Saturday, June 8, 2013

Timor-Leste Legal News July 2008 (Part 6)

UNMIT Daily Media Review 09 July 2008

Continue to fight: 37 students detained, 4 women – Timor Post

Even though the Government has used police forces to arrest 37 students, there is still no sign that the demonstrations will end any time soon.

The Association of Timor-Leste Students (ASUTL) stated yesterday that the demonstrations will continue until the National Parliaments changes its plan to purchase the luxurious cars from Japan.

After meeting with NP President Fernando Lasama de Araujo, the Coordinator of ASUTL Santiago Ximenes Vaz said in response to Lasama’s statement that the government would not change its plan, that the demonstrations would continue.

Mr Vas said that the students are also demanding that the detained students be released.  

In response, PNTL Spokesperson João Belo said that he has no authority to release the detained students.

“We have no right to release people we have arrested as this needs to follow the judicial process. Such cases will be presented to the prosecutor,” said Mr Belo.

PNTL condemned for student arrests – Timor Post  
Even though they are upholding law and order by arresting the protestors, the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) are being strongly condemned by key members of civil society.

Luta Hamutuk’s Spokesperson, Joãozito Viana, said that he believes the PNTL’s motives have been to silence not only the students, but the people as the student’s have given a voice to the voiceless.

He said that it is normal to hold demonstrations in a democratic nation like Timor-Leste and that everyone should be proud of the moral sensibility of the students to give voice to the suffering of the masses.

The United Former Political Prisoners of Indonesian occupation have also strongly condemned the actions of the police.

“We are very concerned about the attitudes of PNTL-UNPol against the students,” said Mr. Gregorio, member of the former political prisoners.

Mr Gregorio has demanded the PDHJ cooperate with the UNMIT Human Rights unit to investigate these cases and to publicize the results.

Fretilin condemns the attitude of PNTL-UNpol – Suara Timor Lorosa’e  

Fretilin has strongly condemned the actions of PNTL/UNPol against the students, claiming that it is violating their human rights.

The party said that these actions are reminiscent of the behaviour of the TNI (National Army of Indonesia) which systematically violated human rights during the 24 years of occupation. Fretilin also believes that the demands of the students are reasonable.

Fretilin MP Osorio Florindo said that UNPol should know better as it is their mission in Timor-Leste to calm the situation, not to provoke.

“I think that UNPol should be setting a better example for the PNTL,” said Mr. Florindo.

Civil society preoccupied with the ratified budget – Suara Timor Lorosa’e  

Viriatu Seac from Lao Hamutuk has said that members of civil society are preoccupied with the ratified budget as proposed by the Government for the 2008 General State Budget.

“We are preoccupied with the ratified budget which is higher- whether the Government is going to execute it all by the end of the year or not. If we just spend the budget and there is no income, it will have a big effect on our country,” said Mr. Seac.

“We see that the ratified budget is too big; there is an annual budget of US$347. Then there is the ratified budget of US$400+M. so the AMP Government plans to spend about US$700 this year.”

Ed: peaceful acts get violent treatment – Diario Nacional  

The peaceful acts of the university students have been met with violence by the police. The response of the police has solicited much concern among the public and especially among the academics at the university as the police have violated the autonomy of the campus.  

Recently, there have been protests against the parliament – maybe people have lost faith in their representatives because they don’t believe they have listened to the needs of the people.

We did not think that such actions and arrests would happen again, but they have.  

How to solve the problem … dialogue; protest and demonstrations may not bring solutions. The arrogance of the Parliament will also not bring a solution.  Both parts should sit together to create a solution. We wait …

More legal news from East Timor is published on the East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin

Timor-Leste Legal News July 2008 (Part 5)

UNMIT Daily Media Review 08 July 2008  

Horta condemns police action – Diario Nacional  

The police have shot two students and arrested 21 at the university campus following student demonstrations against the Parliament’s plan to purchase cars for the MPs. The students who were shot have sustained wounds.

President José Ramos-Horta has condemned these actions by the PNTL and has stood up for the rights of students to campaign in their own campus. Members of the Social Science Faculty Senate Carolino Marques and João Nascimento said that the demonstration is an academic right.

PR Horta explained that as the campus is autonomous, no one has the right to violate it, but if there is violence, then the university authorities may ask for police intervention.
Police capture protesters. Osorio: “Dictatorship is starting to appear” – Diario Nacional

The National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) have shot and wounded two students at the campus of Universidade Nasional Timor Lorosa’e (UNTL) on Monday (7/7). Twenty one university students were also arrested as they protested against the planned purchase of luxury cars by MPs.

Fretilin MP Osorio Florindo said that the PNTL’s action reminded him of November 14, 1997 when the Indonesian military took violent action against the East Timorese University. They destroyed property and wounded many of the students. Mr Florindo said that the attitude of PNTL on such occasions was leading to a dictatorship in Timor-Leste.

“There is no law that prevents people from holding demonstrations in their homes or campus ….Even during Indonesian times, no miliitary or police entered the campus without provocation. Today, even though the students have remained peaceful, they are shot at and threatened.” He has appealed to the students to not be frightened and to remain calm.

Lasama appeals for studnts to be calm – Diario Nacional and Suara Timor Lorosa’e  

NP President Fernando de Araujo Lasama has asked the students not to be emotional when holding demonstrations. Lasama said that the National Parliament will proceed with the car purchases as this has already been included in the budget set to be approved in the next few days. “Luxury cars are BMW and Mercedes [Benz].The police also use [Toyota] Prados and Pajeros in the country. Are these luxurious cars?” asked Mr Lasama on Monday (7/7) in the National Parliament. 

Ed: Petroleum fund, people’s money – Diario Nacional

Recently, members of civil society, political parties, and the opposition party have strongly questioned the use of the petroleum fund by the Government to run its programs. The criticisms are that the government has no program and is just using the money.

The Prime Minister has retorted that that those who are questioning the Government are stupid and frustrated- the fund is the people’s money and is being used for the people. His statement is right that the money should not only be saved in the US Bank but should be used to benefit people of the country.

However, everyone in this country has a right to know how the money is being executed and allocated; the people’s money should be used for the people but it should also be based on appropriate plans and programs.  We wait …    

CTF report to hand over in Bali – Timor Post

Pending confirmation from Indoneisa, the final report of the Timor-Leste/Indonesian Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF) is set to be handed over on 15 July 2008 in Bali, Indonesia.

“We agree on the data, 15 July but still waiting for Indonesia’s confirmation,” said The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Zacarias Albano da Costa. The Timor-Leste and Indonesia Commissaries will directly give the final report to the Presidents of Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

Lateste legal news from East Timor is on the East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin

Timor-Leste Legal News July 2008 (Part 4)

UNMIT Daily Media Review  07 July 2008  

JSMP: Horta wrong over amnesty law – Timor Post

The Non-Governmental Organization, Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP), has said that they consider the President’s plan for the amnesty law to be a mistake. The Acting Director of JSMP Casimiro dos Santos said that the amnesty law, approved in the Presidential Cabinet, has taken away criminal responsibility of those directly involved in the 2006 crisis.

JSMP stated that while the court still lacks human resources, it is good to allocate the budget for such programs to solve such cases as those of the 2006 crisis.

PM Xanana: payment for the petitioners in final process – Diario Nacional

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that the payment process for the petitioners is in its final stages. “ I am surprised at Major Tara: we have fed them [petitioners] and supported them, and now he [Tara] is talking to the media with no direction; the pension is in the final stages of being processed,” said PM Gusmão on Friday (3/7) in Bairo Formosa, Dili.

Ed: Good for PM Xanana to respond in Parliament - Suara Timor Lorosa’e

PM Xanana stated that he is ready to respond in Parliament to Fretilin’s allegations that there was corruption, collusion and nepotism (CCN) in the process to give the contract for the rice distribution.

The accusation is based on the contract letter with the PM’s signature to give the contract to a single source, the Tres Amigos Company, to buy and provide rice. “I am ready to respond and discuss the process of the contract,” said the PM.

Is it true that the process of contract should be considered as CCN? The PM said that he signed the contract to respond to people’s need as there is no rice in most places. Many are starving. The opposition party is pressuring the Government to immediately take action.

In this kind of atmosphere, what should be the priority? The legal process or people’s need? Of course, people’s needs. Here is a question to consider: is the rice sourced from here? If the rice has been distributed to those who are starving and everyone buys it, is this CCN?

The process of granting the contract cannot be classified as a CCN, even though it did not follow the legal process – the position taken by the PM is for the necessity of country, not for himself, his family, or for any party.

But, the PM should go to the Parliament to respond to the allegations that are daily getting bigger.  

Timor-Leste Legal News July 2008 (Part 3)

UNMIT Daily Media Review 4 July 2008

Ambassador Klemm: AMP and Fretilin should reconcile – Suara Tiimor Lorosa’e

Ambassador of the United States in Timor-Leste Hans Klemm is asking the leaders of the Alliance Majority in the Parliament (AMP) and opposition group Fretilin, AD and PUN to continue reconciliation to guarantee peace, security and prosperity for the people of the nation.

The Ambassador believes that, in general, the Government institutions are functioning well in the country, but emphasised the importance of the leaders working together to guarantee peace and stability.

“I see that democracy functions in the National Parliament because the opposition demonstrates that it functions,” said Ambassador Klemm on Thursday (3/7) in Pantai Kelapa, Dili.

The Ambassador also said he appreciates the discussion by the MPs of the State Budget in NP and noted that the opposition group has shown their capacity by contributing constructive criticism.

TL-Australia signing MOU: to improve security and justice system – Suara Timor Lorosa’e

The Government of Timor-Leste and Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) related to security and justice in Timor-Leste.

