BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor .........home ...... Nov items

"United Nations prosecutors in East Timor have lodged an indictment against 21 people, including senior Indonesian military, militia and government officials, over the massacre in the Catholic church in the town of Liquica in April 1999. ... Of the 21 accused, only two low-ranking participants in the April 6 massacre are in custody in East Timor. ... there is strong resistance in Jakarta to fulfilling extradition requests. ... The results of the investigation in East Timor, ... could assist, and put pressure on, Indonesian justice officials and encourage the Attorney-Generalís office to increase the number of people facing prosecution. Ultimately, this is likely to reach retired armed forces commander General Wiranto." Don Greenlees
See also:

BD: War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity
BD: East Timor's Judicial System

The Weekend Australian

November 24, 2001, Saturday

21 charged with Timor massacre

Don Greenlees

UNITED Nations prosecutors in East Timor have lodged an indictment against 21 people, including senior Indonesian military, militia and government officials, over the massacre in the Catholic church in the town of Liquica in April 1999.

During the April 6 assault, militiamen backed by Indonesian military and police killed at least 50 civilians with machetes and guns.

Although only five bodies were recovered, witnesses have testified victims were thrown in nearby lakes and buried in mass graves under directions of military and militia leaders.

The indictment, filed with the special crimes panel of the East Timor supreme court, names the Liquica district military commander Lieutenant-Colonel Asep Kuswandi and his deputy, Captain Purwanto.

Other high-ranking officials listed in the 36-page indictment include the mayor, Leoneto Martins, the commander of the Besi Merah Putih (Red and White Iron) militia, Manuel Sousa, and the local police chief, Lieutenant-Colonel Adios Salofa. Of the 21 named, prosecutors say nine were serving members of the Indonesian army at the time.

They are charged with 18 counts of crimes against humanity. The indictment, which covers a variety of crimes by pro-Indonesian forces in Liquica between April and September 1999, cites acts of murder, extermination and forced deportation.

But the filing of the indictment highlights the constraints on UN prosecutors in bringing the perpetrators of human rights abuses under Indonesian rule to justice. Of the 21 accused, only two low-ranking participants in the April 6 massacre are in custody in East Timor.
The UN authorities in East Timor have signed a memorandum of understanding with Indonesia on extradition, but there is strong resistance in Jakarta to fulfilling extradition requests.

But even if the main culprits remain beyond the reach of the East Timor courts, the indictment may still serve some purpose. Law enforcement officials in Indonesia have promised prosecutions over the Liquica massacre, and included three senior figures on the list of suspects, including Lieutenant-Colonel Kuswandi and Mr Martins.

According to the latest timetable issued by the Indonesian Attorney-Generalís office, the first of five cases of human rights abuses in East Timor will be taken to a new human rights court next month.

The results of the investigation in East Timor, which is based in part on testimony from returned militiamen and ethnic East Timorese members of the Indonesian army, could assist, and put pressure on, Indonesian justice officials and encourage the Attorney-Generalís office to increase the number of people facing prosecution.

Ultimately, this is likely to reach retired armed forces commander General Wiranto.


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 JSMPís news service send an empty e-mail to list-subscribe@jsmp.minihub.org or go to http://www.jsmp.minihub.org/list.htm
To unsubscribe, send an empty mail to: list-unsubscribe@jsmp.minihub.org
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 / Program Pemantauan Sistim Peradilan (JSMP)  Updated Nov 15
JSMP is a new human rights project set up by the East Timorese Juristsí 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 programmeís 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 JSMPís news service by sending an empty e-mail to list-subscribe@jsmp.minihub.org
    Sahe Institute building, Rua da Mozambique I/1-A Palapaso, Dili Ė East Timor (via Darwin, Australia)
    Phone: (Mobile) 0419 804 600
    P.O. Box 340 Dili, East Timor via Darwin, Australia
    Christian Ranheim, christian@jsmp.minihub.org, Phone: (Mobile): +61(0) 419 804 600;
    Caitlin Reiger, caitlin@jsmp.minihub.org, Phone: (Mobile): +61 (0) 419 366 404
    Email/Phone: info@jsmp.minihub.org, Phone +670 (390) 325-013;
    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

    BD: East Timor's Judicial System - A collection of recent reports, articles and news


    BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor .........home ...... Nov items
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