Timor-Leste Legal News November 2007 (Part 2)
Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 21 November 2007
The Alliance in charge for 100 days: as yet no sign of removing corruption – Director of Lalenok Ba Ema Hotu (Mirror of the People), Christopher Samson, said that after one hundreds days in charge, the Alliance government has shown no sign of reducing corruption and the Prime Minister has said nothing about fighting against corruption. “In a hundred days the Prime Minister has not spoken about removing corruption, not once, except when submitting the program of the government to the national parliament,” said Mr. Samson on Monday (19/11). Mr. Samson also said that there is conflict of interest in the structure of the government where the wife of a minister has a project and other ministers and state secretaries have companies that might provide the opportunity for corruption. (STL)
Paulo Martins: petitioners should be brave enough to tell the truth – Member of the national parliament for CNRT, Paulo Martins, said that the petitioners should be courageous enough to tell the truth in their meeting with the government to find the solutions to their problems. On the other hand, MP Riak Leman from PSD, said that the government should pay more attention to the spokesperson of the petitioners, GastÃ£o Salsinha. Mr. Riak Leman also said that the problem of the petitioners and Alfredo Reinado is different. Reinado left the barracks with weapons while the petitioners were disarmed, so that is why there are two separate dialogues. (STL)
Tara: ready to cooperate with Salsinha – Former officer in the F-FDTL, Major Tara, said that he is ready to cooperate with the spokesperson of the petitioners, Mr. Salsinha, and his group to solve the problems they have faced. “I think our cooperation is going well, the only differences are regarding location. But currently we are trying to cooperate to solve the problems they are facing,” said Mr. Tara on Tuesday (20/11). (DN)
David Dias Ximenes: Dili is a cemetery – David Dias Ximenes, MP from Fretilin considered that the current situation makes the capital city of Timor-Leste, Dili, look like a cemetery. “I said it’s a dead city because there is no daily security, and everyone feels insecure everyday. Just ask Mari Alkatiri and Mario Carrascalão – previously there were only small number of police, but they would respond to any incident promptly. Now police are everywhere, but the situation is not secure,” said Mr. Ximenes. (DN)
Permanent deployment of police at schools: an important step for UNPol and PNTL – The Operational Commander of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), Mateus Fernandes, said that the process to deploy police at unsecured schools is an important step for the PNTL and UNPol. Commander Fernandes said that this important step will be coordinated with UNPol as all of the PNTL is under UNPol control. “Children are the future of the nation, they should be kept safe. There is also plan to encourage the IDPs to go back to their previous residences. We are still in the screening process. Soon after that we will deploy the police in the most affected areas,” said Commander Fernandes on Friday (16/11). (DN)
IDP situation not solved: unwanted independence – Fernanda Borges, MP from PUN said that if the current government does not solve the situation of the IDPs in 2008, then Timor-Leste does not deserve its independence. “Many children, the future of the nation, are living in the camps. If the Alliance government cannot solve the problem then the future of the nation will have no direction,” said Ms. Borges on Children’s Day, Tuesday (20/11) in the national parliament plenary. (DN)
Fretilin and CNRT about to clash in NP – David Dias Ximenes from Fretilin said the statement of Pedro Martires da Costa from CNRT was an insult against former ruling party, Fretilin. Mr. da Costa said that the electricity and water problem currently plaguing the capital city is being orchestrated by some people who are trying to bring about the collapse of the Alliance government. “The statement is made from a technical point of view, not a political point of view,” said Mr. da Costa. (STL and DN)
Minister of Justice creating injustice in Timor-Leste – Former Minister of Justice Domingos Sarmento, also an MP from Fretilin, said that Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato was being unjust when she sacked the Director of Land and Property, Pedro da Costa, before his term ended. According Mr. Sarmento, the decision made is unjust because Mr. da Costa’s position is not a political post, but a technical post, as national director of public servants. (DN)
International Media Reports
UN says ETimor calm despite Dili incidents Last Updated 21/11/2007, 14:46:08 ABC News – The United Nations police say the security situation in East Timor is generally calm, despite nine incidents in Dili this week alone. In one incident, a police officer was overpowered by a crowd, who took his pistol, which was subsequently recovered. Elsewhere, forty youths threatened police with steel darts and rocks, after a 17 year-old teenager was arrested for allegedly causing a disturbance.