The MOU signed by the Secretary of State for Security Francisco Guterres and the Minister of Interior of Australia Bob Debus, was witnessed by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão, Ambassador of Australia in Timor-Leste, Minister of Justice and other members of the Government on Thursday (3/7) in the capital’s Government Palace.

Minister Debus visited Timor-Leste to meet PM Gusmão to discuss security, particularly the work of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) and other subject matters related to justice.

The main objective of Debus’ visit is to see directly the assistance of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to PNTL through the program of PNTL development.

“I feel happy to visit Timor-Leste and witness the signing of the project plan to widen language training, general education of the police and executive management of PNTL,” said Minister Debus.

PM Xanana gives rice contract to Vice President of CNRT. Fretilin-Cecilio: indication of collusion, corruption and nepotism (CCN) – Timor Post

The rice contract PM Xanana’s AMP Government made with the Director of Tres Amigos Ltd. and also the Vice President of CNRT Germano da Silva stirred polemics within the opposition party, Fretilin and some MPs from the CNRT party itself.

The two parties (Fretilin and CNRT MP) said that the contract which was directly signed by PM Xanana Gusmão as the President of CNRT giving authorization to his Vice President, shows bad administration and indicates collusion, corruption and nepotism (CCN).

The contact shows that procurement has given the amount of US$4M and 80 thousand – US$14M. The contract lletter was issued from the Ministry of Finance, not the Office of Prime Minister.

CNRT Member of Parliament Cecilio Caminha said that the amount of money is larger than the budget for food security proposed by the Government to the National Parliament.

“I just want to say that the amount of money for food security of 2008 as proposed by the Government is only US$4M. This means that it does not correspond. The Government has to explain the process used,” said MP Caminha.

Separately, Fretilin’s MP Arsenio Bano said that these actions by PM Gusmão with his friend Germano, is an indication of CCN and goes against the people.

“I do say it is CCN as we all know that Mr. Germano was the Cabinet Chief for President Xanana. Now, he is the Vice President for Xanana of CNRT. What I do not know is if the amount is bigger than what has been proposed by the Government or if NP approved it or not,” said Mr. Bano.

PM Xanana: going to kick out corrupt minister – Diario Naccional

PM Xanana Gusmão said that as the Chief of the Government, he is ready to kick out ministers who are corrupt, but those who accuse should provide evidence of the corruption.

“If the evidence is provided now, I will give one month to any minister to defend himself in the court,” said PM Gusmão on Thursday (3/7) in response to information that some ministers have encountered corruption.

Former member of Alfredo imprisoned in the preventive prison – Radio Timor-Leste, Suara Timor Lorosa’e annd Timor Post

The hearing process conducted by national judge Guilhermino da Silva and attorney Felismino Cardoso, Dili Court decided on preventive prison for Caetano Valente because it was evident that he was involved in the attack on President Horta on 11 February 2008.

After the hearing, Felismino Cardoso told TVTL that the decision from the judge was just and adequate because there was strong evidence that the accused broke the regulation of UNTAET no 44.7/5/2000, article 64 regarding attempted murder and penal code 338 regarding the  use of  weapon and military uniforms. At the same time, the advocate of the accused, Laura Valente Lay, said she was not satisfied with the decision from the judge and she is going to submit an appeal to the Court of Appeal to move against the decision from Dili Court.

According to news, the accused Caetano was immediately delivered by NDI police to preventive prison in Becora after the hearing process.

Front of Timor-Leste Students (FMTL) denies of being supported by political party – Televisaun Timor-Leste

Front Mahasiswa Timor Leste (FMTL) denied the statement from NP that they had been supported by any political party during the demonstration last month.

Through a press conference in Caicoli yesterday, Front Student of Timor Leste which is composed of students from UNTL and UNDIL declared that they were not supported by any organization or political party during the demonstration which took place for two days on 11 to 12 June 2008.

Apart from that, they also continue to disagree with National Parliament members who want to buy 65 luxurious cars for all deputies.

Furthermore, they stated that they will ask the President of Republic to veto the proposal of ratifying budget when it is approved and to play the video in which the NP on 12 June agreed with FMTL not to buy 65 cars.

In addition, they threatened to undertake a hunger-strike in front of National Parliament.

Officials of F-FDTL to recruit 300 new members this month – Televisaun Timor-Leste <

After participating in the launching ceremony of the construction of F-FDTL training centre in Metinaro, Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak informed that the recruitment this year will give priority to those between the ages of 18 to 30 years old.

“Probably, from 15 July onwards we shall distribute the form to all young people in thirteen districts and the criteria will be written in the form. For those who want to be officials, we will recruit those men aged 30 years old and the maximal standard of education is a master’s degree,” explained Taur.

According to plan, the recruitment process will take place in the education centre of F-FDTL in Metinaro – Dili.

215 families of IDP of Police Academy Camp return home – Televisaun Timor-Leste
Two hundred and fifteen families of IDPs in the Police Academy office returned to their respective houses.

Yesterday (3/7), those IDPs who have been occupying the Police Academy since 2006 crisis decided to return to their places.

At that time, State Secretary of Social Assistance and Natural Disaster Jacinto Rigoberto de Deus said the process of reintegration was a contribution for the Government to solve the problem of this country.

“You really contribute and participate in the development of this nation. Based on your decision, the Government is ready to attend to and integrate all of you to your homes”, said Jacinto.

Given the opportunity, the IDPs questioned the security for them and asked the Government to compensate them for their goods that had been destroyed during the 2006 crisis.

Australia and TL government signed MoU about the reformation law to improve the capacity of PNTL – Radio Timor-Leste

The Secretary of  State for Security Fransisco Guterres yesterday in Government Palace said “in MoU cooperation agreement with Australia, they (Australia) are ready to support PNTL in basic training of such disciplines as intelligence and investigation, serving the law and also trainings for PNTL leaders in management, administration and decision-making”.

Guterres added that based on the plan, the training might be realised in August this year and for basic training in 2009 when recruitment is conducted for new members of PNTL.

At a press conference yesterday in the Government Palace among the Council Ministers, Hermenegildo Pereira ‘Agio’ said “the (CM) approved a resolution to hold a national campaign to collect the illegal weapons that are still spread throughout  all the territories and which is scheduled from 15 July to 15 August in cooperation with ISF, F-FDTL and PNTL”.

East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin Legal news from East Timor in English

Timor-Leste Legal News July 2008 (Part 2)

UNMIT Daily Media Review 03 July 2008

India ready to train F-FDTL
TVTL - The Indian Government has declared its readiness to assist Timor Leste by training the F-FDTL. Captain Paban Gohan from the Indian Naval Contingent yesterday met with the State Secretary of Defence Julio Tomas Pinto in the Government Palace. During the meeting, they talked about the intention of the Indian Government to enhance the naval capacity of F-FDTL by training them in India. However, a formal agreement has not yet been signed. “During the meeting they asked me about cooperation and I said that Timor Leste is ready to cooperate with any country. We do not care about different backgrounds or ideology…I told them that the first thing we neeed to do is formalize this military cooperation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding,” said Mr Pinto.

Population hands over arms TVTL - Early this week, people from Baucau voluntarily handed over illegal arms to the local policy. The weapons included rakitan, grenades, magasen and munitions. According to PNTL Spokesperson Inspector Moises Amaral the arms were voluntarily handed over by community members last Tuesday at 14:30 p.m. in Kelekai, aldeia Osoleru. Mr Armaral thanked the community in Osoleru on behalf of the PNTL for their acts of good faith in handing over the weapons and asked all people in all districts to follow this example.

2687 families return home: 16 IDP camps closed Suara Timor Lorosae - During this year, the AMP Government has returned home 2687 families who had been living in 16 IDP camps. The big IDP camps that have not closed yet are Aero Porto, Metinaro, Dom Bosco, Obrigado Barracks among other small camps spread through Dili. According to the plan of the Ministry of Social and Solidarity, Aero Porto Camp will be closed at the end of the month.

TMR: recruitment preparation depends on accreditation Suara Timor Lorosae - The General Commander of F-FDTL Taur Matan Ruak has said that the recruitment process taking place this month for new F-FDTL members will be based on an accreditation system. During his meeting with President Ramos-Horta on Wednesday (2/7) TMR informed the President about the preparation within F-FDTL on the recruitment process.

Luxurious cars for MPs: FMTL threatens to demonstration Timor Post -  The Front of Timor-Leste Students (FMTL) will be back to the streets to demonstrate the plan to purchase luxury cars for MPS. The FMTL Spokesperson, Xisto dos Santos, said that if the National Parliament does not cancel its plan to buy cars then a great demonstration and campaign will be held throughout the country.

Latest legal news from East Timor in English is published on the East Timor Law & Justice Bulletin

Timor Leste Legal News July 2008 (Part 1)

UNMIT Daily Media Review 01 July 2008

Ramos-Horta: early election, if people are not happy – Timor Post and Suara Timor Lorosa’e  

President José Ramos-Horta said there is no reason to have an early election as the nation is going well and people are happy with the Alliance Majority in Parliament’s (AMP) Government.

“It is a subject that I am not thinking about right now as the nation is going well. If the Government is not working well then there should be a new election for the government,” said PR Horta in Farol, Dili.

Commenting on criticism that there is corruption in the AMP Government, PR Horta said that such criticism was also raised about the previous Government. According to PR Horta, PM Xanana is dedicated to Timor-Leste and will establish an anti-corruption commission in Timor-Leste.  

Carrascalao: supports Xanana to debate with Alkatiri  Diario Naciional - President of Social Democratic Party (PSD) Mario Viegas Carrascalão has given his total support to Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão for a public debate with the former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri about the accusation of corruption, collusion and nepotism (CCN).

“If I were the Prime Minister, I would accept to have the debate with Alkatiri as it is good for the public to know whether it is right of wrong it depends on Prime Minister Xanana, he accepts or not,” said Mr. Carrascalão on Monday (30/6) in the National Parliament.

