East Timor Legal New now on East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin

East Timor legal news continues on in the East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin. ETLJB covers the period from 2008 to the present. The archive and ETLB span almost a decade. It is by no means a comprehensive archive of legal news from East Timor but does cover many subjects and sources that have been of critical importance in the development of East Timor's legal culture since the catastrophic disintegration of the rule of law in 2006. Relates sources are East Timor Law Journal, East Timor Land Studies and United Nations Police in East Timor Security Reports for the period 2006-2008.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Timor-Leste Legal News April 2008 (Part 4)

UNMIT Daily Media Review 18 April 2008

SBY to investigate Alfredo's supporters in Indonesia – President Jose Ramos-Horta said that Indonesian President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has told him that his government will carry out investigations to find evidence related to the supporters of Alfredo Reinado in Indonesia. "Last year Alfredo went to Indonesia and stayed in Jakarta, and made an interview with Metro TV. Investigations show many contacts from Indonesia with Alfredo. It has nothing to do with the Indonesian government of TNI. I got confirmation from President SBY that Indonesia will find compelling evidence to indict some individuals in Indonesia," said PR Ramos-Horta in a press conference held at Comoro Airport, Dili upon his return. (Timor Post)

Horta: "Even though I almost died, I don't want Salsinha to die" – Salsinha asked the State to stop the Apprehension Operation which has been set to hunt him and his men, and to receive all the petitioners. "Salsinha has to explain who told him and backed him to destabilize this nation, said PR Horta in his speech to the National Parliament on Thursday (17/4) in Dili. PR Horta is appealing to Salsinha to come down and submit himself to justice and explain to the court how the attempt of February 11 was planned. (Timor Post)

Horta: Government should buy rice with money from the petroleum fund – Even though PR Horta is not totally recovered yet, he is trying to solve the problems of poor people in this country by asking PM Xanana Gusmão to buy food [rice] with funds from the petroleum fund.  "I give thanks to all people, people who are barefoot and poor. My preoccupation right now is that the entire world is facing hunger. The price of rice is increased. Those who are poor are getting poorer at this time. So I am asking the Government and the National Parliament to use resources from the petroleum fund to buy food for the poor,†he said at the press conference held at Comoro Airport, Dili on Thursday (17/4). (Timor Post)

Government to force Rogerio back to prison - Through the Ministry of Justice, the Government has decided to force former Minister of the Interior, Tiago Rogerio Lobato, to return to prison in connection with his conviction for organizing the militias to fight against F-FDTL in the 2006 crisis. "Now we have made preparations for [Mr. Rogerio]. I will instruct the prison guards to meet him directly at the airport and bring him to the prison to complete his prison term as sentenced by the court," said Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato on Thursday (17/4) in the National Parliament. Former Minister Rogerio Lobato went to Malaysia for medical treatment as he was about to be imprisoned in Becora Prison for the crime of organizing the militias to fight against F-FDTL in the 2006 crisis. (Timor Post)

SES to provide extraordinary security to President Horta – The State Secretary for Security Francisco Guterres said that security forces consisting of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR), Rapid Deployment Service (URP), United Nations Police (UNPol) and International Security Forces (ISF) are ready to provide extraordinary security to President Ramos-Horta.  State Secretary Guterres said that the security forces will be placed at the President's residence to secure his safety and will conduct check points around the residence. (Timor Post)

Ed: President has returned. Is Salsinha going to surrender? – President Ramos-Horta has returned to Timor-Leste after his medical treatment in Darwin, Australia. His presence responds to the peoples' hope since that he should be back to Timor-Leste. Now that he has returned, will Salsinha submit himself as he promised on the return of President Horta? What is Salsinha thinking about now? Is he going to surrender or not? If he surrenders, then he accomplishes his promise to the people and the nation. All parties will consider him as an honest and brave man. If not, then Salsinha creates a big burden for the people and the nation. We don't know exactly whether Salsinha will submit himself or contact PR Horta or be arrested by the Joint Operation Command. Only time will tell.

