Timor-Leste Legal News February 2008 (Part 6)
FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE
FRETILIN MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday February 20, 2008 Police investigation misused to smear Fretilin and silence MP – The police investigation into last week’s shooting of Timor Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta is being misused for political purposes to intimidate and discredit Fretilin, the party’s general secretary, Mari Alkatiri said today.
Dr Alkatiri said Fretilin member of parliament and media spokesman Jose Teixeira was taken to Dili police headquarters last night in a blatant attempt to blacken his name and damage Fretilin’s image.
“This is political persecution – Teixeira is an effective media spokesman and someone in authority wants to shut him up,” he said. “I demanded an explanation from Timor Leste Police commander Afonso de Jesus who was unable to give any explanation why Teixeira was taken in. “It is a disgraceful attempt to politicise the police force and use the investigation into the shooting of the president for party-political gain.”
Jose Teixeira, the minister for energy in the former Fretilin government, said six car loads of armed Timorese police took him from his home at 7.15pm on the orders of deputy police commander (operations) Mateus Fernandes.
“They had no warrant for my arrest and the operation apparently was conducted without the knowledge of the senior police investigating officer,” Teixeira said. “I was brought before the senior police investigator who said my questioning would take place the following day (Wednesday) because he had not yet been briefed on the line of questioning to be taken. “I was released after a protest from Dr Alkatiri.” “The police asked me to present myself at police headquarters for questioning this morning.
“Given the heavy handed manner in which I was dealt with, without any legal justification, I am taking legal advice as to my options. I have nothing to hide from the investigation, but this is still a country under the rule of law and it is the law which should prevail in dealing with citizens’ rights.”
Contact: Jose Teixeira in Dili phone +670 728 7080
Daily Media Review Tuesday 19 February 2008
TVTL News Coverage
Path to dialogue closed: The Acting President of Republic Fernando Lasama de Araujo has said that the path to dialogue has been closed by the petitioners and Alfredo’s men. “The assassination attempts against PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana closed the way to dialogue,” said the Acting President during a press conference held on Monday (18/2) in the Palacio das Cinzas. “There is only one path now and that is for Salsinha and his men to submit themselves to justice.” The meeting was attended by PM Xanana, F-FDTL Commander TMR, ISF Commander James Baker, UNPol and PNTL.
NP to force report on 1st ‘State of Emergency‘: The CNRT member of MP, Cecilio Caminha, said that: “The government has to report on the first stage of the State Emergency before approval is given for the next stage.” said Mr Caminha. “This is because many MPs were insulted during the first stage,” said Cecilio Caminha in the NP. “I and my friends are really disappointed with the implementation of the ‘State of Emergency.’ In the ‘State of Emergency’ there are no rules that permit the security apparatus to attack civilian houses at night, and to forbid people from holding meetings and demonstrations,” said Mr. Caminha on Monday (18/2) in the National Parliament in Dili.
TMR: the public is hiding Alfredo’s men: The Commander of the F-FDTL Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak has said that some members of the public are hiding Alfredo’s group somewhere in Camea and Becora until Dare. “Many people were nervous and tense when the F-FDTL conducted their operations in the areas of Camea, Becora, Sabraca laran to Mota Ulun. This means that they are hiding Alfredo’s men in their houses,” said Commander TMR during a press conference on Saturday (16/2) in Hera, Dili. Commander TMR also said that the F-FDTL will check the houses of those who are suspected of hiding Alfredo’s men.
RTL News Coverage
Government involves F-FDTL in joint operations: The Government has commissioned the Commander of the F-FDTL Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak to create a joint command between the F-FDTL and the PNTL for security operations. PM Xanana GusmÃ£o said that the security operation is being implemented under the President’s Decree of the ‘State of Emergency’. The joint operation will be coordinated with UNPol and the ISF.