A UN spokeswoman, Alison Cooper, has told Radio Australia’s Connect Asia program, while the incidents are concerning, they should be treated as individual incidents and not as a collective culture of violence. “All incidents of violence are a concern to us, but we’re also realistic and pragmatic, and no society in the world has a zero balance on crime or violence,” she said. Ms Cooper says the UN mandate provides a maximum of 1708 troops in the country, and that number of troops has provided adequate security through tenser times, including controversial parliamentary elections. She says four months after the elections, tensions have abated, but there are still some spikes of tension. “We certainly don’t believe there’s a need to increase our current policing capacity here, but we wouldn’t be looking to draw that down in the near future, either,” she said.
No disruption to Dili-Darwin flights Wednesday November 21, 2007, 4:37 pm – Baggage handlers and check-in staff at East Timor’s international airport say they have decided not to interrupt commercial flights between Darwin and Dili. Eleven workers employed by Total Aviation Services were considering taking action to interrupt flights because they are upset at the way they are being treated by TAS Director Tony Penna. A spokesman for the workers Alex Pereira says they are now waiting to hear the findings of a parliamentary commission which has been investigating the employment dispute.
ETIMOR: Reinado unlikely to be in custody for December trial 20/11/2007 ABC Radio Australia asia pacific – The date set for the trial of the controversial East Timorese fugitive Alfredo Reinado is fast approaching. Despite a warrant issued for his arrest, the former head of the military police remains on the run since escaping from a Dili prison over a year ago. The case has exposed the rift between not only between the new government and Fretilin opposition but between the President and the Judiciary.
Presenter – Karon Snowdon Speaker – Fretilin MP, Jose Texeira; Head of the Prime Minister’s taskforce, Joachim Fonseca
Evidence in the May 2006 PNTL/F-FDTL Case 10 October, 2007 – The Dili District Court today continued proceedings relating to the 25 May 2006 shooting incident involving F-FDTL (East Timor Defence Force) and PNTL (East Timor National Police) forces. Based on the court schedule, there are approximately one hundred witnesses who will give evidence in this case.
To expedite the hearing, nearly every day the Dili District Court conducts aims to hear from six to eight witnesses each day. On 8 October, the Dili District Court heard met its objective of examining eight witnesses. There are 38 witnesses whose statements have been heard by the Court to date.
PNTL witnesses who gave evidence in these marathon proceeding are: Anacleto da Costa, Marcelino dos Santos, Nelson Ivano Jeronimo, Moises Talo Maia, Oldemira Madeira Neves, Ovelino, ”RBN ”and Domingos Neves da Costa.
On occasion, the judge terminated the statements because the witness did not properly answer questions that were put to them.
Testimony generally concurred that there were gunshots heard throughout the morning of 25 May, though witness accounts varied on the time of the shootings. Some maintained the incident occurred at 10.30 or 11 o’clock in the morning, whereas others maintain it had happened at 2 or 3 o’clock.
Several witnesses claimed that at approximately 10am a red vehicle with tinted windows passed in front of the PNTL HQ at high speed, its occupants behaving provocatively. PNTL guards ordered that they immediately vacate the area, but the red vehicle did not move. The PNTL guards allegedly fired a warning shot in the air, but suddenly the sound of gunfire was heard from the F-FDTL HQ, appearing to the witnesses to have been directed at the PNTL. The PNTL returned fire and three PNTL members were injured during the incident, including the then Operational Commander, Afonso de Jesus (now Acting PNTL Commander).
After the incident, UNPOL came to PNTL HQ, ordering that all weapons be handed over. All PNTL members present were then marched toward Obrigado Barracks.
The judge asked the witnesses what happened when they passed in front of the Ministry of Justice building, and almost all of the witnesses gave the same response, to the effect that they saw F-FDTL members in uniform, standing in front of the building and carrying long barreled weapons. The witnesses gave different estimates on the exact number of F-FDTL members, varying between two and six.
The witnesses also said that when they arrived in front of the Ministry of Justice building they had been accompanied by UNPOL members on both sides, and that UN and RDTL flags were being carried.
The Court heard that the situation rapidly deteriorated at this point, with eight PNTL members killed in shooting and more than twenty wounded.
Witnesses testfied that they knew several of the accused who were present in the court; names mentioned were, among others, Maukana and Mauquinta (F-FDTL) and J. Neto Mok (PNTL). The accused Maukana and Mauquinta were seen standing in front of the gate to the Justice Ministry, armed and in F-FDTL uniform. Only the accused J. Neto Mok was not seen specifically at the location at which the shooting occurred.