Horta: "Salsinha has to alive to tell the truth" – PR Ramos-Horta said that he does not want Salsinha to be killed in the process of submitting himself to justice so the he can tell the truth about the plan of attack on February 11. PR Horta said that he was the only president in the world who followed the rebels in order to negotiate, with the result that he was shot and wounded. "Some time ago I told Alfredo and Salsinha that if you play with the weapons, then they will hit back to you," said PR Horta in speech to the National Parliament on Thursday (17/4) upon his return from Australia.  PR Horta also appealed to Salsinha and his men to listen to him and ignore others who are trying to influence them. "We know that Alfredo and Salsinha gathered the petitioners. So I am asking Salsinha to surrender in Gleno's Parish [in Ermera], then come to Dili to surrender his rifle … There's no other place for Salsinha to talk, thhe only option is in court," said PR Horta. (Diario Naciional)

Lasama:  The crisis could be solved in 2008 – The President of the National Parliament Fernando Lasama hopes that with the return of President Horta, the crisis being faced by the country could be solved this year. "I believe that on the President's return, and working with the sovereign organs of government, the nation's problems could be resolved in 2008," said PR of the National Parliament Lasama during the extraordinary session of the National Parliament on Thursday (17/4). Separately, the Secretary-General of Fretilin Mari Alkatiri said that the President needs everyone's support in order to recover 100%. "We should find a way to support the president to complete his mandate well," said Mr. Alkatiri. (Suara Timmor Lorosa'e)

F-FDTL: Army to take peacekeeping forces' training – The State Secretary for Defence, Julio Thomas Pinto said that the Government of Timor-Leste through the Department of Defence is planning to send its army to Australia to take peacekeeping forces' training.  The training program for peacekeeping forces is part of an existing package between Australia and Timor-Leste for its defence programme. "In this agreement, Australia agrees to send its advisors to F-FDTL and the Department of Defence of Timor-Leste and also agrees to welcome our army forces to take peacekeeping forces' training, including training in Navy," said Mr. Pinto on Thursday (17/4) after signing the agreement of cooperation between the Department of Defence of Timor-Leste and Australia. (Suara Timmor Lorosa'e)
Media release
19 April 2008

President's efforts to restore stability deserve support, says FRETILIN

FRETILIN the largest political party in Timor-Leste today reaffirmed its support for efforts by President Jose Ramos Horta to restore stability to the country.

FRETILIN Secretary General Dr Mari Alkatiri said: "It is important that the President continue to take the leading role in efforts to facilitate dialogue between FRETILIN and other parties in Parliament in order to find a solution to the country's political crisis.

"The President continues to have FRETILIN's full support for measures to strengthen the rule of law, democratic institutions and the constitution.

"We also reaffirm our support for the joint operation against the remaining fugitive rebels responsible for the attack on the President".

President Ramos Horta returned to Dili on Thursday (17 April) after recovering from multiple gunshot wounds sustained in an assault on his residence on February 11, which saw army mutineer Alfredo Reinado killed.

For more information, please contact: Jose Teixeria (+670) 728 7080
UNMIT Daily Media Review 17 April 2008

Salsinha asks for the Operation to stop - Lasama: criminals lose the right to instruct the State – Salsinha is asking the State to stop the Apprehension Operation which has been hunting for him and his men, and to allow all of the petitioners to rejoin the military. Interim President Fernando Lasama, however, said that a criminal is not entitled to give instructions to the State. "A criminal has no right expect the State to follow their requests. The Operation will continue to pursue Salsinha to bring him to justice," said Acting President Lasama on Wednesday (16/4) at Palacio das Cinzas in Caicoli, Dili.  (Televisão Timor-Leste)