Afonso: community has to help PNTL: The Commander of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), Afonso de Jesus, has asked all communities to collaborate with the authorities to ensure calm and peace within the country. “Community members must have a strong collaboration with the PNTL in order to guarantee the security of the country,” said Commander Afonso on Saturday (16/2) in Vela Verde, Dili. Separately, the Deputy Commander of PNTL Dili District, Delfim da Silva, said that the PNTL will practice a zero tolerance policy for those who commit crimes. (STL)
Alfredo’s advisor detained: The General Prosecutor has identified an eye witness to the assassination attempts on PR Jose Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana Gusmão in Metiaut on Monday (11/2). “From the seven eye witnesses we have called, one of them is considered a suspect. As a civilian, she had information but failed to provide it to the proper authorities,” said the General Prosecutor Longuinhos Monteiro on Monday (18/2) in Caicoli, Dili. The suspect is detained in Becora Jail and will partake in a hearing process this afternoon in the Dili District Court. (STL)
The ‘State of Emergency’ misconduct: A CNRT MP, Cecilio Caminha, said that the ‘State of Emergency’ has been corrupted by the Government. “I and my friends are really disappointed with the implementation of the ‘State of Emergency.’ In the ‘State of Emergency’ there are no rules that permit the security apparatus to attack civilian houses at night, and to forbid people from holding meetings and demonstrations,” said Mr. Caminha on Monday (18/2) in the National Parliament in Dili. Mr. Caminha also said that United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) and the International Stabilization Forces (ISF) failed in their responsibility to provide security for the country as internal security fell under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Police, and the external security under the jurisdiction of ISF. (STL)
Lasama issues ultimatum to arrest Salsinha: The Acting President of the Republic Fernando Lasama de Araujo has asked the F-FDTL, the PNTL and the ISF to arrest GastÃ£o Salsinha and his group in the next thirty days. “As Acting President, I am requesting that you bring them to court within the next thirty days,” Mr Lasama on Monday (18/2) in Palacio das Cinzas Caicoli, Dili. “There is no military that wants to assassinate its Supreme Commander, the President and chief of the Government.” The Acting President also said that the arrest warrants were not issued because of Salsinha’s role as the petitioner’s Spokesperson, but because of his involvement in the 11 February events. Mr Lasama also said that the petitioners have ruined their chance to have constructive dialogue due to the assignation attempts on the lives of PR José Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana GusmÃ£o. (STL)
NP accepts F-FDTL involvement in operations: The involvement of the F-FDTL in the ongoing operations to arrest suspects of the assassination attempts on PR José Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana GusmÃ£o has been considered a positive move by the National Parliament. The Fretilin member of NP David Dias Ximenes said that the involvement of the F-FDTL in this operation fals within the constitution of Timor-Leste. “In our constitution, F-FDTL and PNTL guarantee the security and stability of the country when the nation is in a ‘State of Emergency,” said Mr. Dias Ximenes. MP Duarte Nunes said that the involvement of F-FDTL could provide support to the police, the ISF and UNPol. “Even though ISF has modern weapons, they are not familiar with the terrain, so they could work together well,” said Mr. Nunes. (STL)
Alfredo’s followers hide in private homes: The Commander of the F-FDTL Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak said that this is the first time the Government of Timor-Leste has allowed the F-FDTL to be involved in an operation such as the one to track Alfredo’s men as previous operations were handled by the ISF. Commander TMR said that on Monday night (11/2) Alfredo’s men were suspected of being near the Becora River and Dare. “Some people are hiding them,” said Commander TMR during a press conference on Saturday (16/2) in Hera. The Commander also said that F-FDTL will check the houses of those suspected of hiding Alfredo’s men. (STL)
Arsenio: AMP responsible for Metiaut incident: The Fretilin member of NP Arsenio Bano is claiming that the Government of the Alliance Majority in Parliament (AMP) bears responsibility for the assassination attempts against PR José Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana. “I think the Government of AMP should take responsibility for the incidents on Monday 11 February as the nation’s security is coordinated by them,” said Mr. Bano in the National Parliament on Monday (18/2) in Dili. Mr. Bano said that as a sovereign nation, security and defence falls directly under State responsibility. He also said that if the government is authorising F-FDTL to arrest Alfredo and Salsinha’s groups, then they cannot make the claim that the UN is responsible for the nation’s security. Mr Bano has further questioned whether the International Commission of Investigation into the 11 February events will be established or not. “Alfredo should be alive to give his testimony in court regarding his accusations that PM Xanana is the author of 2006 crisis,” said Mr. Bano. (DN)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 18 February 2008
RTL News Coverage
PNTL operation in Baucau -The National Police (PNTL) of Baucau District are conducting an investigation into the arson attempt on the Baucau Cathedral which took place at 10pm last Thursday night. The suspects have not as yet been identified. One of the victims, Filomeno da Costa, said that the incident caused no injuries.