JSMP sees progress in this case as a positive development, and hopes that the Court will be able to expedite other matters given priority by the Commission of Enquiry.
JSMP also calls on the relevant authorities to ensure appropriate measures are taken to ensure the safety and security of witnesses to these and other legal proceedings.
For further information please contact: Osorio de Deus Legal Researcher, JSMP Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or contact: Timotio de Deus Director, JSMP Email: email@example.com Telephone: 3323883
Witness Feels Afraid When Giving Evidence 12 October 2007 – Proceedings in the case of the May 2006 shootings of PNTL officers continued at Dili District Court, with further witness examinations taking place. On this date, those testifying were all PNTL members who claim to have come under F-FDTL fire during a walk from PNTL Head Quarters to Obrigado Barracks.
The witnesses giving evidence in the first session were Isidoro Araujo Borges, Eugenio Pereira, Jacinto Roberto Soares da Conceicão and Egidio Verdial. In the second, afternoon session, the evidence of Juvinal da Conceição da Costa, Julio Ricardo, José Pedro, and Sabino Barreto was heard.
As usual, when Presiding Judge Ivo Rosa began the proceedings, witnesses were queried on their willingness to give their testimony freely and honestly. Notably, the witness Jacinto Roberto Soares da Conceição acknowledged that in truth he felt a little scared in giving his evidence but was nonetheless ready to give his account of events.
JSMP regrets that the Court, on hearing of this apprehension, did not look for means to ensure the witness felt more able to speak openly. Clearly it is not in the interest of justice that testimony be given under such circumstances – Jacinto Roberto Soares da Conceição in this instance further stated that he felt a degree of shock and trauma to be confronted with all those present in F-FDTL uniforms.
There is no law that prohibiting military or police personnel from wearing uniforms during court proceedings. JSMP also acknowledges the right of a defendant to face their accuser. Nonetheless a solution must be found that allows witnesses to give their evidence securely and without fear. Whilst it is hoped a witness protection law, and associated programs, will be implemented, JSMP also calls on the bench to be proactive in working with parties in senstive cases.
For further information, please contact: Roberto da Costa Pacheco Co-ordinator, Legal Research Unit, JSMP Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or contact: Timotio de Deus Director, JSMP Email: email@example.com Landline: 3323883
Witnesses Address the Alleged Role of the Accused Neto Moq 26 October 2007 – Examination of witnesses continues in the case of the shootings between F-FDTL and PNTL officers on 25 May 2006. The Judge invited lawyers for the accused to ask questions in relation to the evidence of witnesses concerning the presence of the accused Jose Neto Moq in front of the Justice Ministry, where shooting took place on the day in question.
Witnesses attending the proceedings on this occasion were Antonio Pinto, Hermenegildo da Costa, Armando Diaz Ximenes, Francisco Rodrigues, Augustinha da Costa, Dulce Anabela Patricia da Costa dos Santos, Horacio Sarmento Guimarães da Costa, Paulo de Jesus, António Francisco Araújo dos Santos, Afonso Maria da Cruz, and Francisco do Rego.
Certain witnesses, being neighbours of the accused, stated that on 25 May 2006 at about 9 o’clock in the morning, they saw Neto Moq at his home, with two of his guards. The distance between the houses of the witnesses and that of the accused less than 100 metres. According to the witnesses, the fence around the accused’s property does not obstruct the view so the witnesses could clearly see that the accused was at home. It was also stated that the accused Neto Moq only carried a pistol, though one of his guards is alleged to have had a heavier weapon.
According to testimony, the accused Jose Neto Moq later left his house and, with two vehicles, went with members of his family towards the F-FDTL HQ in Tasi Tolu, apparently seeking a secure location. The witnesses said that they did not know why the accused sough protection at F-FDTL HQ.
JSMP notes that nearly all of the scheduled witnesses have been called by the Court, including those from UNPOL (United Nations Police). Only one or two witnesses have not yet been called or who have been called, though others have shown no signs of attending the proceedings. These include the former Commander of Police, Paulo Fatima Martins, who is now a member of the National Parliament.
