arrest him, this is a failure of the Prosecutor,” said Mr. Tilman on Friday (7/9) in Memorial Hall, Dili. (TP)
Reconciliation, to end conflict between the Alliance and Fretilin – The organization of no parliamentary political parties – known as Progreessive Democratic League (LDP) has stated the only way to end the conflict between the Alliance and Fretilin is through political reconciliation. “I think political reconciliation should be conducted to solve the conflict between the Alliance and Fretilin. It may be that the structure of the Alliance be revised or the Alliance embraces all the districts and sub-districts administrators of Fretilin in order to solve the conflict,” said Hermenegildo Lopes, the spokesperson of LDP. Mr. Lopes also said that if there is another election the LDP will moving forward as a block. Before and during the campaign, LDP will appear with its own head of parliament, prime minister, ministers and MPs to have a strong legitimacy for the people. (STL)
Lucia Lobato:”East Timorese are ready, international judges going home” – In her speech on the celebration of General Assembly Constituent – Timorese Lawyers Association, the minister of justice, Lucia Lobato said that if the East Timorese are ready to carry on the judicial process, the international judges, prosecutors and lawyers will leave Timor-Leste. “Someday the Timorese will be ready and the international judges will leave East Timor as they only work here temporarily,” said Ms. Lobato. “At the present we have been training judges, prosecutors and lawyers and we all have to proud of them,” she added. (STL)
Riak Leman: Xanana is using his capability solving Alfredo’s case – The MP from Social Democratic Party (PSD), Riak Leman guaranteed that Prime Minister Xanana GusmÃ£o will use his political experience to solve Reinado’s case as he is a well-known figure. “Even though some groups have an aversion to him, we know that Xanana is a leader who has wide range influence and support from many people. “The Prime Minister with his members of the government will solve the case of Alfredo in short time,” said Mr. Riak Leman. (DN)
Mateus Fernandes: PNTL has identified the actors of violence – The Deputy Operational Commander of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), Mateus Fernandes said that those involved in the recent violence have been identified based upon concrete evidence. Mr. Fernandes also said that the PNTL along with UNPol and ISF are working together to identify people who involved in the violence and crime. (DN)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 07 September 2007
Parliament to establish auditing commission – The national parliament is going to establish an auditing commission to investigate the work of the previous government. “The commission is not going to investigate the Fretilin-led government only, but also the new government, because we cannot guarantee that the new government will have no mistakes,” said Dusae, MP of CNRT. (TP)
No law stopping the capture of Alfredo – The Director of the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP), Timotio de Deus said the court does not have the authority to withdraw the mandate to capture Alfredo Reinado. Speaking to journalists on Thursday (06/09) in JSMP’s office in Dili M de Deus explained that the Court is not able to withdraw the mandate and
furthermore, no Judge has ordered the mandate be withdrawn. He also revealed that the Court maintains its position the need for Alfredo Reinado to face justice. (DN)
Petitioners are ready to collaborate with Xanana – The petitioners group does have the good will to collaborate with the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão to commence dialogue between them, the state, and Alfredo. Speaking to journalists on Thursday (06/09) after meeting with the Vice Prime Minister, Jose Luis Guterres at Government Palace, Mr. Agostu de Araujo alias Tara said they had met to discuss what solutions could be found to solve the case of Alfredo Reinado and the petitioners. (STL)
UNMIT Weekly United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste Issue No 7 7 September 2007
UN Secretary-General Commends Timorese on Overcoming 2006 Crisis – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended Timor-Leste on overcoming the crisis last year which led to a strengtheded UN peacekeeping presence in the country. He made the remarks in his recent report to the Security Council on UNMIT’s activities from January-August 2007.
The Secretary-General said the process leading to the formation of the new Government and the violent disturbances following it, “demonstrate that not all divisions have yet been overcome. Continued efforts to strengthen the culture of truly inclusive and participatory democracy based on rule of law and respect for human rights will be essential for the creation of a stable and prosperous Timor-Leste.”