F-FDTL launches military operation – The Commander of the Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), Brigadier General Taur Matan, has launched a military operation against the 17 people suspected to be involved in the assassination attempts against PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana on Monday (11/2) in Metiaut, Dili. Commander Taur Matan Ruak said in a press conference on Friday (15/2) in Hera, Dili that he believes people in the area of Camea to be hiding the suspects. As such, a checkpoint will be established in this area. Commander Taur Matan Ruak is also asking political leaders to put the nation’s interest first in order to solve the existing problems. He further appealed to youths not to hide members of the armed group as this would pose risk to themselves and to the nation. The F-FDTL military operation has been sanctioned by the State to arrest suspects involved in the attacks against PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana.
TMR appeals to Salsinha -The Commander of Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, has made an appeal to Gastão Salsinha and his group to contribute towards establishing peace and stability in the nation. “Some people have been hiding and protecting them. This is not a good solution and poses a risk to them and for the country,” said the Brigadier General in a press conference on Saturday (15/2). I am not asking them to surrender, but to contribute to creating peace and stability.” Separately, Salsinha said that his wished every person in Timor-Leste to live in peace. “We want every person in Timor-Leste to live in peace and to have justice with no fear. This is what we are hoping for,” said Salsinha. (TP)
10 identified in Alfredo’s group – The General Prosecutor of the Republic (PGR), Longuinhos Monteiro, said that based upon the investigation conducted to date, ten suspects have been identified as having been involved in the attack on PR JosÃ© Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana on Monday (11/2) in Metiaut, Dili. PGR Monteiro said that when the investigation process ends, the suspects will be called to partake in the judicial process as civilians. (TP)
Fretilin: will not use opportunity to bring AMP down – The Secretary General of Fretilin, Mari Alkatirid stated that Fretilin does not want to take advantage of the current situation to try and weaken the Government of the Alliance of Majority in Parliament (AMP). “The assassination attempts on PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana are acts against the state. We are standing together with the state as the historical party who struggled for the people and for this country,” said Mr. Alkatiri. Mr. Alkatiri also said that even though some people attempted to bring down the Government during the 2006 crisis, he would not take the same path. (TP)
F-FDTL involved in capturing Salsinha’s group – The Government has requested the that F-FDTL and the International Stabilization Forces (ISF) work with the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) and United Nations Police (UNPol) in operations to pursue and capture the men involved in the assassination attempts on PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana. The Commander of the Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, said in a press conference on Friday (15/2) in Hera, Dili that this was the first time the Government had involved F-FDTL in the operation. “This is the first time the State is allowing F-FDTL to carry out the operation. This could be conducted alone or with others,” said Commander Matan Ruak. Commander Matan Ruak also appealed to Salsinha’s group to join their friends in the gathering place of Ai-Tarak Laran to start a new phase in gaining the public’s trust. “Today, I give my support to those who have been in the gathering place… AAll should go to Ai-Tarak Laran to join their friends,” said Commander Matan Ruak. (STL)
Horta and Alfredo trapped – During the past week, new facts have emerged regarding the assassination attempts on PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana. One such fact has been the revelation that a Peace Agreement between PR Ramos-Horta and Alfredo was held Maubisse in January 13, 2007 in an old Portuguese castle. The Minister of Economy, Joao Goncalves, who was a participant at the meeting, said the meeting lasted three hours. Minister Goncalves said that the meeting was convened by The Swiss Humanitarian Centre of Dialogue and that the agreement reached was that Alfredo would be under house arrest and that New Zealand troops would provide security for him. However, on Monday morning (11/2) Alfredo and his men attacked the residence of the president. “The only explanation I have is that Alfredo was being influenced by a third party. Both Ramos and Alfredo were trapped,” said Mr. GonÃ§alves. (STL)
Lasama: good for Salsinha to submit weapons – The Acting President Fernando Lasama de Araujo said that he has asked GastÃ£o Salsinha and his armed group to submit their weapons and themselves to justice. “Currently, there is no other way to solve the problems. We have tried to start a dialogue, but that ended with the incidents of February 11. So, we are asking GastÃ£o Salsinha and his armed group who are in the mountains to submit their weapons and themselves to the justice,” said President Lasama. (DN)
East Timor merges police, army February 18, 2008 11:34PM – East Timor authorities have merged the nation’s police and army in their attempts to catch those responsible for last week’s attacks.