JSMP notes that Law No.5/2004 on Members of the Parliament and, in particular, Article 11.1, only regulates the situation where a member of the Parliament is involved in a criminal act to ensure that such an individual is afforded a fair trial. This article does not appear to deal with the situation where a member of Parliament is called to attend as a witness in the Court. In any case, Articles 8 and 11.3-4 appear to empower the National Parliament to suspend the duties of a member of Parliament who has been notified by the Court so that he or she may attend and give evidence.
Accordingly, JSMP recommends that the National Parliament encourage its members to assist with court proceedings and abide by orders of the Court.
For further information contact: Roberto da Costa Pacheco Legal Research Unit Coordinator, JSMP Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or: Timotio de Deus Director, JSMP Email: email@example.com Landline: 3323883
Key Witnesses to Testify in Writing and via Teleconference 30 October 2007 – The Dili District Court, on 29 October 2007, continued its hearing into the the 25 May 2006 shooting that left 8 PNTL officers dead. Two witnesses were heard on this occasion, and according to the initial trial schedule, the Court should be nearing the final stages of witness examination.
One witness (Colonel Fernando Reis) is at this time in Portugal, however, and the Court has indicated it may be necessary for the timetable for witness evidence to be extended in order to taket account of the Colonel’s testimony.
Given his present location, the examination of the witness Colonel Fernando Reis is intended to be undertaken via teleconference. At this time, the East Timor Court itself does not have a teleconference facility, but the necessary equipment has been sourced at the World Bank offices in East Timor. This method has been approved by the Court, following a submission by the Prosecutor.
There remain three witnesses who have yet to appear before the Court, these comprise two UN staff members and also the former police commander Paulo Fatima Martins. According to information acquired by JSMP, the UN personnel are not in East Timor and, in fact, no longer work for the United Nations.
The witness Paulo Martins has not made himself available to appear before the Court in these proceedings and, it is understood, intends only to give written information, despite having been given a lawful notification by the Court, requiring his attendance in person.
The Criminal Procedure Law, at Article 123 clause 1(a) provides that (unless regulated by another law) a witness must fulfill the obligation to appear before the Court on the date, time and place that have been determined if summonsed or notified in a lawful manner and must assist the Court until the Court releases him or her from the said obligation.
Article 125 at clause 1 provides an exception for persons who have a kinship or adoptive relationship to the accused. In this instance, the witness Paulo Martins does not satisfy such a condition.
Written information from Paulo Martins has been refused by the Public Prosecutor as evidence on the basis that the witness was not present at the time and place of the incident in question, and so cannot testify to the chronology or nature of contested facts from his
JSMP acknowledges that Paulo Martins claims legal immunity as a member of the National Parliament. With the extent of such Parliamentary privilege largely untested, it remains uncertain whether Martins can simply elect to ignore the lawful notification of the Court. It is unclear, also, whether he has in some way been authorized by the Parliament to disregard the order of the Court, or has in his own capacity refused to comply.
Regardless of the legal capacity for Paulo Martins to excuse himself, as a member of Parliament, from attending Court, public officials should have regard to the public perception of such actions. Members of the public may well consider that the executive branch of government is not collaborating sufficiently closely with the judicial sector to support the growth of democratic institutions.
Whilst Paulo Martins may not have first-hand knowledge of this unfortunate event, as the highest PNTL officer at the time, he may nonetheless be able to give valuable information to the Court.
The two witnesses who did attend Court claimed to have been part of the PNTL line heading towards Obrigado Barracks, past the Justice Ministry. One of these witnesses alleges he was shot four times. Both claimed F-FDTL members shot at the PNTL, though they indicated they could not testify to the direct involvement of the twelve accused.
When the judges sought confirmation, one of the witnesses claimed that he saw the accused Neto Moq standing in front of the World Vision office but did not clearly know whether he took part in the shooting.
After hearing from these two witnesses, the judge decided on a defence application, finding that a reconstruction of the event was not required in light of witness accounts. It was also decided that the final submissions from prosecution and final defence statements would be set down for 8 November 2007.
For further information contact: Leonidio Marques Legal Researcher, JSMP Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or contact: Timotio de Deus Director, JSMP Email: email@example.com Land line: +670 3323883
UNMIT Daily Media Review 20 November 2007
TVTL Summary News
UNPol pistol seized – A young man on Monday (19/11) seized a pistol from an UNPol officer when the officer pointed it at crowd of youths to disperse them. The crowds attacked the officer, and one of the young men snatched the pistol away from him and took it to Parliament House where it was submitted to the PNTL.