Mr. Carrascalão said that he supports the debate.

“If people accuse us, it is better to open ourselves and defend our position rather than keeping quiet then others will say that we recognize our guilt,” added Mr. Carrascalão.

UNMIT awards medals to 141 GNR Diario Nacional - United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) through its Special Representative of Secretary-General (SRSG) Atul Khare awarded medals to 141 officers of Formed Police Unit (FPU) from Portugal (GNR) on Monday (30/6) in the Headquarter of GNR in Caicoli, Dili.

The award medals directly assisted by President Ramos-Horta, Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato, ISF Commander James Baker, Acting Police Commissioner Juan Carlos Arevalo and the Director of Police Academy of PNTL Carlos Geronimo.

“I want to congratulate the GNR members who provided security in critical [time] after the attempt of February 11. I just want to think back that as a police, should be critical to guarantee security and guarantee the security for the leaders,” said SRSG Khare.

Separately, the Commander of GNR João Martinho said that the awarded medals are very important and special to the 141 GNR members to think and continue dedicate their services for the peace.

The overall security situation in the country remains calm when GNR with the people maintain the security in the country.

Commander Martinho also said that GNR is also providing academic formation to PNTL during three months about tactics in taking anticipation to the law and order.

PSD-CNRT: not preoccupied with Xavier’s decision Timor Post - The AMP bench, including ASDT in the National Parliament, stated that they are not preoccupied with the statement of ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral who feels sorry in forming AMP and supporting an early election.

ASDT’s Chief of bench João Manuel Carrascalão stated that the position of the ASDT in the National Parliament is clear; to support the AMP.

“As we all know that we continue to support the AMP as many things have gone well.

It is too early to judge that AMP is doing nothing and I don’t agree with what is said by our president [Mr. Xavier],” said Mr. Carrascalão.

At the same time, the President of PSD Mario Viegas Carrascalão said that his party is not worried with the decision of the ASDT president about a deadline to the AMP Government.

Ed: Xavier’s reason to give deadline to Govt is unclear Suara Timor Lorosa’e  - ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral has given a deadline to the Government to improve its political plan in two months and resolve the problems of the county.

At the same time Fretilin President Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo also said that his party will shout at the Government that using money with no direction is not using money for people.

“The political statement of the leaders of these two parties is very strong but when we analyze deeply the statements have no clear reason.

Yes, the majority of the people are still suffering and this condition is not created by the AMP Government but is continuation from the past; AMP’s Government does not add poverty and suffering for the people.”  Investigation of PDHJ: no indication of corruption in the Ministry of Justice – Diario Nacional

The investigation which was undertaken by Provider of Human Rights and Justice proved that there is no corruption in the Ministry of Justice.

With reference to the allegation of corruption by the Provider of Human Rights against the Ministry of Justice, Lucia Lobato stated there should be an urgent investigation undertaken.

Lobato said that when the result of the investigation does not indicate any corruption she will react against the Provider of Human Rights. In response to this statement, Provider Sebastião Dias Ximenes said Minster Lucia Lobato has no competency to act against him because it was not Provider of Human Rights making the allegation. He added that Minister of Justice should act against the media and those who report the case because they got the report from media and some other sources. 

Luis: no transparency of replacing Baucau District Administrator Diarioo Nacional  - The District Administrator of Baucau Luis Aparicio Guterres a plan by the Ministry of State to nominate another person to substitute him is not transparent because Minister of State does not keep his promise.

On 10 June 2008 the Ministry of State sent him a letter to discharge him from his position as district administrator.

In relation to this, Aparicio said it is hard to abandon his position because he really loves this nation and young people of Baucau, but as a civil servant he has to accept the decision from Ministry of State.

According to Mr Guterres, there is no transparency from the Minister of State Arcangelo Leite because on 29 May 2008 when he was inaugurated, the Minister stated he fully supported him.

University in TL to be accredited in next week Diario Nacional  - The Minister of Education, Joao Cancio Freitas said yesterday in Liceu that universities in Timor Leste which fulfil the criteria will be credited this week.

According to Joao once arrangements have been finalised, the results of universities that qualify will be announced at a press conference by the Prime Minister.

At the same time, Joao Cancio appealed to all parents and students, especially those who are studying at a secondary school, to enrol at the qualifying university. He added that ministry of education does not forbid the students to enrol at any university but they have to see whether the university is qualified or not.  

James Baker: ISF to continue work with PNTL and UNPol Timor Post - The FSI commander James Baker said after attending the medal ceremony for  the UN’s GNR that the ISF will cooperate with UNPol and PNTL to maintain law and order in Timor-Leste.

“We have sent our soldiers to every district so we hope that with our presence may contribute to peace, stability, prosperity and success in this state”.

Baker added “after 11 February attack the situation is under control, not only because of the the PNTL, UNPol and the ISF cooperation, but because of good and strong contribution from the societyl,” he said.

UNPol handover responsibility: PNTL ready to take over security responsibility – Timor Post

The commander-designate of PNTL Afonso de Jesus yesterday said “PNTL are ready to follow their duties to set security to secure this state.

“If UNPol will handover their duties for us (PNTL), but I (Afonso) ask to UNPol that before handover their mission they need to pay attention to some districts that still suffer from violence – it is tthere where the PNTL still needs to be accompanised by UNPol”.

The PNTL still faces some problems about lack of logistics, places, and transportation but as Timorese we try to cooperate with the government to strengthen the security for this state.

Every problem that the PNTL faces, such as transport and equipments is temporary; in 2009 the government will approve funds to complete it,” said Afonso.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Timor-Leste Legal News June 2008 (Part 9)

UNMIT Daily Media Review 20 June 2008 

Xanana: “No business monopolies” Suara Timor Lorosae -The Prime Minister has authorized the PNTL to arrest any business person who sells rice at an inflated price. Prime Minister Gusmão said yesterday that the Government is trying to intervene to regulate the prices in the market. In relation to this, the Government has invited district commanders from all districts to decide on a convenient mechanism of coordination in order to handle this case. The PM said again that anyone who sells rice for more than US$16 will be arrested. 
Horta: investigations into human rights abuses to continue Suara Timor Lorosa’e -President Jose Ramos Horta has instructed the PNTL and F-FDTL to continue investigating the officers who have committed human rights violations during and after the Joint Operation Command. According to the President, F-FDTL and PNTL must be serious in investigating these abuses otherwise the reputation of these two institutions will be tainted, as a consequence people will not believe and respect these them.

“I heard there have been allegations of human rights abuses. I want a deep investigation into this,” said the President. 

Australia-China: big commitment to continue supporting F-FDTL Timor Post -The Government of Australia and China will keep their commitment to support the F-FDTL to become a professional institution capable of serving the people as well as contributing to the security of the nation.

The Australian Ambassador for Timor Leste Peter Heyward said that as neighbouring countries and friends, Australia and Timor Leste have established a lot of bilateral agreements. These include assistance for the F-FDTL and the Ministry of Defence along with supporting the development of infrastructure. In the coming days, Australia wants to cooperate with the F-FDTL on how to provide qualified training for the F-FDTL as well as providing the appropriate military equipment.

24/06/08 Head of MCATL appeals to the nation’s leaders to control corruption Suara Timor Lorosae -The Head of the Millennium Challenge Account of Timor-Leste (MCATL), Joao Saldanha, has appealed to all leaders of the nation including the Government, National Parliament, civil society and development partners, to seriously tackle corruption so that Timor-Leste can have assistances from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

“If we want Timor-Leste to obtain assistance from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), we should rid ourselves of corruption because it is very important that Timor-Leste get this assistance,” said Saldanha. Mr Saldanha also added that the fund will be used for poor people and not for political parties as the aim of the fund is to help reduce poverty in the poorest nations.

26/06/08 Deputy SRSG says UNPOL hasn’t handed over command to PNTL  Diario Nacional -The Deputy Special Representative of Secretary-General Finn Reske-Nielsen said that the Untied Nations Police who have been working with PNTL officers in all district have not as yet handed over power to the PNTL and that any future handover was still being discussed with the government.

“There was a ceremony held in the HQ of Manatutu PNTL last Saturday (21/6). It was a closing ceremony for those PNTL who have successfully been certified and all people should bear in mind that it was not handover command. For the handover command, this is still in discussion process between the Government and United Nation,” said Mr Reske-Nielsen.

Mr Reske-Nielsen also added that UN in Timor-Leste and the Government are still assessing the PNTL’s resumption of responsibility in all districts and at the national levels.

24/06/08 Head of MCATL appeals to the nation’s leaders to control corruption Suara Timor Lorosae -The Head of the Millennium Challenge Account of Timor-Leste (MCATL), Joao Saldanha, has appealed to all leaders of the nation including the Government, National Parliament, civil society and development partners, to seriously tackle corruption so that Timor-Leste can have assistances from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

“If we want Timor-Leste to obtain assistance from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), we should rid ourselves of corruption because it is very important that Timor-Leste get this assistance,” said Saldanha. Mr Saldanha also added that the fund will be used for poor people and not for political parties as the aim of the fund is to help reduce poverty in the poorest nations.

26/06/08 Deputy SRSG says UNPOL hasn’t handed over command to PNTL - Diario Nacional

The Deputy Special Representative of Secretary-General Finn Reske-Nielsen said that the Untied Nations Police who have been working with PNTL officers in all district have not as yet handed over power to the PNTL and that any future handover was still being discussed with the government.

“There was a ceremony held in the HQ of Manatutu PNTL last Saturday (21/6). It was a closing ceremony for those PNTL who have successfully been certified and all people should bear in mind that it was not handover command. For the handover command, this is still in discussion process between the Government and United Nation,” said Mr Reske-Nielsen.