The major opposition party Fretilin and analysts expressed grave concern at the move, just two years after violence between sections of the two forces destabilised East Timor in 2006, killing 37 and forcing 150,000 to flee their homes.
It came as an Australian woman faced a closed Dili court as the first person charged over last week’s attacks. Angelita Pires, who holds dual East Timor-Australia citizenship is alleged to have been with rebel leader Alfredo Reinado in the hours before the attack on the residence of President Jose Ramos-Horta.
Ramos-Horta was shot and seriously wounded in the attacks.
Pires, 38, was released on bail after the judge found there was not enough evidence to detain her.
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao escaped unharmed after he was ambushed a short time later.
Acting President Fernando La Sama de Araujo set a one month deadline to catch those responsible.
“I did make my appeal to the commanders, ISF (International Stabilisation Force), UN police, PNTL (Timorese Police), FTDL (East Timor army) that as acting president I want them to be in (the) tribunal (within) no more than one month,” acting president Fernando La Sama de Araujo said. He said the time for negotiations with the men was over. “For this case, … there is no more dialogue but the state already (has) made an appal for them to (rebel leader Gastao) Salsinha and to his friends to surrender to justice.”
Late on Monday, it also emerged the country’s Council of Ministers held an emergency meeting on Sunday, deciding to bring the East Timorese army (F-FTDL) and police force (PNTL) under joint command for the security operations. In a one-page resolution, the decision “mandates the general chief of the armed forces to create a joint command integrating PNTL and F-FDTL for the execution of security operations conducted during the declaration of the state of siege”.
“Following the grave incidents of 11th February 2008 in which there were attempted assassinations on the lives of the sovereign office bearers, it is important to guarantee the adequate mobilisation of security and defence forces,” the resolution says.
Fretilin vice president Arsenio Bano said the major opposition party had serious concerns about the move. “We are very critical and very concerned about that decision,” Bano said. “These are the same people who two years ago said the Fretilin government can’t use the FTDL to do operations and now they are using it. “Its very hypocritical. “We can’t understand if the government decides to bring FTDL and PNTL together, why do we need more forces from Australia.”
International Crisis Group (ICG) analyst Sophia Cason said the move could have significant ramifications for the two forces, which were still trying to rebuild after the 2006 crisis. “Since 2006, or prior to that, there were a lot of difficulties within the PNTL and within the FTDL and between the two forces, and that was part of the cause of the crisis in 2006,” Cason said. “As the most recent ICG report points out, those differences have still not been resolved. “I suppose the danger in doing this, is that in a way it is militarising the police at a time when most people involved with the police have been actively trying to demilitarise them.” “It could be interpreted much more broadly and then we may see FTDL doing what we presume are police functions and police doing what we presume are military functions and I think that’s the danger of this.”
It follows criticism last week by the chief of East Timor’s army about how the armed rebels were able to attack the key leaders in a nation swarming with international security forces.