NP needs financial report to be discussed – Fernanda Borges, the Member of the National Parliament (NP) from the National Unity Party (PUN), asked the current government to present the general financial report to NP before holding the debate in the national parliament. Ms. Borges said that the national parliament needs details on the money being spent by the current government, including funds carried over from the previous government.
Policeman assaults a lawyer in the NP – Member of NP, Fernanda Borges, said that a member of the PNTL, Sub-Inspector Mario X. de Carvalho, assaulted a private lawyer on Saturday (17/11) in the NP. The lawyer was invited by the NP to give his statement on the law of private lawyers. However, the lawyer was then beaten by a police officer. The State Secretary of Security, Francisco Guterres, said that an investigation will establish what took place.
Salsinha: the government is still not contacting us – The spokesperson of the petitioners, Gastão Salsinha, declared that until now his side has not had direct contact with the current government with regards to dialogue. “Until now we have had no direct contact from the government with regards to dialogue,” said Mr. Salsinha on Monday (19/11). Mr. Salsinha added that the petitioners’ position is to wait for the government to contact them to determine an appropriate setting for a dialogue that will help find a solution to the petitioners’ problem. Mr. Salsinha also stated that the number of petitioners is 500, and they are from ten districts, and would prefer Ermera for cantonement rather than Aileu. (TP)
NP asking the government to submit financial report – The Member of the National Parliament (NP) from the National Unity Party (PUN), Fernanda Borges, asked the current government to present the general financial report to NP before holding the debate on the issue. Ms. Borges said that the financial report should be submitted as more time is required before the NP can finally approve it. We want to see the data of how the money being executed, including the carry over funds from the previous government. We want to know the situation of the current government in executing the funds,â€ said Ms. Borges on Monday (19/11). (TVTL, TP and STL)
Dialogue to be a success: government to agree with Alfredo and Salsinha – The Chief of the Advocacy Division of Fontil Justino da Silva said that the dialogue between the petitioners and the Government will be successful if the current government defines the place in agreement with GastÃ£o Salsinha, Alfredo Reinado and their groups. Mr. da Silva said that when the security situation is guaranteed, the dialogue will be held successfully. Furthermore, Mr. da Silva should maintain his position as recommended by the Notable Commission and Commission of Inquiry. (TP)
Policeman assaults a lawyer in the NP – The Member of NP from PUN, Fernanda Borges, said that a member of the PNTL, Sub-Inspector Mario X. de Carvalho, assaulted a private lawyer on Saturday (17/11) in the NP. “The policeman named Mario beat the lawyer who was invited by the NP to give his testimony about private lawyers’ law,” said Ms. Borges in the NP. At the same time, the State Secretary of Security Francisco Guterres said that there will be investigation into the matter. (TP)
Youth seized UNPol pistol – On Monday (19/11), a young man named Jaime seized a pistol from a member of United Nations Police (UNPol) as the officer drew his pistol and pointed it at crowd of young men in order to disperse them. The crowds turned hostile and threw rocks at the UNPol officer. He then fired warning shots in the air. During the scuffle, some shots were fired and injured two of Jaime’s fingers. Jaime then snatched the pistol away from the UNPol officer. The group then said they were going to the Parliament House and left. (TP)
Julio Thomas Pinto: dialogue that could decide the status of the petitioners – State Secretary for Defence Julio Tomas Pinto said that whether the petitioners will be restored as F-FDTL or not depends on the dialogue between them and the government. “The problem of Alfredo and the petitioners depends upon the dialogue. This problem is now under the State Secretary of Security as the spokesperson from the government side,” said Mr. Pinto. (DN)
Francisco Guterres: the PNTL does not have the capacity to be deployed on the border line – The State Secretary of Security, Francisco Guterres, said that there are not enough PNTL members to be deployed at the border, Indonesia and Australia.
