terça-feira, dezembro 02, 2008

Judiciary under attack in Timor–Leste

FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE
FRETILIN
Media Release
December 2, 2008


Timor-Leste's de facto government last week stepped up its assault on the judiciary by blocking the reappointment of a senior judge who ruled against key budget measures last month.

The Superior Council for the Judiciary, a formerly independent but now politicised commission that oversees the functioning and composition of the judiciary, decided on 13 November 2008 not to renew the contract of Portuguese judge Ivo Rosa. This was the same day Judge Rosa published the Court of Appeal's decision declaring a large part of the Gusmao government's 2008 budget unlawful and unconstitutional.

Judge Rosa is one of three foreign judges recruited by the United Nations to serve alongside seven Timorese judges in Timor-Leste.

He was one of three Court of Appeal judges who unanimously ruled on November 13 that:

a) The government's creation of a so-called Economic Stabilization Fund was unconstitutional in that it was equivalent to creating a "secret fund" which is expressly prohibited by the constitution, and
b) Parliament's attempt to transfer more than US$290 million from the National Petroleum Fund was illegal as it breached key aspects of the law mandating sustainable use of petroleum revenue.

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and the President of the National Parliament, Fernando "Lasama" de Araujo have publicly criticised the judgement and foreign judges in particular. In the days following the court's ruling Mr de Araujo was reported on the national state-owned television broadcaster as having said that it was "time the government brought the Court of Appeal into line."

The decision not to reappoint Judge Rosa was taken to and initiated in the Superior Council for the Judiciary by the Council's interim head, Dionisio Babo Soares. Mr Soares is Secretary General of Xanana Gusmao's CNRT party and was national campaign director for the CNRT during last year's elections. He is currently an advisor in the Deputy Prime Minister's office.

FRETILIN MP and spokesperson Jose Teixeira, an Australian-trained lawyer, said today he had never seen such a blatant act of political interference with the Timor-Leste judiciary.

"Dionisio Babo Soares is a political operative with no judicial training or experience, and, while holding some legal qualifications, has never practiced as a lawyer. The Superior Council has only one of four members who is a judge. Yet he and the Council are passing judgement on the performance of a judge with well over ten years experience," Teixeira said.

"Soares may have extremely limited professional experience with the law, but he does have a proven track record of taking riding instructions from Prime Minister Gusmao. This decision that he was instrumental in is proof of that. All our information indicates that this is so.

"The involvement of such a prominent party-political figure in this decision is basis enough for FRETILIN to challenge its soundness and legality."

Teixeira said the de facto government took advantage of the absence of Judge Claudio Ximenes, the President of the Court of Appeal, who is in Lisbon receiving medical treatment, to rush to get rid of Judge Rosa.

"The writing has been on the wall for some time now. We knew there would be moves on the judges involved in the budget decision, especially Judges Rosa and Ximenes. The de facto Prime Minister and the President of the Parliament have voiced their public displeasure with the decision. Now we see the result of their displeasure."

Teixeira said the decision also involved another member of the Superior Council, Cirilio Valadares, who is currently advisor in the Office of Prime Minister Gusmao.

"The de facto government, having stacked the Superior Council for the Judiciary with its political operatives, is now expected to move against Judge Ximenes and install a judiciary favourable to their administration," Teixeira said.

"How will we ever be able to enforce laws in this country with this type of political interference and disregard for the rule of law, the courts and the constitution? From our point of view this is only the tip of the iceberg, and the independence of our judiciary is under a genuine and unprecedented threat."

For information contact José Teixeira MP (now in Australia) 0438 114 960

5 comentários:

Anónimo disse...

I'm totally agree with the critics and find it rather rude by intervening the judiciary, not very democraticly. Sad to figure out that it's not the first time happening in TL and probably won't be the last time. Further, I wonder how Mr. Alkatiri adressed his results on the Woodsidetalks and particularly to whom of the AMP-government.

Anónimo disse...