Mr Reske-Nielsen also added that UN in Timor-Leste and the Government are still assessing the PNTL’s resumption of responsibility in all districts and at the national levels.

Timor-Leste Legal News June 2008 (Part 8)

Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 18 June 2008 Archived by Warren L. Wright

Salsinha's trial may take one year Suara Timor Lorosae -Law researcher and the Secretary-General of Timor-Leste's Lawyers' Association Tiago Sarmento said that based on the penal code process of Timor-Leste, a criminal case of a person who was accused of committing a crime against the nation may take up to one year before his/her case is judged. This was said in relation the cases of Salsinha and the other rebels. 

Mr. Sarmento said that when a suspect's case is under investigation, this does not mean that the case is processed immediately as the prosecutor needs to collect evidence for the trial.

High level discuss to strengthen Government-UNMIT Accord Suara Timor Lorosae -The nation's leaders met in the Presidential Palace, Farol Dili on Tuesday (17/6) to discuss the strengthening of the Accord between the Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT to reform security sector in Timor-Leste.

After the meeting, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão informed that President José Ramos-Horta had called him together with Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, PNTL Commander Designated Afonso de Jesus and others to talk about the development of security sector [of the nation]. “We know that I have just signed an accord with UNDP to assist us in this process. The result of this accord signifies that Timor-Leste should organize [prepare] itself to join with the technical assistance of UNMIT,” said the Prime Minister.

PM Xanana also said that President will write a release to UNMIT about the placement of those who are involved in the commission in order to establish a working calendar to start the process.

Australia becomes team leader of development plan for security and defence Suara Timor Lorosae -The Secretary of State for Defence has concluded and indicated that Australia has become the team leader of the development plan in the areas of defence and security.

“We met with the donors to talk about the national priority in security and defence and justice. From the meeting we have established a team to provide program implementation assistance in the area of justice, prosecutions and security and defence,” said Secretary of State for Defence Julio Tomas Pinto on Tuesday (17/6) in Dili. Mr. Pinto said the Ambassador of Australia for Timor-Leste has appointed to lead the team as Australia has given a lot of support to the country in these areas. Separately, Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro accepted the decision to appoint the Australian Ambassador to lead the team of development plan for security, defence and justice sector.
Coliati: the Joint Operation Command might become operational again at the request of the State – Diario Nacional

Lieutenant Coliati has said that the Joint Operation Command had planned to head to the eastern districts to continue searching for weapons, but that this would depend on the decision of the State.

“The operation to search for weapons in the eastern district will be implemented if there is a decision from the State. So far we still awaiting the decision from the State as it has to be carried out based on the rule of law,” said Lieutenant Coliati at the HQ of Joint Operation Command in Memorial Hall Dili.

Joint Operation commander Lieutenant Coliati added that the main priority for the Joint Operation Command is to ensure the return of the IDPs to their communities in peace and stability. 

East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin Legal news from East Timor in English

Timor-Leste Legal News June 2008 (Part 7)

Source: UNMIT Daily Media 16 June 2008 Archived by Warren L. Wright

Guterres: conditions are needed to establish rule of law - Vice Prime Minister José Luis Guterres has said that certain conditions are needed to guarantee a democratic system. “We need to create conditions for all institutions who take part in the State of Timor-Leste to guarantee a democratic system,” said Mr. Guterres in his briefing at the inauguration of Dili District Court office on Friday (13/6) in Dili.

Mr. Guterres said that the Government intends to create appropriate conditions for the justice sector even though the justice sector is not functioning well in many areas. He also said optimistically that the Government has resolved many of the nation’s problems, such as IDPs, petitioners, veterans and the elderly and will now turn its attention to improve the quality of work. (Suara Timor Lorosa’e )

Government signs reform of security sector with UNDP-RTL, 14 June - The Government has signed an agreement to reform the security sector with the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) until 2009. At the Government Palace yesterday, PM Xanana Gusmão said during his speech that this support offered by the UN to the Government will guarantee the sustainability of human development. The PM added that this cooperation is a part of the overall support to the Government in order to assist with the Government’s efforts to reform and the development the security sector.

“The State of Timor Leste is a group which is collectively protected by the President of the Republic, the National Parliament and the Government who pay attention to the security in our country,” said the PM. The agreement of cooperation was signed by the PM and the UNDP Representative.

This agreement will also help strengthen the capacity of both officials and national authorities in the areas of foreign affairs, justice, customs, intelligence, fishing protection, border control, natural disaster, finance, maritime protection, health and the PNTL and F-FDTL. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General Atul Khare said that the reform of security sector is a step to reinforce and help this nation in establishing itself as a stronger democratic nation and to promote human rights.

Ramos-Horta surprised at NP plans to create law to buy luxurious car - President José Ramos-Horta said he was surprised to hear that the National Parliament (NP) is creating a law to justify the purchase of 65 luxurious cars for each MP. “I do not accept this as people are still suffering,” said PR Horta in a community dialogue on Friday (13/6) in sub-district Laleia, Manatuto.

The President suggested that it is good for the National Parliament to buy cars for each bench or commissions and/or a mini bus for the daily transportation of MPs. (Suara Timor Lorosa’e and Diario Nacional ).

UNDP supports security sector - Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao signed an agreement between the Government of Timor-Leste and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP to formalize support for the security sector reform in Timor-Leste on Friday (13/6).

The Review will encompass a comprehensive evaluation of the security sector in order to support the Government’s efforts to reform and develop national institutions. The Review will be carried out by national institutions with UN assThe overall aim of the Review is to strengthen the nation’s ability to protect itself, both internally and externally.

It will do this by identifying threats, proposing steps to ensure that the security architecture is able to mitigate them, and by helping develop the capacity of public servants and national authorities to implement those measures in accordance with the democratic principles of law.

The Review will consider all areas connected with the sector including, foreign affairs, customs, intelligence services, justice, fisheries protection, border control, natural disasters, finance, maritime protection, health and the police and army.

The Review will allow the authorities of Timor-Leste to further the work they have undertaken in the sector so far and to fine tune its national security policy. It will also provide national authorities with the tools they require to make informed decision in the implementation of this policy.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Timor-Leste Atul said: “The review, reform and development of the security sector are vital to strengthening institutions that can weather future crisis without external assistance and that will help Timor-Leste establish itself as a strong democracy, upholding the rule of law and promoting human rights.”

Furthermore, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) and UNDP Resident Representative Finn Reske-Nielsen said: “The reform of the security sector is based on the fact that the stability of a nation and its development go hand-in-hand. Without stability based on democratic principles and firmly anchored in a respect for human rights, sustainable human development can not be achieved.” (Suara Timor Lorosa’e )

State Secretary for Defense: 50 veterans to retire from F-FDTL by end of 2008 - The State Secretary for Defense, Julio Tomas Pinto, said that at least 50 veterans have decided to retire from the F-FDTL by the end of 2008 and return to civilian life as veterans. “Those veterans will receive a pension fund as has been planned,” said Mr Pinto on Wednesday (11/06) in his office at Palacio.(Timor Post )

Timor-Leste Legal News June 2008 (Part 6)

Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review  09 June 2008

PM: All political parties have a duty to  TL - Diario

In the seventh National Conference of PD, held yesterday in Manleuana, PM Xanana Gusmão said all Political Parties are set up in Timor Leste to respond to the needs of the nation. According to the PM, when any political party participates in an election, they are elected to lead in order to monitor the democratic process. The PM also added that all political parties have a great responsibility to educate the population to be tolerant, to value human rights and democracy.

Veterans to receive US $20 million - Diario

The State-Secretary of Veterans Marito Reis said in Baucau that those Timorese who contributed in the war for a period of 3-7 years will receive a premium from the Government.

Mr Reis confirmed that he has ratified US$ 4.000.000 of funds to complete the US$ 16.000.000 that they have before bringing the total of funds to US$ 20.000.000. According to plan, this money will allotted next year and every veteran will receive a one-off payment.

National Parliament approves resolution to implement CAVR Chega Report - TVTL, 7 June

The National Parliament has approved a resolution to recognize the implementation of the final report of CAVR "Chega". National MP Fernanda Borges said her commission has approved the resolution and they will continue discussing it in the plenary.

She added that the National Parliament formally recognizes the importance of this report which contains the serious crimes occurring from 1974 to 1999. "This resolution is very important because this is the first time the relevant organ of the NP has officially recognized the importance of this report. Therefore, I ask all Timorese to acknowledge the writers as well," said Ms Borges.

NP approves intelligence law - Timor Post, 7 June

National MP Duarte Nunes has confirmed that the National Parliament has currently approved the intelligence law for the F-FDTL and the PNTL. "The law has been approved by Parliament, so we ask that the government implement it well in both institutions in order to strengthen our intelligence capacities," said Mr Nunes.

Duarte also said that candidate chosen to be the Chief of Intelligence should be a neutral candidate and not be a part of either institution.


Timor-Leste Legal News June 2008 (Part 5)

Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 06 June 2008 Archived by Warren L. Wright

SRSG meets with civil society - TVTL
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Atul Khare has asked members of civil society to keep their commitment to establishing peace in Timor Leste. During a meeting held in the office of FONGTIL in Kaikoli yesterday, civil society members and students discussed security and defence issues, reformation of the PNTL and F-FDTL, corruption and cost of goods among other things.

SRSG Khare said that before long, the United Nation would be transferring power to PNTL in all districts. He also added that the officers involved in crimes would not be allowed to undertake their positions in the police or military. Regarding this, UNMIT has signed an agreement with the General Prosecutor to set up an investigation team in some districts including Dili, Baucau and Bobonaro to investigate alleged crimes.

Horta told Salsinha not to be afraid to tell truth – Radio Timor-Leste
President Horta has encouraged Gastão Salsinha not to be frightened to tell the truth of the 2006 crisis and the events of February 11 and to collaborate with the Court. The President confirmed that Salsinha is being treated well in prison and is able to give his statement to the Court. Salsinha is awaiting his judgment in Becora Prison.