Fretilin: Prosecutor-General should report to Parliament – Fretilin asks the Prosecutor–Generaal to appear before the National Parliament to give a report on the process of facilitating and negotiation with rebels conducted by the Public Ministry. "The National Parliament as the representative of people asks the Prosecutor-General to provide accurate information about the process of negotiation between the Prosecutor General and the rebels over the past two years in order to avoid negative perceptions among the Timorese communities,"  said Fretilin MP Francisco Miranda Branco on Wednesday (16/4) in the National Parliament, Dili. Mr. Branco also said the clarification of his actions already presented by the Prosecutor-General was not complete. Separately, Democratic Party MP Vital dos Santos said that the Prosecutor-General is not able to provide detailed information to the MPs because of a judicial requirement for confidentiality. Meanwhile, CNRT MP Eduardo Barreto said the Prosecutor-General has already clarified his competence, and all information will be presented to the court. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)
Indonesian Supreme Court has no power to judge 1999 actors – The National Alliance for the International Tribunal (ANTI) said the Supreme Court of Indonesia has no authority to judge the actors involved in political genocide of 1999 in Timor-Leste. Based on the investigation from the high level commission the human rights, the cases that took place in Timor-Leste are human rights violations. The perpetrators should be judged by a court operating on international standards as recommended by the Indonesian human rights report. A report prepared by United Nations experts said that the Indonesian Ad-Hoc Tribunal is not of an international standard. The experts gave Indonesia six months to correct its procedures, followed by a trial in an international tribunal. "We ask the UN to not its hands of the serious crimes that took place in Timor-Leste. Security Council resolution 1272 guarantees that there will be no impunity for the crimes against humanity in Timor-Leste," said ANTI's press release. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)

PM Xanana: some sovereignty organs utilise media – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that some sovereignty organs are recently utilising media to make comments that are critical of the way that the Joint Operation is working and of the Government itself. In his presentation of the State of Siege report to the National Parliament, PM Xanana said that the negative comments of certain MPs might jeopardize the activities of the Joint Operation Command. According to PM Xanana, the objective of the Joint Operation Command is to intimidate and lower the morale of the enemy, isolate the rebels from logistic assistance, chase and gather the rebels and the petitioners who want to submit themselves to justice, and prevent the rebels from spreading out the areas where they are hiding. (Diario Nacional)

PDHJ: Government should assist Salsinha's family – The Provedor of the Human Rights and Justice (PDHJ), after monitoring in Ermera District, is recommending that the Ministry of Social and Solidarity give assistance to Salsinha's family. The PDHJ monitoring team recommended to the National Parliament that "the Ministry of Social and Solidarity provide social assistance to Ms. Joaquina [Salsinha's wife] and her 4 children who are now under psychological pressure." (Diario Nacional)

Rebels leader Gastão Salsinha sends a letter to the State – Salsinha sent a letter to the State on Friday (11/04). In the letter Salsinha stated that he wanted to collaborate with justice and demanded the State to stop its military operation, 'State of Siege' and 'State of Emergency' as well as permit all of the petitioners to rejoin the East-Timor Defense Forces or F-FDTL. The letter was directed to all organs of sovereignty and the American Ambassador. In another development, Acting President Fernando de Araujo Lasama said Salsinha's demand was not relevant because he only wanted to make demands of the State but not want to obey the State's orders. "I think Salsinha's demand is not relevant because if Salsinha himself would act responsibly, as a spokesperson of the Petitioners he would come down to Dili where the all petitioners are now concentrated now in order to solve their problems," said the Acting President Fernando de Araujo Lasama. Furthermore, Acting President Fernando de Araujo Lasama added that Salsinha and his men should surrender first then the State will stop the military operation following by the 'State of Siege' and 'State of Emergency'. (Timor Post)

300 hundred families of IDPs registered to return home – Minister of Solidarity Social, Maria Domingas Alves said that since March approximately 300 families have registered to return home. "This week or next week, IDPs families from the National Hospital and Seminário Minor camps will return to their homes," she said. Meanwhile, Minister Alves said that food assistance to the IDP families has been reduced because WFP is no longer providing food to the Ministry. "We all know rice prices around the world are now more expensive, and we no longer have a donor providing rice to WFP," she explained. (Timor Post)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 16 April 2008