In connection with the report, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, will address the Security Council in New York on 10 September. At a press conference held in Dili this week, Mr. Khare said his message to the Council will be “one of confidence in Timor-Leste, its people and its leaders.” He said the generally calm security environment of the recent elections showed once again that there is an overall acceptance of the democratic process among the Timorese people.
But Mr. Khare cautioned that confidence does not mean complacency. “We have to recognize that the violence following the formation of the Government is an indication that this acceptance is still fragile. Democracy needs constant nurturing,” he said. “My personal belief is that it will require three to five years for the restructuring of the PNTL, reforming the security sector, and for democracy to take root.”
Justice Sector Coordination Council Reviews Progress Report – The Council of Coordination for the Justice Sector met last week with development partners to present the Semi-Annual Progress Report (2007) of UNDP’s Justice System Programme .
Two of the key achievements noted in the Report are the graduation and swearing in of 11 judges, nine prosecutors, seven public defenders, the first-ever Timorese jurists, and expanded activities to support the prisons service.
The 27 new jurists, who graduated on 26 June 2007, were trained at the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Training Center, a training and research service supported as part of UNDP’s Justice System Programme, which aims to strengthen the institutional and human resources capacity of the main institutions in the justice sector.
A next class of 12 trainees, who began training in January 2006, is currently receiving full-time training at the Training Center and expected to graduate in December 2007.
The Council is a high-level working committee made up of Timor-Leste’s Chief Justice, Prosecutor-General and Minister of Justice, and acts as the Programme’s Steering Committee. This was the first Council meeting attended by Lucia Lobato, the new Minister of Justice, who stressed the importance of international assistance, especially for legal drafting, the corrections service, and the dissemination of legal information to the population.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 5 September 2007
FRETILIN suggests to legalize ISF Mandate – Fretilin party chief, Aniceto Guterres, clarified the misunderstanding that Fretilin rejected the presence of the ISF in Timor-Leste. He explained that Fretilin did not object to the extension of ISF’s mandate but proposed that the Parliament ratify the treaty which brought in the ISF in order to clarify ISF’s responsibilities in Timor-Leste. (ND)
ISF will not be involved in dialogue between Alfredo and Government – ISF Commander John Hutcheson said that the ISF will not be involved in the dialogue between Major Alfredo and the Timorese Government. He clarified that the ISF will not take part in the dialogue without government authorization. (ND)
Not True: ISF Soldier Lost in Baucau – ISF Commander John Hutcheson denied the rumors that an ISF soldier went missing during an operation in Baucau. (ND)
Government Presents Transitional Program to National Parliament – The Fourth Constitutional Government led by Mr. Kayrala Xanana Gusmao will present its transitional program to the National Parliament this week. (ND)
ISF ready to carry out Alfredo’s request – ISF Commander John Hutcheson said that Major Alfredo Reinado has requested the ISF to be posted 20 kms away from the venue of the dialogue between him and the Government. Mr. Hutchenson said that the ISF is ready to carry out this request if the Government approves and requests them directly. (STL)
Mari: It will not be long before Xanana’s Government collapses – In an interview with Timor Post, the Secretary-General of Fretilin, Mr. Mari Alkatiri, said that his party believes that it will not be long before the government led by Prime Minister Kayrala Xanana Gusmao collapses. He said that Fretilin will not use any violence as it has other ways to deal with the fall of the Alliance-led government. (TP)
LH: RDTL Appeals Court finds Clemency Law unconstitutional – After six months of internal debate and very little public consultation, Timor-Leste’s Parliament passed a law on “Truth and Measures of Clemency for Diverse Offenses” on 4 June 2007, giving amnesty for most crimes committed between 20 April 2006 and 30 April 2007. The text of the law (in Portuguese and English translation) is at http://www.laohamutuk.org/Justice/Clemency/07ClemencyLaw.htm .