Mr. Guterres said that members of the PNTL have been taking part in the screening process and mentoring process of six months to enable them to provide security to the community professionally. (DN)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 19 November 2007
Jose Luis de Oliveira: government needs to be patient if it is to solve the petitioners’ case – The Director of the HAK Association and the facilitator of the first round of dialogue between the petitioners and government, JosÃ© Luis de Oliveira, said that even though Gastao Salsinha was not present for the first round of the dialogue in Aileu, the government should be patient in solving this national problem. However Mr. Salsinha, the spokesperson of the petitioners, said that the dialogue is illegal as they were not informed of it. Another dialogue between the government and petitioners will be arranged when a setting to encourage maximum participation from the petitioners is identified. (DN)
For and against in the national parliament: returning the petitioners to the F-FDTL – The attempt of the petitioners to return to the barracks of F-FDTL resulted in arguments for and against between the members of the national parliament. Jacob Xavier from PPT said that the petitioners could return to the barracks as long as they return to their previous status of F-FDTL members, excluding those who get benefits. Francisco Miranda from Fretilin said that the petitioners’ problem is not a political problem, it is a state problem that should be viewed from its legal aspects, including the legal consequences of any action. Pedro da Costa from CNRT said that if the petitioners are to reintegrate back into the F-FDTL, then the solution must be found through dialogue – but how can this be achieved if the petitioners do not participate the dialogue? (DN and TP)
Man beheaded in gang fighting in East Timor’s capital, 2 others injured – AP – Monday, November 19 – DILI, East Timor – A man was beheaded and two others were wounded in gang fighting in East Timor’s capital, police said Sunday.
Aquilis Maubelo, 24, was beheaded during clashes between rival martial arts gangs near government offices in Dili, U.N. police spokesman Benjamin Osuji said. Police were still investigating the incident, Osuji said. It was the second time the gangs have fought in Dili and the third such battle in the country in the past week, he said. Violence between rival gangs that study the local martial art “silat” is common in East Timor.
Fights between the groups broke out in Dili on Tuesday, when a man was shot with an arrow and killed, and two others were injured. Another fight took place late Saturday in Baucau, East Timor’s second-largest town, and one man’s leg was cut off in the violence, said Americo dos Santos, chief of the emergency unit at Dili national hospital.
East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, broke free from decades of brutal Indonesian rule in 1999 and formally declared statehood three years later. It descended into chaos in April 2006 when then-Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri dismissed a third of the armed forces.
The dismissals sparked gun battles between police and army factions. The battles later turned into gang warfare, looting and arson, which led to Alkatiri’s resignation in June 2006.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 16 November 2007
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão: “Salsinha should be with the petitioners” – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão is asking the spokesperson of the petitioners, Mr. Gastão Salsinha to participate in the dialogue as the government has a commitment to solve the problem. The first meeting of the talks had no participation from the petitioners of Mr. Gastão‘s group, and only fourteen petitioners of Major Tara’s group. Prime Minister Gusmão said that government needs Mr. Salsinha to come to the talks to reach a solution for his problems. “The government has a commitment to solve the problem, and hopes that all the petitioners will take part in the second day of the talks. Trust the government that the problem will be solved,” said the Prime Minister. (DN and TVTL)
Interview with Gastão Salsinha: does not want his party to be involved – The spokesperson of the petitioners, Mr. Gastão Salsinha said that his party did not participate in the Aileu talks as they do not wish to confuse the cases of the petitioners and parties. “Some people have interest in the discussions, such as, Major Tara and Piloto. Major Tara is a member of Social Democratic Party (PSD), so he could be the mediator on behalf of the petitioners,” said Mr. Salsinha. (DN)
Deadline for the screening process of PNTL to end December 1st – The United Nations Police (UNPol) spokesperson, Benjamin Osuji said 1460 members of PNTL have undergone the screening process and that only 104 officers are left to be screened. According to Mr. Osuji, the screening process will be completed 1st of December this year. (DN and TVTL)
UN: not involved in the talks between the government and petitioners – The Spokesperson of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), Ms. Allison Cooper said that the UN is not involved in the negotiations between the government and the petitioners in Aileu. “The meeting is held to solve the problems of the petitioners which appeared within in the last year. We are not involved in the meeting as law and order prevails in the country,” said Ms. Cooper at the weekly UNMIT press conference on Thursday (25/11) at the Obrigado Barracks, Dili. (DN and TVTL)
Mari Alkatiri: supporting Xanana Gusmão to solve petitioners’ case – Former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri supports to the current government, led by Mr. Xanana Gusmão to solve the problems of the petitioners. According to Mr. Alkatiri the dialogue between the government, F-FDTL and the petitioners is the recommendation of the Notable Commission. “I established the commission, so I will not reject it. If the recommendation said that this is the way to solve the problems, and then let’s wait for the result,” said Mr. Alkatiri. (TP)