Cason said the move was “very significant” in trying to build a functioning police force and army. “The issue of clarity of roles and separation of the forces, this just goes against everything in terms of international best practice in regards to those issues,” she said.
Earlier Pires, became the first person arrested over last week’s violence.
East Timor’s Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro has formally issued arrest warrants for 18 suspects, and indicated more are likely.
Pires was one of nine people summonsed to a Dili police station as witnesses. She was arrested after a couple of hours of interrogation on Sunday night.
Monteiro said she was with Reinado in the hours before the attack, adding she will likely face conspiracy charges.
“The preliminary development of the case … has indicated her involvement at least as (having) a very close link with Alfredo,” he said.
Staff at the Australian Embassy in Dili had offered consular assistance, and DFAT was providing assistance to her family in Australia.
Gusmao later addressed the nation to explain the merger, saying stability was important to East Timor’s economic future.
He urged the country’s at-times troublesome youth to remain calm, and respect the 8pm curfew imposed under the current “state of siege” declaration.
See also Joint Command for PNTL & F-FDTL Undermines Rule of Law & Security Sector Reform in Timor-Leste
East Timor police arrest 200 for breaking curfew Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:54pm EST By Tito Belo DILI, Feb 18 (Reuters) – East Timor police have detained more than 200 people for breaking emergency laws imposed after an assassination attempt on President Jose Ramos-Horta last week, a police officer said on Monday.
Police along with East Timor’s army and international forces are conducting operations against rebels believed to be involved in the assassination attempt last Monday.
Ramos-Horta was critically wounded by gunfire from rebel soldiers, while Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao escaped unhurt in a separate attack, which some analysts said could plunge the fragile Southeast Asian nation into fresh turmoil.
Mateus Fernandes, police operations commander, told Reuters the 200 people detained for violating night curfew included dismissed soldiers driving in cars and motorcycles at night.
Meetings and protests are banned under the emergency, and all citizens must stay home between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
“More than 200 people were detained by police for investigation purposes. These people did not follow the state regulation and were walking around the city at night,” Fernandes said.
East Timor’s prosecutor general has issued arrest warrants against 17 people suspected of involvement in the attacks on Ramos-Horta and Gusmao.
Asia’s youngest nation has been unable to achieve stability since hard-won independence. The army tore apart along regional lines in 2006, when about 600 soldiers were sacked, triggering factional violence that killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their homes. Foreign troops were needed to restore order in the former Portuguese colony of about a 1 million people, which gained full independence from Indonesia in 2002 after a U.N.-sponsored vote in 1999 that was marred by violence. Indonesia invaded the former Portuguese colony in 1975 and many thousands of East Timorese died during a brutal occupation.
People in Dili, which has been calm since the attacks, said they were unhappy with the curfew because it affected small businesses.
“I think the government has dramatised the situation. It’s so calm in Dili and the country, but they have not pulled back the state of emergency,” said Joao Pinto, a shopkeeper in Dili. “It’s very hard for us to do our business at night because our customers always come at night.” (Editing by Alex Richardson)
Woman arrested over East Timor attacks 18 February 18, 2008 4:09PM – A woman with dual Timorese-Australian citizenship and believed to be slain rebel leader Alfredo Reinado’s lawyer has been arrested over last week’s attack on East Timor’s top leaders.
Angelita Pires, who was born in East Timor but spent time in Australia, could face court as early as Monday afternoon. The 38-year-old is still being interrogated by authorities, who have alleged she spent the night before last Monday’s attacks with Reinado.
President Jose Ramos-Horta was shot and seriously wounded in the attacks. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao escaped unharmed after he was ambushed a short time later. East Timor’s Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro on Monday said authorities believed the group had plotted to kidnap the two leaders, but their plan went wrong. “When you fail at plan A, of course you have to apply plan B,” Monteiro said. He has formally issued arrest warrants for 18 suspects, and indicated more are likely.