JOC: Salsinha to surrender on April 27 – Rebel leader Gastão Salsinha has told the Joint Operation Command that he will submit himself to justice on April 27. "He [Salsinha] said via telephone that he will submit himself in April 27," said the Commander of Joint Operation Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixão at a press conference held in Memorial Hall on Tuesday (15/4). Commander Paixão said that he has asked Salsinha to surrender voluntarily in order to contribute to solving the country's problems. After the attempted assassination on February 11, Salsinha said that he would surrender himself upon the return of President José Ramos-Horta from Darwin, Australia, to Timor-Leste. (Timor Post)

Salsinha still has 14 rifles – The Commander of Joint Operation Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixão said that even though the rebels' strength is down to [16 persons], they still have 14 rifles to defend themselves if there is a shoot out between them and the Apprehension Operation. Up until now, Salsinha and his group have still not surrendered to authorities. The Joint Operation continues to give them an opportunity to collaborate and avoid bloodshed by voluntarily facing justice in order to resolve the problem. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)

National Parliament: No amnesty for Salsinha РMember of the National Parliament support the statement of President Jos̩ Ramos-Horta not to give amnesty to Salsinha and others who were involved in the incidents of 11 February. The Vice President of the Fretilin bench, Francisco Miranda Branco said that amnesty should be viewed from two dimensions, before and after the attempt. "The situation was different when PR Horta talked to them in January. When February 11th happened, the equation changed," he said on Tuesday (15/4) in the National Parliament, Dili. Mr Branco said the State should take a firm position on the situation and not toy with a serious attempt to destroy the State. During the same session of Parliament, the MP from the Democratic Party, Vital dos Santos said that amnesty is given after justice. There is no law to authorize the President or other sovereignty organs to give amnesty without judicial process. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)

Abel: Salsinha's efforts will not succeed – The Commander of the Military Police Abel Ximenes said that further efforts by rebels under Salsinha's command will not meet with success, as the Government has no tolerance for their actions. "If the rebels' struggle meets success, then chicken will have teeth," he said. "They will be hunted by the Joint Operation Command. "In this world, if a bicycle collides with a car, it is impossible that the car will be damaged; a bicycle will be damaged if collides with a car. This means that certain people who stand against the Government will become losers," said Commander Ximenes on Tuesday (15/4) in Camea-Becora, Dili.  At the same occasion Commander Ximenes appealed anyone holding weapons to turn them over to the Joint Operation to avoid door-to-door checking. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)

PM Xanana: security improved during State of Siege – PM Xanana Gusmão said the security situation in the country improved and values enshrined in the constitution were maintained during the State of Siege (from 23 February- 23 March) . PM Xanana said that the one-month extension of the State of Siege demonstrated the operation model of F-FDTL and PNTL as well as their good coordination during the joint operation. (Radio Timor-Leste)

Prime Minister: 20 human rights violations against Apprehension Operation reported during the 'State of Siege' – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão has confirmed that from 23 February until 23 March, 20 cases of human rights violations were filed against the Apprehension Operation forces during the implementation of the State of Siege. Gusmão made the statement to MPs during a presentation at the National Parliament on Tuesday (15/04). Of these cases, 11 were reported by the UN and nine others from the community. Gusmão added that there is a need identify the individuals who have committed these violations. Their names should be identified, as well as when and where the incident took place, in order to assist with investigations. (Diario Nacional)
Paixão: People in Liquica hand over weapons to the Joint Operation Command – The Commander of the F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation, Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixão said that people in Liquica voluntarily handed over three grenades, 11 traditional weapons (rakitan), and 429 pieces of ammunition to the Joint Operation Command in Liquiça district. Paixão has appealed to all the people, including those working with NGOs and agencies who will be visiting the area around the operation, to contact the Joint Operation Command in Dili before departing in order to avoid areas where military operations are taking place. "We will inform our forces in the field to watch out for people who will visit places nearby the Apprehension Operation areas, " said Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixão. (Diario Nacional)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 15 April 2008

President Horta: no amnesty for Salsinha –  President José Ramos-Horta said the State will not give amnesty to Salsinha and others who have been carrying weapons since 2006 as they did not follow the State's orders. PR Horta said that Salsinha should submit himself to justice and not to wait for him to return to Timor-Leste, as people of the country need calm to develop the country. "I am ready to welcome him, he should submit himself to the Joint Operation Command, F-FDTL, PNTL, or the two Bishops," said PR Horta said during a friendship party with the Timorese community in Darwin last Sunday. "He should go to Dili to face justice in court for his actions on February 11." (Televisão Tiimor-Leste 13/4).