Rogerio to be freed conditionally – Radio Timor-Leste
The Former Minister of Interior Rogerio Tiago Lobato has been freed conditionally for five years as he return home from Malaysia. President Ramos-Horta has praised the decision to free Rogerio as he has already fulfilled a quarter of his sentence. "I think it is a good thing…¦If he does something wrong then he should be back to prison for seven years," said PR Horta.

Last week's meeting: Horta encourages Salsinha to tell the truth -  Timor Post

President José Ramos-Horta has strongly encouraged Gastao Salsinha to tell the truth about the events surrounding February 11.

"It is true that I asked the Prosecutor-General and the Court if I could have a short time to meet Salsinha. As a human being and a President, I wanted to talk to him and tell him not to be afraid and to collaborate with the Court and to reveal what he knows. I also inquired about his condition in Becora [Prison] to see whether there have been any abuses committed," said the President. "I am not influencing him. I do not know his information. I just told him not to be afraid as there no one could take vengeance on him." Luxurious cars and laptops: necessary for the dignity of each MP – Timor Post

Opposition MPs have criticised the plan to provide MPs with luxurious cars (Toyota Prado) and high capacity laptops. AMP Government MPs argue that purchases are a positive step and are necessary to preserve the dignity of MPs. However, MPs from Fretilin and PUN are vehemently against the plan arguing that this is not time to buy luxury items when people are still going hungry.

"I think it will cost lots of money to buy cars for each MP. It is better to buy two or three cars for each commission of the National Parliament," argued Ms. Fernanda from PUN. The costs of the cars is estimated at US$2million.

East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin Legal news from East Timor in English

Timor-Leste Legal News June 2008 (Part 4)

TMR: lack of human resources in F-FDTL/PNTL  Radio Timor-Leste, Suara Timor Lorosa'e, Diario Nacional and Timor Post - The General Commander of the F-FDTL Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak (TMR) said that a lack of human resources was the main challenge faced by F-FDTL and PNTL.

"We need to strengthen these two institutions," said TMR after a weekly meeting with President José Ramos-Horta on Wednesday (3/6) in Farol, Dili. Talking about new F-FDTL recruitment, TMR said that the recruitment for the armed forces will be held in June and July. The Ministry of Defence is working on the recruitment process for the 300 new F-FDTL members set to be trained in August.

Secret meeting of Horta-Salsinha: PR Horta obstructs justice Suara Timor Lorosa'e
- President Horta's secret meeting with Salsinha is not normal and jeopardises our nation. Including the pardons, this shows that the President is starting to obstruct justice.

The President of PUN Fernanda Borges said that President Horta has begun to interfere in forbidden areas of justice by secretly meeting with Salsinha.

"I am concerned with why PR Horta meets Salsinha privately. I feel something is going wrong. So I need him [PR Horta] to go to the court to give his statement as he knows a lot [about February 11]," added Ms. Borges.

In response to this, a law observer, Timotiu de Deus, said yesterday that the secret meeting between Horta and Salsinha was indeed legal given that the meeting was authorized by the Court.

Separately, CNRT MP Aderito Hugo da Costa said that following the controversial decision to pardon Rogerio, PR Horta has taken yet another step to interfere with the judicial process.

Secret meeting of Horta-Salsinha is legal Suara Timoor Lorosa'e - The Director of Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP), Timotio de Deus, has said that the secret meeting between President José Ramos-Horta and Salsinha is considered legal as it was authorized by the Dili District Court.

According to Mr de Deus, the function of President is to guarantee national unity, so the President's initiative [to meet Salsinha] was to guarantee national unity.

Lucia Lobato: Rogerio Lobato is free Suara Timmor Lorosa'e
- The Minister for Justice, Lucia Lobato, has confirmed that Rogerio Lobato has been freed conditionally based on the pardon granted by President Horta.

"Yesterday I had a meeting with the Dili District Court Judge and he informed me that the Court's decision was to conditionally free Rogerio because he has been pardoned and because he served half his sentence before having received the pardon," said Minister Lobato on Wednesday (4/6).

Ed: PR Horta steps on justice Suara Timor Lorosa'e - President Horta calls Salsinha to meet him in the presidential office in Farol, Dili. We do not know what the subject was. It was an urgent meeting, no one knows.

Maybe the meeting was about a possible pardon to Salsinha or perhaps on any other matter related to February 11 – only President Horta and Salsinha know the truth.

The meeting between Horta and Salsinha can be considered unique as it has only happened in Timor-Leste, not in the world.

Maybe because of his position as a Noble Prize Laureate the President wants to make history by following in the steps of Pope John Paulo II who met Ali Aca (the man who shot the Pope) in prison.

It is possible for Horta to use his position to do whatever he wants, because he is the President and also as the first man of the nation, what ever he does is legal, even though it may interfere with justice.

The phenomenon shows that PR Horta has stepped over the lines of justice, and is embroiled in conspiracies with his friends and enemies for his own private interest.

Horta-Salsinha's meeting: CNRT-Fretilin for, PSD against  Diario Nacional - The meeting of Salsinha and PR Horta has solicited many reactions from MPs in the National Parliament. CNRT and Fretilin consider the meeting to be acceptable as it is for the sake of national stability. The PSD party however is calling the meeting illegal.

Former Minister of Justice and Fretilin MP Domingos Sarmento said that the meeting of Horta and Salsinha is a positive step to accelerate the judicial process. PSD MP Mario Viegas Carrascalão however believes that as a prisoner, Salsinha had no right to meet others outside the prison.

Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review  05 June 2008 Archived by Warren L. Wright

Timor-Leste Legal News June 2008 (Part 3)

Pardon to Rogerio against justice – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

The Vice Director of the HAK Association, Aniceto Guro Berteni Neves, has said that he considers that President Horta's pardon to the former Minister of Interior Rogerio Tiago Lobato has created discrimination and injustice.

"We could say that President Horta's pardon to Rogerio is discrimination and an injustice given that Rogerio is the alleged principle actor of 2006 crisis," said Mr. Neves. Mr. Neves said that while constitutionally all citizens have the rights to receive a pardon this should not apply to Rogerio.

Salsinha and Horta held secret meeting – Timor Post, Suara Timor Lorosa'e and Diario Nacional

President José Ramos-Horta held a secret meeting with Gastão Salsinha in his office on Saturday (31/5) in Farol, Dili. The meeting, which lasted for two hours, was closed to public.

The National Director of Social Services, Helena Madalena Gomes, confirmed that Gastao Salsinha went from Becora Prison to meet PR Horta in Farol and that this was authorized by the Dili District Court.

"I know about the meeting, but I do not know what PR Horta and Salsinha talked about. What I know is on Thursday, the President asked Minister Lobato to authorize Salsinha to meet with him," said Ms. Gomes.

Ed: F-FDTL Withdraw from Ermera – Suara Timor Lorosa'e

Since the establishment of F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Command Operation (JOC), many criticisms have been levelled against the F-FDTL. However, many people do not realise that the JOC allowed many fearful people to sleep well.

The two institutions act in good faith to protect the population from irresponsible people even though some members of the F-FDTL and PNTL fail in their role. The issue raised by MP Joao Maia in the National Parliament is not intended to improve the institution - it was only a statement with a political agenda.

We cannot withdraw the F-FDTL from Ermera. Let's see whether Ermera is an independent nation or Timor-Leste's territory; if Ermera is the territory of Timor-Leste then there is no reason to withdraw F-FDTL from the area as the institution belongs to Timor-Leste.

We need to improve the attitudes of the members of F-FDTL – they have an obligation to protect nott to intimidate.

We are worried if someday the MPs will withdraw F-FDTL from Timor-Leste. It is bad if this MP compares the F-FDTL with the National Army of Indonesia (TNI) – thhe TNI were here to occupy while the F-FDTL belongs to Timor-Leste.

Francisco Branco: "Pardon to Rogerio was based on his attitude" – Diario Nacional

The Fretilin MP Francisco Branco said that the decision of President Ramos-Horta to pardon Rogerio Tiago Lobato was based on Lobato's attitude and cooperation with the justice system.

According to Mr. Branco, public comments are not balanced and tend to discriminate against people who they dislike. "I am concerned about the reactions from the community over the decision of the President to pardon Lobato," said Mr. Branco.

Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 04 June 2008 Archived by Warren L. Wright

Timor-Leste Legal News June 2008 (Part 2)

MP questions Horta's pardon Suara Timor Lorosae - The PSD Member of Parliament, Vidal Sarmento 'Riak Leman', has questioned the pardon given by President José Ramos-Horta to Rogerio Tiago Lobato, the former Minister of Interior, arguing that as a criminal, Mr Lobato did not deserve the pardon.

"I think that the pardon of President Horta to Rogerio is not good. It is not good when a criminal who just spent two months in prison before going abroad for medical treatment receives a pardon for half of his sentence," said Mr. Riak Leman on Monday (2/6) in the National Parliament. Mr Leman also said that he believes PR Horta's pardon to Lobato should have acceptance from the public, especially the victims of the weapons' distribution that Lobato is alleged to have been involved in May 2006. 

UNDERTIM demands that Fretilin stop early election's campaign Suara Timor Lorrosa'e - UNDERTIM President Cornelio Gama 'L-7' has demanded that Fretilin stop their campaign to hold early elections. He said that Fretilin has to provide an opportunity for the Government to improve people's life through development.

According to L-7, it is difficult to have an early election as people are not prepared yet. He suggested that Fretilin should consider the progress made so far by the AMP Government and to provide constructive criticism when needed, rather than to demand early elections.

PNTL violates law: UN asks Govt to take action Suara Timor Lorosa'e - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Atul Khare is asking the AMP Government to take immediate action against the members of the Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) and the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) who have committed human rights violations.

