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In order to achieve some progress on cases involving crimes against humanity committed during the period leading up to the 1999 popular consultation and the time after that, an international court should be convened as fast as possible in East Timor.
Cancio Xavier from the Public Defender’s Office said this yesterday in an interview with STL at the Dili District Court.
Cancio said the present cases tried in the Dili District Court, with international judges and an international prosecutor, had their flaws.
“The serious crimes cases are not being heard in an effective manner,” said Cancio.
“We all know that the cases being heard right now just involve the ‘small fry’, while the ‘bigger’ culprits are roaming free in Indonesia,” explained Cancio.
Commenting on Xanana’s Gusmao comments in Columbia University, New York, last week that an international was not the priority of the Timorese people, Cancio said that statement was made in the name of the people.
“But as a lawyer, surely my views will be different from Xanana’s,” explained Cancio. So I hope that, very soon, we could have an international court sitting in Timor Lorosae,” he added.
Cancio said there will be optimism if an international court is convened in Timor Lorosae.
“The main actors, involved in the 1999 crimes against humanity, can then be tried in Timor Lorosae and the United Nations will have the right to subpoena them to appear in court,” he said.
But if an international court is not convened,
Cancio said, UNTAET must sincerely make effective the memorandum of understanding
which was signed with Indonesia to extradite the main suspects in order
for them to be brought before a special hearing, with a panel of judges,
in Timor Lorosae.
BD: Calls for International War Crimes Tribunal - A collection of recent reports, articles and news