March 15, 2006
Court's East Timor verdicts under fire
Tiarma Siboro, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The Supreme Court has come under fire for its decision to release an Army general charged with atrocities before East Timor's independence vote in 1999, with observers saying the verdict once again discriminated in favor of the security forces.
The court reinstated a 10-year jail term for former pro-Jakarta militia leader Eurico Guterres on Monday for his role in the atrocities. Guterres had been found guilty by an ad hoc human rights court of crimes against humanity in the former province.
However, the court acquitted from similar charges Brig. Gen. A. Nur Muis, a former chief of the now-defunct Wira Dharma military command that oversaw East Timor during the ballot.
The court has never found any middle- or high-ranking military and police officers guilty of involvement in the atrocities.
Andi Widjajanto, a military analyst from the University of Indonesia (UI), said Tuesday the country's judicial system had again failed to bring security personnel to justice over the East Timor violence.
The latest verdict would give human rights activists new impetus to push for the prosecution of Indonesian security officials through the International Criminal Court, he said.
"It has become a big question as to whether the prosecutors intentionally created such weak charges against the servicemen in a bid to provide 'legal loopholes' for the judicial panels to free them," Andi told The Jakarta Post
"If the prosecutors are serious about giving East Timorese victims of the violence justice ... they must review all the reports on the East Timor crimes to find out whether there is still a possibility of bringing the servicemen back to court by charging them under the 2000 Law on the ad hoc human rights tribunal."
Separately, noted human rights lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis sarcastically wondered why the judges did not simply acquit all the suspects in the East Timor violence, including the civilians, instead of "unfairly giving legal privileges to the servicemen".
The panel of judges ruled Muis was not responsible for two attacks on pro-independence supporters on Sept. 5 and 6, 1999, despite being responsible for keeping order during the months in the lead up to the ballot.
However in the verdict against Guterres, four of the five panel judges reinstated a 10-year jail term earlier issued by the ad hoc human rights tribunal in 2002.
Guterres, who headed the Aitarak, or thorn militia, was convicted for an attack on East Timor refugees taking shelter at a house belonging to pro-independence figure Manuel Viegas Carrascalao on April 17, 1999, four months before the independence ballot.
Twelve people, not 14 as reported by the Post on Tuesday, were killed in the attack, including Carrascalao's son.
Guterres was the second civilian convicted for the human rights violations, which took place around the vote. In April 2004, another -- former East Timor governor Abilio Jose Osorio Soares -- was sentenced to three years in prison by the Supreme Court. Eight months later he was acquitted of all charges because of new evidence.
sábado, abril 05, 2008
March 15, 2006
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 23:49
Obrigado pela solidariedade, Margarida!
Mensagem inicial - 16 de Maio de 2006
"Apesar de frágil, Timor-Leste é uma jovem democracia em que acreditamos. É o país que escolhemos para viver e trabalhar. Desde dia 28 de Abril muito se tem dito sobre a situação em Timor-Leste. Boatos, rumores, alertas, declarações de países estrangeiros, inocentes ou não, têm servido para transmitir um clima de conflito e insegurança que não corresponde ao que vivemos. Vamos tentar transmitir o que se passa aqui. Não o que ouvimos dizer... "