"There are some members of F-FDTL and PNTL who have violated human rights," said SRSG Khare after his weekly meeting with President Horta on Monday (2/6) in Farol, Dili. SRSG Khare has asked the F-FDTL Commander Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak and the National Parliament to investigate the allegations of human rights violations. "If the investigation proves that violations have occurred, we will take action," added SRSG Khare.

During the meeting, the SRSG and President Horta also discussed how to accelerate the reform of the PNTL. SRSG Khare said that in a short time, the United Nations Police (UNPol) based in the districts will hand over to the PNTL, but will still maintain a presence in the districts.

NP asks F-FDTL to withdraw from Ermera Suara Timor Lorosae - The PUN MP Joao Maia yesterday claimed that the F-FDTL soldiers still operating in Ermera are considered illegal as there is no recognition of their work from Parliament. "It's illegal, so they (F-FDTL) have to retire. The state of siege ended last month on 23 of May. I ask the F-FDTL to explain what they are doing and on what basis are they still continuing their operation," said Mr Maia.

Mr Maia added that they had violated the law, and if the were still continuing their investigations, such as the search for illegal weapons, then the Government should present their case to the Parliament. "Their presence in Ermera is just nonsense- they go to the market and beat the youth." Responding to this, CNRT MP Duarte Nunes said that the F-FDTL presence in Ermera is not illegal and is based on the organic law of the PNTL law.

Tara: difficult for the petitioners to return to F-FDTL Timor Post - After the government announced to the public that some of the petitioners would be returning to the F-FDTL, the coordinator of petitioners, Agusto de Jesus 'Tara', said that this would be difficult. "It's to hard for us [petitioners] to return to the F-FDTL because our big brother from F-FDTL will not welcome us, specially Maun Lere who made the comment that if we returned, he (Lere) would have his members leave and form a petitioner's group. So from our perspective, it's really hard for us to return," said Major Tara on Monday (2/6).

Major Tara also said that the statement of Colonel Lere would greatly impact on the petitioners who want to return to the military. He also said that any decision made by the Government will be warmly welcomed for the sake of freedom and stability of people and the nation.

Pessoa asks for report on high numbers of advisors employed within the finance ministry – Televisaun Timor-Leste - Fretilin MP Ana Pessoa has asked for a written report from the Ministry of Finance explaining the high numbers of advisors employed in the ministry as well as to explain the Government's decision to give financial assistance to NGOs that support the Government's programs.

"I never heard of so many advisors employed in a ministry. It is normal that in any ministry there are two or three advisors. Why should a ministry employ 10-60 advisors?" asked Ms Pessoa. "Why should they not employ Timorese people in such positions? Why do not they value Timorese capability?"

The Minister of Finance, Emilia Minister Pires, responded that "talking about finance it is big and complex. All areas, including budgeting and treasury need skilled people. We do have 18 long term advisors and other short term advisors- they are employed when needed." Related to the financial assistance to NGOs [ETDA], Minister Pires said that it was the decision of the Government.

Fernando Lasama: AMP always works with ASDT party Diario Nacional - The President of the National Parliament Fernando Lasama de Araujo has said that AMP is always together with the ASDT party, although the President of the ASDT Francisco Xavier do Amaral has declared that his party no longer has any responsibility in making decisions with the AMP Government.

"There has been no formal notification that the ASDT party has pulled itself from the AMP alliance, but it was stated in a document that ASDT no longer has a responsibility in making decisions with the AMP," said the National President Fernando Lasama de Araujo in the National Parliament(02/06).

Source: UNMIT Daily Media Review 03 June 2008 Archived by Warren L. Wright

Timor-Leste Legal News June 2008 (Part 1)

ASDT bench in NP to have dialogue with Xavier – Timor Post ASDT members of the National Parliament have made efforts to conduct a dialogue with ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral and ASDT Acting Secretary-General Francisco Gomes. ASDT's bench chief in the NP Jose Manuel Carrascalao said that there has been a small confrontation between the party [ASDT] and its MPs on decision making processes. "We do not want the confrontation getting any bigger, so we are finding a way to talk with the President," said Mr. Carrascalao.

 TL Government gives opportunity to telecommunication operators – Timor Post The Minister of Finance Emilia Pires said that in order to reduce the price of Timor Telecom (TT) and to create competition, the Government is providing opportunities to new telecommunication operators. Minister Pires said that to establish the new telecommunication in Timor-Leste, the Government has to remove the existed monopoly. The Minister also said that the Government announced the resolution on the new telecommunication's policy to TT on 19 March 2008.

Ramos-Horta: judges to decide Rogerio's sentence – Timor Post and Diario Nacional President José Ramos-Horta said that it is the judge's responsibility to decide whether prisoner Rogerio Tiago Lobato will continue to fulfil his sentence in Becora Prison. PR Horta said that before granting pardons to the prisoners, including former Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato, he had informed the judges. He added that he didn't know how long the sentence of Rogerio would be reduced. "I do not know until now. The judges will make the decision over whether his time in Malaysia will be included or not. If not, then he should go to Becora Prison to fulfil his sentence as required," said PR Horta. PR Horta furthermore said the he welcomed criticisms over his decision to pardon the prisoners. "I welcome the critics when we make a decision like this. This is the President's burden. I did what my conscience dictated," PR Horta added.

Lu-Olo: Rogerio deserves to be pardoned – Diario Nacional Fretilin President Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo said that former Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato deserves to be pardoned. "Rogerio deserves to be pardoned. PR Horta pardoned Rogerio not because they are friends or because his family died during the war, but because of his good attitude during his detention in Becora Prison," said Mr Lu-Olo. Answering the National Parliament's concerns that the pardon to Rogerio will create a culture of impunity, Mr. Lu-Olo said that the pardon will not create impunity as it is a normal process based on the Constitution of the nation.

Pardon to Rogerio: creating a culture of impunity culture – Suara Timor Lorosae The Director of the Commission of Peace and Justice of Dili Diocese, Fr. Cyrus V. Banque, said that a pardon for a big criminal like for Rogerio Tiago Lobato creates a culture of impunity and kills justice in this nation. "We feel that President Horta's pardon is against the good interests of many people…Even though he [Lobato] received a sentence, he diid not fulfil it…" said Fr. Banque on Saturday (31/5) in the Dili Cathedral. According to Fr. Banque, the pardon was given the chance to be publicly debated, but was published immediately as a presidential decree. He further said that the pardon negatively impacts on people's rights and it could create an atmosphere where the Government loses its credibility. "As the church we demand justice to be granted through the proper legal channels so as to promote the interests of Timorese people," added Fr. Banque.

 F-FDTL/PNTL Command: ready to discharge their members involved in violence – Timor Post The General Commander of the F-FDTL Taur Matan Ruak said on 29/5 in Memorial Hall that the F-FDTL and PNTL institutions would tolerate officers or soldiers who displayed bad attitudes against the communities. He also said such officers/soldiers would be dismissed. "As a democratic state, none of us is above the law. We are all under the rule of law, that is why our officers will not run away from the law", said the Commander.

Source:  UNMIT Daily Media Review 02 June 2008. Archived by Warren L. Wright

Timor-Leste Legal News May 2008 (Part 7)

UNMIT Daily Media Review 30 May 2008

Mario Carrascalão: asking the Government to cancel MAF-Indonesian MOU – TVTL

PSD Member of Parliament Mario Carrascalão is asking the Government to cancel the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests-Fishery (MAF) and the Indonesian Government. Last Monday in National Parliament  Mario said the MOU was a secret agreement that will not be beneficial for the population. "We ask this MOU to be cancelled because they signed it in secret. There should not be a law that is created only for the interest of the Government. We do not agree at all with them to sell the land to Indonesia, as stated in the MOU that TL will give a concession to Indonesia for two years to use 100,000 hectares of land," Mr. Carrascalão said.

In response to this, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture said the agreement was not secret because at that time journalists were invited to the signing. "This agreement is not secret. We just want to say that on 15 January 2008 when we signed the MOU, it was witnessed by many journalists as well broadcast on TVTL that the Ministry of Agriculture had signed an MOU with a company named "GT. Leste Birotec," explained Lourenzo Borges Fontes. He added that this agreement may be cancelled if there has been no activity from the time of the signature up to now.

Government: to take 3% of petroleum funds as social subsidiary – Radio Timor-Leste
Prime Minister Xanana said that the government will take 3% of petroleum funds to give subsidize social programs. "The food crisis is an issue around the world, not only in TL. The government should allocate funds to respond to needs of society," said PM Xanana during ameeting with President Horta in the government palace yesterday (29/5).

MSS: plan to have department to protect children rights – Radio Timor-Leste
Minister of Social and Solidarity Maria Domingas Alves said on Thursday (29/5) in Delta Nova, Comoro that the Ministry of Social and Solidarity will create a new program and plan to establish a department to protect child rights. The department will focus on runaways, children who need protection from abuse within the home, and those who are facing violence.

Pardon to Rogerio: MPs ask PR Horta retract his statement - Suara Timor Lorosa'e
Members of the National Parliament are asking President José Ramos-Horta to withdraw his statement concerning the pardon of former Minister of Interior Rogerio Tiago Lobato in which he said that many of the Rogerio's family died in the fight for the country's liberation. "The president should give a pardon based on his authority and not because someone's family died during the struggle," said CNRT MP Natalino dos Santos on Thursday (29/5) in the National Parliament.

The big impact [of the president's pardon] is setting a bad precedent to the nation – therre is no legal basis on which to give a pardon based on family members who died during the war. President Ramos-Horta did not comment on the request even though journalists have been questioning him about the pardon and his recent statements

UNMIT Daily Media Review 28 May 2008

Ministry of Justice: the Government does not need to report to NP about its recommendations
– Diario Nacional and Televisaun Timor-Leste
Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato said that the Ministry of Justice does not need to notify the National Parliament on what they have recommended to the president. Minister Lucia Lobato said that the Constitution does not say that the President has to inform the National Parliament before giving pardon to prisoners. "All of us know, especially the deputies, know the duty in all institutions of the Government based on the Constitution.