National parliament: start reviewing the ISF presence accord – The National Parliament has starting reviewing the agreement between Timor-Leste and Australia that occurred during last year’s political and military crisis in Timor-Leste. The agreement for the presence of International Security Forces (ISF) has been studied carefully as it is of national interest. “The ISF is reviewing the accord made, and we wish to guarantee the security of the country,” said the Vice President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres. (TP)
National Parliament: Hearing on Statue of Lawyers 16 Nov 07 – National Parliament Office of Public Relations Official notice of the Press In the scope of the debate in the specialty of Projecto-of-Law nº22/I/4ª “Statute of the Lawyers”, the Constitutional Commission of Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees (Commission) deliberated to promote a set of hearings, to authorize to the members of the house of representatives, of above related Commission, the necessary information for better analysis of the document. Of this session of audiences, it is distinguished presence of the Minister of Justice, the Chief justice of Appeal/resource, and other corporations/entity to the sector of Justice. The hearings are become fullfilled tomorrow, day 17 of November of 2007, from 9:30 in the morning. Original Portuguese text follows:
Gabinete de Relações Públicas Comunicado de Imprensa – No âmbito do discussão na especialidade do Projecto-de-Lei nº22/I/4ª “Estatuto dos Advogados”, a Comissão de Assuntos Constitucionais, Liberdades e Garantias (Comissão A) deliberou promover um conjunto de audiências públicas, para facultar aos deputados, da acima referida Comissão, as informações necessárias para melhor análise do documento. Desta sessão de audiências públicas, destaca-se a presença da Srª. Ministra da Justiça, do Presidente do Tribunal de Recurso, e outras entidades ligadas ao sector da Justiça. As audiências realizam-se amanhã, dia 17 de Novembro de 2007, a partir das 9:30 da manhã.
Gusmao holds talks with sacked E Timor soldiers – Reuters 16 Oct 07 East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has begun talks with former soldiers whose dismissal sparked protests that led to bloodshed in the tiny country last year.
In June 2006 the government of then-prime minister Mari Alkatiri sacked 600 soldiers and more than one third of the country’s defence force, after they had lodged a petition alleging discrimination in the institution.
The sacking prompted a series of protests that degenerated into factional violence, leaving 37 people dead and forced more than 100,000 from their homes.
Some of the sacked soldiers had joined the rebellious former military police chief Alfredo Reinado, who led an armed revolt against the previous government.
Mr Gusmao warned the sacked soldiers during the meeting not to join Mr Reinado.
“I want to talk to those of you who don’t have weapons. I am representing the people through the election and who does Alfredo [Reinado] represent?” he said. “I am the one who defends the petitioners because they are not the ones who burned houses and made disturbances during last year’s crisis,” he said.
Former major Marcos Tara, who led the group who met Mr Gusmao, said he wanted the ex-soldiers to be reinstated but regretted the fact that few of his colleagues had turned up.
“I just want to open the way for the petitioners to have a dialogue so that they can regain their dignity in the military and obtain aid from the government,” he said. He said those who had failed to show up for the talks might have been intimidated by others who opposed dialogue with the government.
Rebel leader Mr Reinado said in July that he was prepared to hold talks with the new Government provided international forces sent in to restore order after last year’s violence left. Last year he escaped along with 50 other inmates from a prison where he was being held on charges of involvement in the violence.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 15 November 2007
TVTL Summary News
Petitioners and F-FDTL should find a good solution for the people – President of the National Parliament Fernando Lasama appealed to the members of F-FDTL and the petitioners to be humble and love the people of their country. “We need everyone to love this country, to speak frankly to each other to find the solution for the problem,” Mr. Lasama said in the Parliament on Wednesday (14/11). The President of Parliament also said that F-FDTL and the petitioners should talk to each other on behalf of the people of Timor-Leste. (STL, TP and DN)
The Government is capable of solving the petitioners’ problem – Former member of F-FDTL, Major Tara, said that the Alliance government has the capability to solve the petitioners’ problem. Mr. Tara said that the Government should take into consideration the interests of both F-FDTL and the petitioners to find a good solution. “All people know of the appeal made by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão to the parents of the petitioners and others to support this process to move forward,” said Mr. Tara on Wednesday (14/11) in the Government Palace. (STL and DN)
Francisco Guterres: PNTL to rotate from district to district – The State Secretary of Security, Francisco Guterres, said that the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) will rotate from district to district based upon a formula prepared by the Institution. Mr. Guterres said that the plan is going to allow PNTL to do their work all over and will create good working conditions for them. “We could say that the police are an instrument of the nation. We rotate them to provide good conditions and better instruction,” said Mr. Guterres. (DN)
Riak Leman: proposing petitioners go back to the barracks – Member of the National parliament from PSD, Riak Leman, said that it might be better if all the petitioners went back to the F-FDTL barracks as some members of F-FDTL are going to be retired.
