LOENGGINHOS REPLACE OTHMAN AS GENERAL PROSECUTOR IN EAST TIMOR
Dili, STL 17 October 2001.
The Transitional Administrator in East Timor yesterday installed the deputy general prosecutor for ordinary crimes, Longginhos Monteiro as general prosecutor and Amandio De sa Benevides, as deputy general prosecutor for ordinary crimes. Longginhos replaces Mohamed Othman. The ceremony of inauguration took place in the office of Sergio Viera de Mello and was witnessed by the Minister of Justice Ana Pessoa and the representative of the church, Mgr. Jose Antonio da Costa. The ceremony was also attended by the former general prosecutor Mohamed Othman.
Installing Longginhos as general prosecutor is part of a commitment by UNTAET authorities to put East Timorese in strategic positions. The second transitional cabinet of East Timor is also completely Timorese
Longginhos were born in East Timor, and fulfills the criteria to enter the position of general prosecutor to take place the set of high persecutor general.
The UNTAET Transitional Administrator Sergio Viera de Mello was very pleased. Together with Ana Pesoa and Mohamed Othman, he offered the position to Longginhos who did not reject.
“Mari Alkateri agreed to my proposal after a long consultation process, and agreed to the choice of Longginhos Monteiro as a General Prosecutor. I do expect that Longginhos will lead his office, and work well with his staff” De Mello said.
He also thanked Mgr. Jose Antonia da Costa who were able to attend the ceremony. De Mello also thanked the previous General Prosecutor for good cooperation during the two years he was in charge of the office.
According to De Mello, the replacement is an opportunity for the process of Timorization as mandated UNTAET by the UN security council. “I am requesting the new East Timorese leadership to continue the work already started by old authority”, he added.
De Mello said during the opening that he did not fear that the new General Prosecutor lacked the capacity necessary to perform his duties. He further emphasized that his office is open for whoever would come for further advise from either him or his vice Denis McNamara. “Our office is always open. You can come any time and we will do our very best by using the capacities that we have in order to progress this country”, he mentioned with hope.
According to de Mello, consultation is necessary in order to better assist East Timorese who for the time being lack fundamental justice.
“Today is a day very important in the process of Timorization. The moment is fundamental and very democratic.”, he said.
De Mello said that Othman was very experienced when he joined the UN mission. He has experiences from the Ad Hoc Tribunal for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, who are both supported by the UN.
At the end of speech, De Mello said that the lack of human resources with the Ministry of Justice is a large handicap.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Othman thanked everyone having being working at his office and who showed great professionalism. He congratulated the new leadership and expressed his wishes that the new leader will further progress the process of justice for the East Timorese society. “When I was working, I could not speak the language, so by choosing the new general prosecutor, he may more easily coordinate the work of the office in accordance with local culture, in order to achieve justice”, he said.
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