Christine T. Tjandraningsih
JAKARTA, April 4 (Kyodo News) -- Former pro-Jakarta East Timor militia leader Eurico Guterres, who had been jailed in Indonesia since 2006 for having committed gross human rights violations in East Timor in 1999, has been acquitted, a Supreme Court judge said Friday.
''We found new evidence which was enough to acquit him,'' Justice Iskandar Kamil, who led a panel dealing with Guterres' judicial review, told Kyodo News.
The ''new evidence,'' he clarified, consisted of earlier court rulings to acquit other individuals implicated in the violence that occurred prior to, during and after a referendum for independence in East Timor in 1999.
With the acquittal of Guterres, all 18 individuals who were implicated in the East Timor violence, under pressure on Indonesia from the international community to act, have now been acquitted.
On March 13, 2006, the Supreme Court overturned an August 2004 ruling by the Ad Hoc Human Rights Appeal Tribunal that had halved the prison term for Guterres. It restored the original 10-year term set by the Ad Hoc Human Rights Tribunal and he began his jail term two months later.
The Ad Hoc Human Rights Tribunal, set up to try those who allegedly committed crimes against humanity before, during and after East Timor's bloody vote for independence, had handed down the 10-year sentence to Guterres in November 2002.
Guterres was jailed for failing to control his men on April 17, 1999, when they attacked 136 pro-independence refugees taking shelter at the residence of pro-independence leader Manuel Viegas Carrascalao, killing 12 people, including Carrascalao's son.
Guterres' men also attacked and damaged the residence of Leandro Isaac, another pro-independence leader, later the same day.
Militia groups, allegedly armed and supported by the Indonesian military, in April 1999 began escalating their acts of violence and intimidation against pro-independence East Timorese in the run-up to the U.N.-organized referendum on independence held Aug. 30 that year.
Soon after the results of the vote were announced Sept. 4 that year, the militia groups launched a campaign of violence and destruction across East Timor, which was a Portuguese colony for more than 400 years before being invaded by Indonesia in 1975.
Hundreds of people were killed, hundred thousands more forcibly displaced and 70 percent of the territory's buildings and houses were destroyed.
The small half-island became fully independent on May 2002 after more than 24 years under Indonesian occupation and two-and-a-half years under U.N. transitional administration.
A report compiled by the U.N.-sponsored Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation concluded that more than 100,000 people were killed or disappeared during Indonesia's 24-year occupation.
The report said many were subjected to human rights violations, including torture, starvation, sexual violence and napalm attacks.
But East Timor's government has ruled out the idea of seeking justice at an international tribunal and has instead made efforts to build a close relationship with its former occupier and giant neighbor.
sábado, abril 05, 2008
Christine T. Tjandraningsih
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 23:44
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... "