Unidentified group shoots at Lu-Olo’s residence Jornal Nacional Semanário 10 November 2007 – FRETILIN parliamentarian Inacio Moreira informed the National Parliament that recently an unidentified group, in a vehicle with tinted windows, fired shots in the direction of the residence of the former President of the National Parliament (NP) and FRETILIN President, Francisco Guterres ‘Lu-Olo”, in Farol, Dili.
The parliamentarian Inacio Moreira referred to this issue whilst being interviewed by Jornal Nacional Seminario, at the National Parliament, after having raised this issue during the sittings.
Inacio Moreira explained that, from events confirmed by the former President of the National Parliament, Francisco Guterres “Lu-Olo” himself, and from his own close protection security, the events which occurred early morning Friday (2 Nov) at around 04h37m.
“A car was seen, having come from the direction of Praia dos Coqueiros (Coconut Beach) – Campo Alor, which, when in front of the residence of the former President of the National Parliament, drove by slowly, firing off four guns shots.
After firing the shots, it left the location immediately. When the close protection security of the former President of the NP came out from the residence reconnoiter the situation, the group left the location. After three minutes, UNPOL arrived at the location to gather details regarding the occurrence, having found still hot spent bullet cartridges, and which were taken to the police station”, Moreira explained.
The FRETILIN parliamentarian and former minister for Transport and Telecommunications added that the FRETILIN bench is demanding an immediate investigation of the case by the authorities, to identify who fired the shots.
“It has to be detected, identified and announced to the public what happened. Were the shots fired by drunks or simply by accident or was there intent”, questioned the parliamentarian Moreira, lamenting that, although the case had occurred three days ago, not one media outlet concerned itself to report the occurrence.
“I do not know why the case has remained so closed, not even one media outlet has raised the case. Because of this I raised it here in the parliament so that everyone can become aware of it. Lu-Olo is a resistance figure, former President of the NP, President of FRETILIN and current parliamentarian. Why was he terrorised?”, he questioned.
Inacio Moreira also informed that the family which resides there is worried, as the majority are young children, although no-one was hurt or damage occured. Personally, Lu-Olo was not frightened with the event.
“My concern and question is why do they want to terrorize and threaten a political leader.
So, once more I remind the responsible bodies that they have to investigate this case. This Parliament’s position should be clear in relation to this case, because Francisco Guterres “Lu-Olo” is a former President of the National Parliament and ex-officer holder”, he emphasized.
He reaffirmed that the FRETILIN bench defined this case as an act of terror. Therefore FRETILIN does not agree with this attitude. If there is any dirty political intent in relation to this case, it shows that there is an injustice and this issue will never be resolved because they are criminal attitudes. (Translated as best I could-it makes no sense even in Portuguese.
Grave Attitude – Also the Vice President of the National Parliament, Vicente da Silva Guterres, considered the shooting as a grave attitude.
In relation to this case, the Vice President of the Second Legislature National Parliament requested the competent authorities to undertake an extensive conversation. “It is an intentional act which has to be investigated”, he reaffirmed.
The former founder of the Union Democratica Cristao/Partido Democratico Cristao and current parliamentarian of the CNRT bench added that this type of thing cannot occur to anyone in this country. “In this concrete case, we are not only looking at someone who is the ex-President of the National Parliament but a person who still is the President of FRETILIN and current parliamentarian of the national parliament”, affirmed Vicente. Vicente reaffirmed that the concern of the National Parliament is to demand the government and competent authorities to investigate fully this case in order to avoid negative interpretations on the case, so that there no acts of violence and other negative acts in the country. “Anyone other than the Police intervening during acts of violence shooting without cause, even if it is shooting into the air, should not occur at all. Such a thing being done by anyone other than the Police or by the authorities with concrete justification, of course is very grave. The National Parliament has not yet considered establishing an ad hoc committee but the Secretary of State for Security will be contacted and will follow up the case with him.