Pires was one of nine people summonsed to a Dili police station as witnesses. She was arrested after a couple of hours of interrogation Sunday night. Monteiro said she was with Reinado in the hours before the attack. “The preliminary development of the case … has indicated her involvement at least as (having) a very close link with Alfredo,” he said. “Especially on the night of the 10th they were together, especially in the early morning. “We decided she is a defendant on this issue because we decided she is knowing something.”
Monteiro said the woman would likely be charged with conspiracy when she faces Dili District Court later Monday or on Tuesday. “Not (for the) attack, but planning something, knowing something,” he said. “As a citizen, (if) your country has been attacked, as a citizen we all have our responsibility to prevent or inform the authorities.” Authorities would oppose bail, he said. Monteiro said he was pleased with the progress of the investigation, which would now focus on catching the main perpetrators.
The Australian-led International Stabilisation Force (ISF) is working with United Nations and East Timorese police and army officers to catch the men, some of whom are believed to be hiding in houses in the capital Dili.
AFP troops to serve independently in Dili February 15, 2008 07:36am Article from: AAP – THE extra Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers despatched in Dili will operate independently of United Nations and East Timor forces. The Federal Government has boosted Australia’s presence in East Timor by about 200 troops and 70 AFP officers after Monday’s failed assassination attempt on the tiny nation’s two leaders. The new police do not fall under UN command, unlike AFP officers already on the ground in Dili. UN deputy chief of mission in Dili, Finn Reske Nielsen, said the UN was not concerned about the arrangement. “They will add capacity to the ISF (International Stabilisation Force) in terms of their role including their back-up to the UN operations here,” Mr Nielsen told ABC radio. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23217644-29277,00.html
UNMIT 15 Feb 08: Government, UNMIT agree to complete outstanding investigations of 1999 human rights violations UNMIT Weekly http://www.unmit.org/unmisetwebsite.nsf /192bda2f4f2cbc284925739500311c4c/$FILE/29.weekly.english.150208.pdf
UN Spokesperson Briefing from Friday 15 Feb 2008 Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
Question: On East Timor, following the attacks on Monday, I know that President [Jose] Ramos-Horta had asked that he only have Timorese protection, but there was some talk that the UN still had responsibility and failed to protect him that day. Also Khare had said that an investigation of some intelligence it said was available before the attacks that the UN didn’t have –- he said that should be part of the investigation. I’m wondering if there’s any conclusion to that and also if there’s any change in the plans for handover of police from the UN or change in the mandate of UNMIT [United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste]….
Spokesperson: Let’s start from your last question. Any change in the mandate would have to come from the Security Council. The investigation I have nothing on, as it is ongoing. However, your first question, I actually did answer to Matthew. It was included later in the transcript. If you like, I can give a summary of what was answered.
Basically, with regard to the shooting: contrary to press reports, there was an immediate response. The UN police were dispatched within one minute of the operations centre receiving a call that there was a shooting near the President’s residence. At 7, two UN police units were dispatched and arrived at the scene at 7:18, et cetera. There’s a whole series of events that are outlined by minutes and it’s really part of the UN Mission in Timor’s press conference and the transcript of that is available. But just to conclude, it should be noted that the President’s residence was at least 15 minutes away from the station from where the units were dispatched and that international close protection had been removed at the President’s direct request. The immediate response was there and it is outlined in detail at the press conference given by the [acting] special representative.
Question: There were charges that the UN failed to keep peace and security in the city, in allowing the rebels to come into the city in vehicles with Government license plates. What’s the UN’s response to how responsible the UN was for protecting the city itself, on that level of protection?
Spokesperson: Well, the mission was performing its duties in accordance with its mandate. As I mentioned in specific regard to this incident, this is the response. In specific answer to your question about the investigation, that is a separate thing that is ongoing.
Question: On the intelligence that some say was available before the attacks –- is there actually an investigation specifically into that?
Spokesperson: I don’t know. You’d have to ask the Timorese. Yes?
Question: I know I asked before, but specifically on the UNMIT mandate and the plans to hand over from the UN police to the East Timor police, I know the final decision will be made by the Security Council, but the recommendations would come from the Secretariat. I wonder whether there are any plans to change the recommendations for the handover or for the mandate.