Alfredo made many telephone calls before his death – Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro said that before Alfredo Reinado was shot to death, he had numerous conversations with many people in Timor-Leste and made 47 calls to Australia. "The numbers show calls to and from Alfredo's mobile," said PGR Monteiro in his report to the National Parliament on Monday (14/4) in Dili.

Mr. Monteiro has asked for the identities of those people who called Alfredo, and will ask Australia to give assistance in investigating the case. "I have still not informed the country's leaders who was behind the attacks. We will consider everyone as individuals regardless of their position," added PGR Monteiro. (Timor Post )

'Ninja' kidnapping children, people traumatized – People in Timor-Leste fear that 'Ninja' or 'masked men' are abducting their children to be used for human sacrifice. According to reports, during Indonesian rule owners of bridges or road works across the country paid 'Ninja' to abduct children for sacrifice in order to bring good luck or prosperity to the project. Last week, one local newspaper said that two children were abducted in Liquica and the parents allege that 'Ninja' have abducted them. There was another report in a newspaper today that villagers in Taibisse (Dili) captured a 'Ninja' who was trying to abduct one child in their village. The residents saw 'Ninja' using money to try to kidnap the youngster. The 'Ninja' was captured and taken to the Police. The case is under the investigation. Interim President Fernando de Araujo Lasama has appealed to all people to remain calm and not believe rumours. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)

Mateus: armed civilians hand over traditional weapons – The Vice Commander of the Apprehension Operation, Mateus Fernandes has confirmed that four armed civilians in Ermera district have voluntarily handed over their traditional weapons and ammunition to the PNTL in Lete-Foho station on Friday (11/4). The civilians were taken to Dili for questioning in order to uncover their involvement with the rebels. On behalf of the Apprehension Operation, Mr. Fernandes repeatedly appealed to the rebels led by Gastão Salsinha to surrender. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)

PG: call numbers listed with Alfredo-Salsinha – Prosecutor–General (PG) Longuinhos Monteiro has uncovvered 127 registered phone numbers connected directly to phones held by rebels associated with Alfredo and Salsinha before and after the assassination attempts on February 11. From 8-13 February, Alfredo and Salsinha had contacts with 47 people from Australia, 31 people from Indonesia and others from Timor-Leste. However, the identities of the owners of the phones remain unknown as the devices are switched off and SIMM cards are often sold without proper registration. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)

Remedios demands UNMIT discipline two UNPOL officers – PR Ramos-Horta's Principal Advisor, Dr. Paulo do Remedios, has demanded that UNMIT discipline two UNPOL officers who refused to provide an immediate response on 11 February to the attack at the residence of PR Ramos-Horta. Dr. Remedios said that at 6:55 am he received a telephone call from President Ramos-Horta who said he was in trouble. Dr. Remedios immediately asked for help from two UNPOL officers who were in front of his house nearby their vehicles. Dr. Remedios said the two UNPOL officers refused to offer assistance as requested. Dr. Remedios said he then proceeded to the President's s residence at 7:15 and discovered that the President was wounded. Dr. Remedios said he tried to use his private car to take the President to the hospital when suddenly one ambulance arrived at the scene. The ambulance then transported the President to the ISF Medical Centre at the Heliport. He said only the Portuguese FPU were present at the President's residence and no one from ISF or UNPOL. Dr. Remedios demanded that UNMIT discipline the two UNPOL officers who "only know how to receive plenty of money but did not want to maintain order." He called on UNMIT to use "international law" against those UNPOL members who had "completely failed" to provide immediate assistance to the President. "UNMIT should take action against those UNPOL members by terminating their contracts or through disciplinary measures." He also called on UNMIT to clearly explain why those officers had refused to act. "I will continue to demand both disciplinary and criminal inquiries into this matter", he said, adding that he was able to recommend the matter to the Office of the Prosecutor-General without authorization from the President. (Timor Post)
UNMIT Daily Media Review 14 April 2008