What is the authority of Parliament, the Government's authority, President's authority and the Court's authority? Each institution has its own area of authority to carry on as the constitution states.

In connection with the pardoning of prisoners by the President, particularly the deputies want to know about prisoner Rogerio Lobato. I think Constitution does not say that when President wants to extend forgiveness to the prisoners he must inform the deputies in National Parliament. If it is written in Constitution, I humbly ask the deputies to show me the article," said Minister Lobato.

She also said that the Ministry of Justice still has not received any information from the president about granting pardons to the prisoners as the case is being taken to court.

PNTL human rights violation against people continues to take place – Televisaun Timor-Leste
A human rights violation victim, Silvina Assuncão de Jesus yesterday (27/5) reported her case to Committees A and B in the National Parliament. Silvina said the case occurred when the members of the Task Force forced them to leave the place where they were staying. At that time, the members of Task Force destroyed the victim's kiosk, causing here to lose approximately US$200. Ms. Silvina is asking the Government to reimburse her loss.

In a separate matter, Chefe Aldeia of Caicoli, Tomas Jose Goncalves said the Government should inform the local authority in the community before they send the population to live there. "If the Government wants to relocate some part of the population to any place in the community, they have to make an agreement or hold a dialogue with us first so that we can be on the alert and prevent any disturbances. Also, we can know whether those people have their own house or not", explained Tomas.

In response to this case, President of Committee A, Antoninho Bianco said he has instructed the victim to report the incident to the PNTL in order to investigate those members who tortured the population. "Some of members of the Task Force yesterday tortured a victim in Caicoli. In relation to this, we have directly contacted the PNTL and asked them to gather evidence from the victim to thoroughly investigate all the parties involved. Also, we have also contacted the Provider of Human Rights and asked them to also gather evidence from the victim, so that if there is no follow-up from PNTL about this case, the Provider of Human Rights can present this case to General Prosecutor to be investigated", confirmed Bianco.

The Commander of Joint Operation Command Filomeno Paixão said the JOC also has taken any measures regarding human rights violations which were allegedly committed by the members of the F-FDTL during its field operations. According to Filomeno, 73 cases have been identified so far - 39 of the cases were committed by F-FDTL and the other 34 were committed by the UN. 

Ministry of Finance to present audit report
– Televisaun Timor-Leste
Minister of Finance Emilia Pires said that the internal audit report of the former Government is ready to be presented to the parliament. "As discussed with the auditors, auditing processes generally take a long time to do complete as they conduct the audit unit by unit. The report has been prepared and still need some work as the previous government did not have a good system in place. There are no documents and audit archive and it is difficult to find the auditing files," said Minster Emilia.

Fretilin-PUN: unhappy with NP plan to buy 65 cars for MPs – Timor Post
MPs from PUN and Fretilin have reacted strongly to the plan of the National Parliament to buy new 65 cars [Toyota Prado] for the 65 MPs in parliament. According to PUN-Fretilin, saying it is unconscionable to proceed with this plan while the people are suffering.

MP Fretilin Aniceto Guterres said that initially Fretilin did not accept the plan of buying cars for the MPs as people are starving due to the food crisis.  "I concur that the parliament need cars to carry out assessments and other duties, but not cars for every MP," lamented Mr. Guterres.

PUN MP Fernanda Borges said that her party is in the parliament to represent people and she is happy with US$10 per diem [per day. There is no need for cars as the cars are so expensive and will put too much strain on the State budget. "For me this is a serious step to take for the State. If the cars are bought for the current MPs, then the next MPs will also need cars, as we do now," questioned Ms. Borges. 

The Vice President of the National Parliament Maria Paixão said that the cars will be bought to facilitate the work of the MPs and may be sold at a lower price.

ASDT withdraw from AMP – Timor Post, Suara Timor Lorosa'e, Diario Nacional, Radio Timor-Leste and Televisaun Timor-Leste
The Social Democratic Association of Timorese (ASDT) decided to withdraw form the Alliance of Majority in Parliament (AMP) on Tuesday (27/5), saying that the party's has not yet received any response from Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão on its demands.

ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral stated that ASDT is no longer a part of AMP. Any difficulties people face can be directly addressed to CNRT, PD and PSD. Earlier ASDT had proposed to Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão to remove the Minister of Commerce and Tourism Gil da Costa Alves and the State Secretary of Environment Abilio Lima from their positions. ASDT is also asking the Prime Minister to place ASDT members as much as possible in the role of ambassador, district and sub-district administrators in areas where the party received the majority of more votes during parliamentary elections.

"Up until now we have no response from the Prime Minister. Such political dynamics may have a strong impact on the economic crisis in the country and people will lose their confidence in the AMP," said ASDT President Xavier do Amaral on Tuesday (27/5) in Lecidere, Dili. Mr. Xavier said that people's lives were getting more difficult as the large state budget approved by the National Parliament has not yet reached the people. "Starting from today (27/5), we declare directly to the people that everything that is going wrong is the fault of AMP fault. Just ask CNRT, PD and PSD. ASDT has no responsibility anymore for decisions made by the AMP Government," he said.

ASDT President Xavier do Amaral also said that he is still concerned with some of his members' statements that they want to be independent MPs in the parliament. "I (Xavier) ask them (ASDT members) to respect to the votes of ASDT supporters when they make decisions. The members in the parliament have rights and in a democracy can do it. But they were not voted in by the parliament/government. They were chosen by the ASDT supporters to take a seat in parliament, so they have to follow ASDT. They are free to discuss anything but we [ASDT] do not regard them as ASDT members and their statements are not considered as representing the party," said Xavier.

Another ASDT member of the NP, João Manuel Carascalão said the as an MP will continue to support the AMP Government.

"As an MP, I have a moral conscience and a big responsibility to serve the community and state, not only the party. In parliament, we are the representatives of the community, not only the representative of the party," said Mr. Carrascalão. With other ASDT MPs, Mr. Carrascalão said that they are not concerned about ASDT's decision concerning them.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 27 May 2008

February 11 case: investigators find 6 more suspects
– Timor Post
Six rebels who used to deny that they were not involved in the case of February 11 should now accept the results of the new investigation into the incident that will be presented to the court. The new investigation shows that they were involved in the attacks against President José Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. The National Investigation Department (NID) identified the six rebels as being directly involved in the incident. However, the six rebels deny that they were involved in the attacks of February 11, saying that they were only involved in the Fatuahi case on May 23, 2006.

The General Commander of NID, Nuno R. Gomes said that he presented the information yesterday afternoon (26/5) to the Public Ministry as part of the court hearing on the case. "We did the previous investigation with the Public Ministry based on their statements that they only involved in the Fatuahi case. But the later investigation identified them as being involved in the attempt of February 11," said Mr. Gomes on Monday (26/5). 

Fretilin-PUN: No audit report, Govt tries to hide corruption – Timor Post and Diario Nacional
Members of the National Parliament demand that the Government of the Alliance Majority in Parliament (AMP) immediately release an audit report. The MPs said that the report is very important for them to construct a budget for the implementation of the Government's program. The Chief bench of the National Unity Party (PUN) Fernanda Borges said that up until now, the National Parliament has not received any audit report of the budget which has been executed.

"We demand that the Government send us the report immediately. We want to know whether the budget has been executed properly or not, and if there is any sign of corruption that has been identified or not," said Ms. Borges.

Former Prime Minister and Fretilin's MP Estanislau da Silva said that if the Government does not provide the audit report to the National Parliament, it signals that the current Government is not transparent and is trying to hide existing cases of corruption. "This is clearly shows that the Government is not transparent. They say that Fretilin is corrupt, but they are the worst," said Mr. Estanislau. CNRT MP Aderito Hugo said that every financial report is delivered late to the National Parliament because it has to be annexed with the audit results. The audit report, which was created by international consultants hired by the Government, will also cover the previous government financial report.

Pardon to Rogerio: Minister of Justice still waiting for Horta's decision – Suara Timor Lorosa'e
Even though Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato has made recommendations to PR Ramos-Horta regarding to the reduction of prisoners' sentences, including former Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato, no final decision from the president has been received. "I still not see or receive any report because this is the president's decision. If this is published in the Jornal da Republica, then it will be considered as a law,"  said Minister Lobato on Monday (26/5) in Vila Verde, Dili. Minister Lobato recommended to PR Horta a reduction of three months from Rogerio's sentence of 7 and a half years.

IDPs of Jardim Colmera Camp unhappy with payment process – Suara Timor Lorosa'e and Diario Nacional
The IDPs of Jardim Colmera Camp are unhappy with the payment process of the Government's recovery grants because the funds have still not yet been transferred to IDPs through the Authority Payment Bank (BPA). The Coordinator of Jardim Colmera Camp, Leopoldino Pinto said that all the IDPs in the camp want to return home but until now the Government has not transferred the money to the Bank. "We are asking the Government not to make promises that are confusing," said Mr. Pinto on Monday (26/5).

Manuel Ximenes, an IDP from Baucau, said the Government has to give the money to the IDPs as they are entitled to it. "We came here to get our rights. Do not lie to us, we have suffered a lot," said Mr. Ximenes. 

CNRT MP Maria de Camara 'Bisoi' asked the Government to immediately improve the living conditions of the IDPs, as she does not want people suffering during the time of independence. She also suggested the Government create actions that promote peace in society and harmonious relationships in the community on the return of IDPs to their homes.

