BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    July news

"The first trial involving crimes against humanity, known as the “Los Palos” case, finally began yesterday after several delays. ... He [Deputy General Prosecutor for Serious Crimes, Jean-Luis Gillisen (Belgium)] said that it was an important moment not just for the East Timorese people, but also for the international community as the victims of the crimes alleged include all of humankind. The Special Panel takes part in the building of international justice, thereby helping the international community to end impunity for the commission of atrocities, he said." Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service
See also: BD: War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity - A collection of recent press releases, petitions, articles and news


 

First crimes against humanity trial begins

JSMP, Dili, 10 July 2001

The first trial involving crimes against humanity, known as the “Los Palos” case, finally began yesterday after several delays. The Special Panel is comprised of Judge Marcelo Dolzany da Costa (Brazil) presiding, Maria Natercia Gusmao Pereira (East Timor) and Sylver Ntukamazina (Burundi).

The new Deputy General Prosecutor for Serious Crimes, Jean-Luis Gillisen (Belgium), who was sworn in on 4 July 200, opened for the Prosescution, with a statement acknowledging the importance of this case. He said that it was an important moment not just for the East Timorese people, but also for the international community as the victims of the crimes alleged include all of humankind. The Special Panel takes part in the building of international justice, thereby helping the international community to end impunity for the commission of atrocities, he said.

The Public Prosecutor, Stuart Alford (UK), gave the Prosecution’s opening statement. He outlined the nature and facts surrounding the charges, which relate to five events that occurred in various parts of Lautem district between 21 April 1999 and 25 September 1999. The seven charges of crimes against humanity include torture, forcible transfer and persecution of the civilian population, several individual murders and the murder of a group of clergy. The ten accused men were all allegedly members of the notorious Team Alpha militia.

It had originally been planned that the entire Court would visit the crime scenes in Lautem district, which is the most Eastern district of East Timor, by helicopter today, however, this visit has been postponed until later in the case.

The trial is being held in the newly furbished court room of the Court of Appeal, rather than in the Dili District Court. This courtroom is equipped with simultaneous translation facilities, although these were not yet functioning at yesterday’s hearing. The trial is being recorded on both audio and video and is being broadcast live on a television in an additional room in the court building to accommodate additional members of the public and press.

The trial continues today with the statements of the ten accused and is expected to continue for several weeks. All other serious crimes trials and preliminary hearings that had been scheduled during July and early August have been postponed until early September.


This message came from the Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service:

JSMP news service  Added June 28
About 1 email a day; 1 full item/email:
JSMP is a moderated e-mail list featuring the current developments of the judicial system in East Timor and any progress made in Indonesia aiming to bring those planning, aiding or conducting crimes in East Timor to justice. All mails are sent directly from Dili, East Timor in order to bring you the most up-to date and representative news and reports available.
To subscribe to JSMP’s news service send an empty e-mail to list-subscribe@jsmp.minihub.org or go to http://www.jsmp.minihub.org/list.htm
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If you have anything you want to distribute (news, reports etc) or questions, please send an e-mail to info@jsmp.minihub.org


Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP)  Added June 9
JSMP is a new human rights project set up by the East Timorese Jurists’ Association and the Timorese/international organisation La'o Hamutuk. JSMP aims to assist the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, the East Timorese public and the international community by making recommendations for ongoing reform of the fledgling judicial system of East Timor.
The main objective of the programme is to improve the quality of justice provided by the newly established judicial system, and to promote human rights and the rule of law in a meaningful and transparent manner for the people of East Timor through:

  • sending legal observers to monitor the serious crimes trials;
  • providing legal analysis and thematic reports; and
  • dissemination of information on the developments of the justice system as a whole.

  • At this stage, the programme’s courtroom observation work focuses primarily on the cases related to the violence in 1999, which include crimes against humanity, genocide and torture.
    Regular updates: subscribe to JSMP’s news service by sending an empty e-mail to list-subscribe@jsmp.minihub.org
    Email/Phone: info@jsmp.minihub.org, Phone +670 (390) 325-013;
    Christian Ranheim, christian@jsmp.minihub.org, Phone +61(0) 419 804 600;
    Caitlin Reiger, caitlin@jsmp.minihub.org, Phone +61 (0) 419 366 404
    Homepage: http://www.jsmp.minihub.org
    Jun 1 2001 JSMP: New Human Rights Project in East Timor: http://www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/01junjsmp.htm


    See also:
    BD: War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity - A collection of recent press releases, petitions, articles and news


    BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    July news
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