PM Xanana opens workshop on promoting a culture of democracy – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão opened a workshop on promoting a culture of democratic governance on Friday (11/4) at the Headquarters of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) in Obrigado Barracks-Caicoli, Dili. In his speech, PM Xanana explained that the workshop was a first important step in the dialogue to understand the critical areas which could be working together to strengthen democratic governance in Timor-Leste. "The dialogue is held between the representatives of the State and civil societies, between State institutions, NGOs, political parties, social communication organs, private sector UN agencies and other development institutions. They are the first and last beneficiaries of the results of the workshop. … We need to do something to promote the culture of democratic governance," PM Xanana said. The central issues addressed at the workshop included ensuring a separation of power between the different branches of government; developing an independent judiciary; and incorporating respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms into the formation and growth of state institutions. The workshop commenced with a plenary discussion led by the Prime Minister and followed by Interim President Fernando do Araujo, President of the Court of Appeal Claudio Ximenes and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare. The workshop, hosted by the Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations, involved more than 200 participants. (TVTL)

Government to buy warships – The State Secretary for Defence, Julio Thomas Pinto, said the Government has decided to buy warships for the F-FDTL Navy to control illegal fishing activities in the coastal area of Timor-Leste. "The Government through the department of Defence has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a Chinese company, Poly Technology, to start ship construction for F-FDTL," said Mr. Pinto after signing the MOU on Saturday (12/4) in the Government Palace, Dili. Mr. Pinto also said that the construction will be started next month and will finish in the following year. "Once the MOU is implemented, 30 F-FDTL members will receive training from Chinese shipping companies in China," added Mr. Pinto. The Government recently allocated $28 million to buy the two ships. The warships will be used to control the marine resources. (STL)

Klemm: The 'State of Siege and State of Emergency' are the right ways to solve the problems - The American Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Hans Klemm, said that the Government of Timor-Leste has shown a great patience during the implementation of the 'State of Siege' and 'State of Emergency'. "I hope that through the 'State of Siege' and 'State of Emergency', Salsinha and his men will surrender themselves peacefully to justice so that their problems will be sorted out as quickly as possible," Ambassador Klemm said. (Diario Nacional)

Minister Zacarias: security for President Ramos-Horta is very important – The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zacarias Albano da Costa, said that the good security for President Ramos-Horta in order to avoid a repetition of the attacks on 11 February. The President will arrive in Dili on 17 April and there is an appeal to all the people to welcome him at the Airport on that day. (DN)

Deadline for Rogerio Lobato to resume his sentence – In Dili Court Judge Ivo Rosa has set a 10 day as deadline for former Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato to resume his sentence. "I would like to ask the Timorese Ambassador in Malaysia to determine whether he has recovered sufficiently to resume his sentence in Timor-Leste", Judge Rosa said. (Timor Post)

Difficult terrain is main challenge facing the Apprehension Operation forces in the hunt for rebels – Difficult terrain in Timor-Leste is the main challenge facing the Apprehension Operation forces as they hunt down Salsinha and his men. Road conditions are making it difficult for the Apprehension Operation forces to continue their search for the rebels. (TP)

Alkatiri presents three lawsuits to the Prosecutor-General – Former Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, has presented three lawsuits to the Prosecutor General for processing. The legal actions stem from public accusations that he was involved in providing financial support to Alfredo Reinado to attack President Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão on 11 February 11. "I am here in court today to file these lawsuits against the people who defamed and accused me because I am out of patience now", said Alkatiri. (TP)

Compiled by Warren L. Wright

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