Pardon to prisoners: Parliament is awaiting the Government's recommendations – Diario Nacional
The Chief bench of the National Unity Party (PUN) Fernanda Borges is demanding that the Government immediately send the recommendation which it gave to President José Ramos-Horta concerning his pardon of the prisoners. Ms. Borges said that the constitution gives the president the authority to pardon prisoners, but he also has to consider the Government's recommendations.

"What has been said in the recommendation and what justification have they [Government] given regarding the pardons? It is not enough to say that a pardon is being given to a prisoner because of his/her good attitude and behavior," said Ms. Borges on Monday (26/5) Ms. Borges is also questioning whether the president's constitutional authority of the president is being used in a thoroughly legal manner. "President has authority, but he must use it responsibly, not using without any consultation," she added.
UNMIT Daily Media Review 26 May 2008

UNDERTIM: only force could lead to an early election
– Timor Post

UNDERTIM Vice President Faustino de Jesus-Renan Selak said that only force could lead to early elections but this would be suicide. Renan Selak said that the early election might take place if the Government failed twice in passing its programs in the National Parliament. "If the opposition has the power to lobby other parties to vote against Government's programs [in the National Parliament], the early elections will be realized," said Mr. Selak in the National Parliament. He said that his party is joining with AMP to block Fretilin's attempt to force early elections and save AMP and its programs.

The petitioners' position: AMP-Fretilin recommend civilian life – Timor Post and Diario Nacional
The AMP and Fretilin bench in the National Parliament recommend that the petitioners return to civilian life as they had left the military when they deserted F-FDTL. PSD Member of Parliament Riak Leman said that the petitioners do not deserve to return to the F-FDTL. He said that the petitioners were involved in two situations: First, from the military's point of view they are deserters as they by abandoned their barracks. Second, the petitioners' case, which was pending for some time, was destroyed when Salsinha and Alfredo attacked PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana on 11 February.

"They should have resolved their problem by the time the abandoned the HQ. Why didn't they want to resolve their problem, instead abandoning their HQ? So, some of their friends who did not follow them will not be happy to see them again. Therefore I have reminded the petitioners' leader former Major Tara to think ten times if they want to return to military," he said.

PSD President Mario Viegas Carrascalão said that the credibility of F-FDTL will be damaged if it decides to accept the petitioners' return. The Fretilin chief of bench in the National Parliament, Aniceto Guterres said that previously his party suggested that, based upon their decision to leave F-FDTL and the ensuing 2006 crisis, the petitioners should return to civilian life.

Rogerio's pardon: Horta starts a bad precedent – Timor Post
Even though the reduction by three months of the former Minister of Interior's sentence has implemented, criticism of PR Ramos-Horta continues. According to AMP leaders, PR Ramos-Horta has constitutional authority to grant a pardon to former Minister of Interior Rogerio Tiago Lobato. But they do not agree with Horta's statement that he pardoned Lobato because he is the only survivor [of the resistance] in Timor-Leste or even in the world.

"It is wrong and would destroy the nation's judicial system if Rogerio becomes a special citizen. Under the law, our constitution guarantees equal rights to all the citizens," said AMP member Hugo da Costa on Friday (23/5) in the National Parliament. MP Hugo said that PR Ramos-Horta's attitude signals a start to creating impunity for criminals in the country. Those who think of themselves as heroes may freely commit crimes and then be pardoned.

The President of the National Parliament Fernando Lasama de Araujo said that PR Horta's decision has generated criticism. Yet, it is fait accompli - everyone has to respect it as the constitution gives the President the authority to take such action.

Ed: Are the petitioners' problems being solved transparently? – Timor Post
Even though moving slowly, but there are positive signs that the Government of the Alliance Majority in Parliament is solving the petitioners' problems. The Government said that the petitioners who want to be civilians will be compensated and the others will be given an opportunity to return to the military with good conscience. The result of the recent questionnaire announced in the last few weeks showed that 356 petitioners chose to be civilian and other 339 decided to return to the military.

The Government might be afraid of the number of the petitioners who want to return to the military – because they only filled in answers on questionnaires. The Government through its Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Security Xanana Gusmão should try another way to brainwash the 339 petitioners who want to rejoin the military so that they would change the mind and follow the same path as the other 356 petitioners, to be civilians.

The Prime Minister is using this policy to discriminate against the petitioners who want to return to the military by saying that it is better for the petitioners who only finished primary school to return to civilian life. The statement made the 339 reconsider their personal preference. Only 80 petitioners out of 339 still want remain to return to the military.

We should agree with the Government policy, because the recruitment system will different as done previously. Now we need a professional force.

The concern is why questions about the petitioner's level of the education were not included among the items on the questionnaire. Of course, we do not know! We wait …

MP PUN says State institutions should work together – Suara Timor Lorosa'e
MP PUN Fernanda Mesquita Borges said that in order to achieve a good judicial system in the country, State institutions such as Presidency, National Parliament, Government and Tribunal should work together to achieve this. Otherwise everything will be out of sync and reckless if the state organs always criticize each other, politicians fight for position, and influence the nation's judicial system. Regarding the president's comment on the tribunal system is operating without direction, Fernanda Borges said that the case has to be brought to the Prosecutor-General in order to investigate the failed judicial system in the country. "We can not put someone in prison without a decision from the tribunal. They have to be investigated to determine how this could happen," said Fernanda Mesquita Borges to the journalist of STL on Friday (23/05) at the National Parliament.

Ed: buying luxurious cars, parliament should give clarification – Suara Timor Lorosa'e
All people recognize that Timor-Leste is the poorest nation in the world. It is true as we only achieved self-determination a few years ago. We are still too young. Every year we face poverty and other problems. If we solve one problem today, tomorrow we will face another. The prices of goods are getting higher and agriculture products are still limited. Heavy rains come with storms which and destroy the farmer's corn crops.

One problem that the Government is solving is the case of the petitioners. The second one is the veterans. However, progress on these two problems is not solving the problems of the population as a whole.

It is confusing. In an environment of so many problems, the President of the National Parliament, Fernando Lasama de Araujo stated that in one year the parliament will buy 65 luxurious cars to facilitate the daily work of all the MPs. "We will buy working cars. With half of the budget we will buy 65 luxurious cars for the MPs," said Fernando Lasama on Friday (23/5) in the National Parliament.

The cars will be [Toyota] Prado. The price will be US$20,000–$30,000: too much money. Big confusion: after MPs end their elected mandate, then the cars will be theirs. The decision might be considered an injustice as public money will be used for private gain.

The National Parliament has to clarification the situation. The money, which is coming from petroleum fund, belongs to Timorese people, not the leaders. How lucky are the MPs – coming in as poor people - but after one or two yyears in the NP, owners of luxurious cars. If it is so, then the National Parliament is not representative – but a place to become rich.
UNMIT Daily Media Review  23 May 2008

Only 80 petitioners still want to return to the military
- Timor Post

Of  the 339 petitioners who indicated a preference for rejoining the military, only 80 of them still want to return since Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão asked them last week to re-consider their choice of military or civilian life. "There are 80 petitioners who have not changed their decision to return to the military,†said one of the petitioners who still wants to be rejoin the military due to his love for the F-FDTL. He also said those other petitioners who changed their minds and now want to enter civilian life are illiterate and have some health problems. Some of them believe that if they return to the military, then they will not receive Government compensation.

Recently the numbers of the petitioners who want to become civilians increased from 356 to 605 out of a total of 685.

The Vice President of the National Parliament Vicente Guterres said that it was good for the petitioners to be civilians as they have abandoned their barracks. Mr. Guterres said that when there is problem within an institution, the problem should be solved internally, not outside of the institution. "As they have brought the problem out of the institution, if I were them, I would not go back," said Mr. Guterres.

Democratic Party MP Adriano do Nascimento said that he did not agree with the Prime Minister who had earlier said that it was good for the petitioners, who are illiterate, to return to civilian life. This statement dishonoured the petitioners, he said. "The petitioners left their barracks because of political matters and actions taken by political leaders [not because they are illiterate],†said Mr. Nascimento.

Be model for the world: PR Horta asks permission for the UN and NGOs to visit Becora prison – Timor Post
On his visit to Becora Prison on Wednesday (21/5) PR Ramos-Horta asked prison guards to allow the Red Cross, UNMIT Human Rights and national NGOs to visit Becora Prison in order to ensure transparency.

"I am requesting this prison to allow visits from the National Red Cross, UNMIT Human Rights and NGOs who work for human rights, not for NGOs who are working for politics. If we do this, then our prison will be a model for the world, a prison that hides nothing and reveals everything,†said PR Horta. PR Horta also said that he visited Becora Prison as a Nobel Peace Laureate, not as President, Prime Minister or the Minister of Foreign Affairs. President's pardon: 10 prisoners freed, Rogerio's sentence reduced – Timor Post

Out of 84 prisoners who received pardons from PR Ramos-Horta on Independence Day, 20 May, ten of them have received a full pardon. Rogerio Tiago Lobato, the former Minister of Interior, received only a reduced sentence.

Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato said that the Government's preference is for the president to only reduce Rogerio's sentence by three months as the court had sentenced him to seven years in prison.

Minister: Government recommends reduction of three months of Rogerio Lobato's sentence – Suara Timor Lorosa'e
Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato has recommended to the President Jose Ramos-Horta that he reduce only three months of the prison term given to the former Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato because of his involvement in arming civilians which caused many people to be killed in 2006. She made the statement to journalists on Wednesday (21/05) while accompanying president Ramos-Horta's on his official visit to Becora Prison. "The government has recommended only three months reduction of sentence but it depends on the president's decision,†said Lucia Lobato.

According to the president, the pardon is based on the former Interior Minister's past struggle to free the country. He said that Rogerio has also lost many of his family who sacrificed their lives during the war. Dili's international airport is named after Nicolau Lobato, the former Minister's younger brother who was killed during the struggle for independence.