Spokesperson: I have nothing on that for today. Okay?
UNMIT Daily Media Review 15 February 2008
TVTL News Coverage
Fretilin rejects email accusations – The Secretary-General of Fretilin Mari Alkatiri has totally rejected claims that Fretilin had backed Alfredo Reinado and was planning to assassinate President Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão. After the attacks on the President and Prime Minister, an anonymous email was circulated accusing Fretilin of being behind the assassination attempts. “I am always blamed when something wrong happens in this country,” said Mr Alkatiri. “But I do not let this worry me. I know the people who are doing this- they are people who used to support Alfredo. Because he has died, they are now trying to lay the blame on others.” Fretilin is also demanding that the State Secretary of Security, Francisco Guterres, and the State Secretary of Defense, Julio Thomas Pinto, take responsibility for the attacks. Furthermore, Fretilin wants UNMIT, UNPol and ISF to provide an explanation as to why they were unable to detect and prevent the attempts.
RTL News Coverage
PGR issued arrest warrants -The General Prosecutor of the Republic, Longuinhos Monteiro, has issued arrest warrants for six suspects involved in the attack on the residence of President Jose Ramos-Horta on Monday (11/2) in Metiaut, Dili. Mr. Longuinhos said that the Public Ministry still needs 21 more days to complete the investigation and to identify other suspects.
State of Emergency may combat disturbances – The Director of the National Forum of NGOs (FONGTIL), Angelina Sarmento, commended the decision of the state to implement the ‘State of Emergency’, claiming that it would help to combat violence and crimes. “It is good that the state implements a ‘State of Emergency’ as this will help to maintain security and stability,” said Ms. Sarmento. Ms. Sarmento has also appealed to the public to respect the ‘State of Emergency.’
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PGR/Lasama discuss arrest warrants – The General Prosecutor of the Republic, Longuinhos Monteiro, has authorized the United Nation Police (UNPol) and the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) to arrest eighteen suspects for the attacks of the PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana Gusmão on Monday (11/2). “I have met with the Acting President to update him on the criminal process from the Public Ministry,” said Mr. Monteiro on Thursday (14/2). (STL)
Fretilin rejects pamphlet accusation in internet – The President of Fretilin, Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo, has rejected accusations circulated by an anonymous email claiming that Fretilin was behind the assassination attempts on President Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão. “We were also blamed for the 2006 crisis, but there has never been any evidence to corroborate this. I know the people who are behind this- they are taking the opportunity to throw the country into more confusion,” said Mr Alkatiri. (DN)
Lasama appeals for calm – The Acting President of the Republic, Fernando Lasama, has made an appeal to the criminals involved in the attacks on PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana Gusmão to immediately submit themselves to justice. “I appeal to my civilian East Timorese colleagues who are carrying weapons to voluntarily submit their weapons and themselves to the state and to justice,” said Mr. Lasama. Mr. Lasama also agreed to an international commission of investigation on the attacks. “I want a deep investigation into the attempted assassinations. Timor-Leste will invite international experts to provide support and to investigate these matters,” said Mr Lasama. (DN)
‘Stage of Emergency’ declared to normalize situation – Members of the National Parliament, Gertrudes Caetano Moniz and Ilda Maria, said that the ‘Stage of emergency’ has been declared to normalize stability in the nation. PM Gusmão has extended the State of Emergency for a further ten days. In his national message, the PM appealed to all people, especially those who in Dili, to contribute to the security and stability of the country. (DN)
Mateus: arrest of Alfredo’s men is under coordination -The PNTL Operational Commander, Mateus Fernandes, said that arrest warrants for Alfredo’s men who were involved in the attacks against President Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão are still under process. “PNTL, UNPol and ISF are still coordinating to take this responsibility … we are still in discussions. We hope that in four or five days, a decision will be taken about the arrest warrants to capture Alfredo’s men,” said Commander Fernandes. (DN)