I COMPLETELY disagree with FRETILIN's media release which sounds as a mere PERSONAL ATTACK of an Individual (Mr Babo-Soares) rather than highlighting the concerns of the act.


Mr Babo-Soares also teaches LAW at the the UNIVERSITAS TIMOR TIMUR during Indonesian reign, and continued to do so at the faculty of law in two different private universities in TL (UNDIL and UNPAZ) AT LEAST until the present day.

Babo Soares has also published widely on Legal Studies in different articles published in Indonesia, East Timor and abroad, among them include, the state of Justice System in Timor (in Portuguese) published recently in a book in Brazil.

He is on eof the leading intelectuals (of Timorese origins or not of mix race) who is tipped to be one of future leaders of Timor Leste.

Mr TEIXEIRA has discounted all the "good" achievements abut forgot that he has a VERY BAD TRACK RECORD as private lawyer during his years as "refugee" in Australia.

Cristiano Costa (CPD-RDTL)

Anónimo disse...

"Mr Babo-Soares also teaches LAW at the the UNIVERSITAS TIMOR TIMUR during Indonesian reign, and continued to do so at the faculty of law in two different private universities in TL (UNDIL and UNPAZ) AT LEAST until the present day."

WHICH LAW DOES THIS BAPAK TEACHES? THE LAW THAT HE LEARNED WITH THE CORRUPTED GENERALS OF THE TNI? NO WONDER HE IS A MEMBER OF XANANA'S BULLSHIT PARTY? HOW COULD THIS IDIOT BE IN THE JUDICIARY AND ON THE CNRT? IF HE HAD ANY DECENCY AND MORALS HE SHOULD HAVE RESIGNED LONG TIME AGO, BUT THEN AGAIN WHEN WE HAVE A PGR THAT OBEYS BLINDELY THE PR AND THE PM, EVERYTHING IS STUFFED UP!

Anónimo disse...

I totaly agree with Mr. Texeira, if mr Babo want's to be a real profesional lawyer he must leave the political party. I know mr Babo well we were friends...he is smart and good guy. Any how if I'm not mistake he has his Undergraduate in Public Administration and his graduate study in law but I'm not sure that he holds crimininal law degree or other law major. Because we can not mass up things with professional career.

My suggestion to Deonisio he must consider that by taking side in political party will effect his cradibility as a lawyer.

The judicial system in Timor Leste must be 100+% free from political party so we can gain credibility from timorease people and international community.

The idea from President of republic to replace all the international Judges with our Timorease judges is a good idea however our timorease judges needs international counterpart to guide them until the time they are fully ready.

Appoint someone to be lawyer the government must respect their professional career and do not intervene their decision.

We have many good timorease intelectual that want to contribute for the development of the institution in Timor Leste but our leader seems to be arogant and want to take control all power that suppose to be not their business and they don't have any knowledge about that matter. Our leader attemted to mix up Executive power and judicative power, that's wrong and never do that in a democratic soveregn state. It is bad if we know that this attempt action is wrong but we still wanted to do it.

I hope one day we have a good leader that respect our constitution, and respect our judicial system.

All the best for the readers

Bito

h correia disse...

A melhor maneira do Dr. Dionísio Babo ou qualquer outra pessoa mostrar que sabe de leis é respeitar os tribunais, como órgão de soberania que são e os únicos competentes para administrar a Justiça em nome do povo.

Isto é o B-A-BA do Direito.

Traduções

Todas as traduções de inglês para português (e também de francês para português) são feitas pela Margarida, que conhecemos recentemente, mas que desde sempre nos ajuda.

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... "
 

Malai Azul. Lives in East Timor/Dili, speaks Portuguese and English.
This is my blogchalk: Timor, Timor-Leste, East Timor, Dili, Portuguese, English, Malai Azul, politica, situação, Xanana, Ramos-Horta, Alkatiri, Conflito, Crise, ISF, GNR, UNPOL, UNMIT, ONU, UN.