On 3 July, newly-elected President Jose Ramos-Horta asked the Court of Appeals to give advice on the constitutionality of the law. Two days later, he promised La’o Hamutuk that he will not sign it regardless of the court’s opinion.
On 16 August, the Court of Appeals, comprised of judges Claudio Ximenes, Jacinta Correia da Costa and Maria Natercia Gusmão Pereira, found articles 1 and 7.1 of the law unconstitutional because the defined time period applicable for clemency violates the principle of equality in Article 16.1 of the Constitution of RDTL. The court also found that Articles 2, 8 and 14 of the law do not violate the Constitution. The Portuguese-language opinion is at http://www.laohamutuk.org/Justice/Clemency/ClemencyAppealDecisionPt.pdf .
La’o Hamutuk’s June 2007 Bulletin contains an editorial on this law, which we believe is bad for justice and for Timor-Leste, and a list of the 180 types of crimes which would be eligible for amnesty. See http://www.laohamutuk.org/Bulletin/2007/Jun/bulletinv8n2.html#Editorial
UNMIT Daily Media Review 04 September 2007
PNTL attacked; Alkatiri strongly condemns the criminal acts – Two members of PNTL were reportedly attacked on Sunday (02/9) by unidentified people with knives and machetes in the sub-village of Ariana, sub-district Venilale, Baucau district. The SRSG in Timor-Leste, Mr. Atul Khare said that no injuries resulted from the incident as the PNTL members defended themselves by firing two warning shots to disperse a group of 50 people. Mr. Khare denied reports that shots were directed to the group. He said that the GNR also responded to the incident; however they did not manage to identify anyone in possession of weapons. “GNR managed to help the two PNTL members of in the scene,” said Mr. Khare at a press conference on Monday (03/9) at the UNMIT HQ in Dili. Mr. Atul also informed that the Secretary-General of the Fretilin party, Mr. Mari Alkatiri condemned the criminal acts and violence that broke out in the eastern part of the country and called on UNPol to take the necessary measures. (TP)
Lasama: do not use private interests to say that ISF is illegal – The NP President, Mr. Fernando de Araujo Lasama defended the presence of the International Stabilization Forces (ISF) in Timor-Leste; he said that it was a legal decision made through the signing of an accord. Mr. Lasama urged not to use private interests to say that the ISF presence in the country is illegal. “I think all of us should be realistic and not mix reality with our private interests. It is publicly known to all the Timorese people that the ISF was officially invited by the former Prime Minister, Mr. Mari Alkatiri, the former President of the Parliament, Mr. Francisco Guterres and the former President, Mr. Kayrala Xanana Gusmão. Furthermore, he explained that the decision on the extension of the ISF mandate will depend on the security situation in the country. (TP)
UNMIT approves of dialogue with Alfredo – SRSG Atul Khare said that the best way to deal with the case of Alfredo Reinado Alves is through peaceful means. Speaking to journalists on Monday (03/9) at the UNMIT weekly press conference held in Dili, Mr. Khare said that Mr. Reinado should submit himself (and his weapons) to justice. (TP)
PNTL ready to take back its role when screening process ends – The interim commander on PNTL, Mr. Afonso de Jesus said that the PNTL is ready to take on its responsibilities. “We are ready to take back our role as the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) – to providde security and community support. The PNTL screening process is ongoing but some PNTL officers are already on duty. (TP)
CNRT pushing to audit Fretilin – The MP from CNRT, Mr. Aderito Hugo asked the government to perform an audit on the financial transactions made by the Fretilin-led government. “The previous government has been replaced but an audit is needed in order to know what they did during those five years,” said Mr. Hugo on Monday (3/9) at the national parliament. (STL)
PNTL reform, UN to assist Timor-Leste – SRSG Atul Khare said that the UN will assist the government of Timor-Leste in reforming the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) in order to have a professional and credible force. “The UN in Timor-Leste will assist the government of Timor-Leste to reform PNTL,” said Mr. Atul Khare at a press conference on Monday (3/9) at Obrigado Barracks, Dili. (DN)