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

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

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Timor-Leste Legal News April 2008 (Part 6)

FRETILIN Media Release: FRETILIN rejects ceremony to receive rebels

FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE FRETILIN Media Release April 30, 2008

FRETILIN rejects ceremony to receive rebels

The FRETILIN parliamentary group yesterday rejected participating in a ceremony to receive the rebel group led by Gastao Salsinha, saying the rebels should have faced the courts first, rather than be presented at the government palace.

The Salsinha group is linked to the alleged attack on the de facto Prime Minister on February 11, 2008.

The leader of the FRETILIN parliamentary group, Aniceto Guterres, made this clear in response to media questions. Mario Carrascalao, the Social Democratic Party leader and Member of Parliament, is also believed to have refused to attend the ceremony.

"This ceremony organized by the AMP de facto government is inappropriate. It portrays a negative image of our nation state. We cannot treat rebels in the same way we would undertake a family ceremony or a traditional ceremony. We must treat these questions of state with much more seriousness. These actions have diminished the dignity of our nation state," said Guterres.

According to Guterres these rebels should be immediately presented to the justice authorities and processed accordingly. Guterres added that as a state under the rule of law all those who violate the law are answerable to the courts and not political figures.

"The AMP de facto government has organized a reception ceremony whilst ignoring the warrants for the immediate apprehension of these rebels allegedly responsible for engaging in serious criminal action against this state. From what we hear, the rebel Salsinha and his group did not even formally surrender to authorities yesterday, but were permitted to participate in a public ceremony that was a charade. It was simply a farce for political gain."

Guterres also added: "FRETILIN views this undignified attitude by the state as projecting a negative image to our people and will only promote disrespect for the law and the constitution. It is also a blatant display by those who govern Timor-Leste today of their lack of respect for the rule of law."

Guterres said in closing that once again the FRETILIN parliamentary group congratulated the Joint Operation Command for the success in bringing the rebels to heel and acknowledged the personal efforts by Gastao Salsinha and his group as citizens of Timor-Leste to peacefully submit themselves to justice.

For further information please call Nilva Guimaraes in Dili: +670 7340389
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UNMIT Press Release 29 APril 2008 SRSG Khare welcomes Salsinha surrender

STATEMENT BY THE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR TIMOR-LESTE, ATUL KHARE


SRSG Khare welcomes Salsinha surrender, calls for renewed efforts to strengthen rule of law in Timor-Leste

Today in Dili, a dozen armed fugitives wanted in connection with the attacks of 11 February formally handed themselves over to the authorities. These attacks threatened Timor-Leste, and I share the feelings of the entire community in welcoming the peaceful submission of Gastão Salsinha and his men. They must now face justice.
The people of Timor-Leste and their leaders deserve praise for the calm manner in which the events of these past months have been handled, in accordance with the Constitution and applicable laws. The lessons learned should serve to strengthen the security institutions in their endeavours at enhanced professionalism and service to the community. I urge the people of Timor-Leste to work together, and with renewed determination, towards the goals of a peaceful, prosperous, and stable nation, securely anchored in a culture of democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights.

UNMIT Daily Media Review 29 April 2008

Lasama: The State of Siege is nearly over in Ermera district – President of National Parliament Fernando de Araujo Lasama said that the State of Siege has almost finished as Salsinha and his men are willing to surrender and able to collaborate with the justice system. The Apprehension Operation will continue to search for weapons. "I went to Ermera and met Salsinha on Saturday (26/4). He said that he was ready to surrender and collaborate with justice,"said the President of the National Parliament, Fernando de Araujo Lasama on Monday (28/4) at National Parliament. "As a Timorese I am very proud of the decision that Salsinha made because he has learnt and become aware of how to solve the problems,“ he added. Regarding the State of Siege in Ermera, the President of National Parliament said that the Apprehension Operation will be stopped once they are certain that Salsinha and all of his men have surrendered and there no weapons still at large. (Timor Post)

IDPs in the National Hospital IDP camp ready to return home – The IDPs in the National Hospital IDP camp say that they are ready to return home. However, the decision from the Government side is taking more time. "As citizens, we would like to go home in order to participate in a development for our nation and not continue living under the tents just doing nothing. Therefore, we need to go home if Government can solve our problem immediately," said one of IDPs on Monday (28/4) at National Hospital camp. A Timor Post journalist observed that some of the IDPs have packed their belongings and are waiting a decision from the Government.   (Timor Post)

Prosecutor-General: Salsinha and his men will surrender today – Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro said that Salsinha and 13 of his men are going to hand themselves to the State on Sunday (29/4) Gastão Salsinha and his men are under heavy guard at a house in the country's mountainous interior and will be escorted by truck to the capital Dili on Tuesday to formally surrender to the State," said PGR Monteiro on Monday (28/4) at the Office of Prosecutor-General. Meanwhile the PGR added that the investigation into February 11 attacks has resulted in a total of 24 people being accused of involvement in the assassination attempts against the nation's top two leaders. The investigation will continue. (Diaario Nasional)

Minister Hasan Wirayusda together with Timorese Ambassador to Indonesia Ovidio de Jesus Amaral at Jakarta airport on Monday (28/4). (Diaario Nasional)

Maria Paixão: State needs to be responsible for stopping human trafficking – PSD MP Maria Paixão said the responsibility for stopping human trafficking in the country of Timor-Leste, is in the hands of the State. "It is crucial to stop human trafficking in Timor-Leste. Therefore, all parties including the Government, Parliament and all others to work together in order to stop human trafficking activities facing this nation," said PSD MP Maria Paixão at National Parliament. (Diaario Nasional)

Timor-Leste Legal News April 2008 (Part 5)

Australian prime minister says 200 troops to be withdrawn from East Timor The Associated Press Published: 26 April 2008

CANBERRA, Australia: Australia will withdraw 200 troops from nearby East Timor because security in the restive nation has improved since rebel soldiers wounded the president, Australia's prime minister said Saturday. The withdrawal Sunday will reduce Australia's troop commitment there to 750 — the same level as before East Timor's President Jose Ramos-Horta was shot in February outside his home near the capital, Dili, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said in a statement.

"This drawdown in Australian forces reflects the improved security situation," Rudd said. Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, nearly died in the Feb. 11 attack by mutinous soldiers. East Timor's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao escaped unharmed from an ambush of his motorcade the same day. Most of the suspects in both attacks have been captured. The president's guards killed rebel leader Alfredo Reinado. Rudd said the East Timorese government agreed with Australia's assessment that the security situation is now stable. With 750 troops, Australia will remain leader of a 900-strong international force that was invited by East Timor's government two years ago to restore order. Dozens of people have been killed in clashes between government troops and mutinous soldiers in Dili, and more than 150,000 others were forced to flee their homes.
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Negotiations continue with E Timor rebel By Anne Barker Posted 26 Apr 2008 8:30pm AEST - Salsinha has promised authorities he will not leave the house until his rebel cohorts join him. Authorities in East Timor are continuing negotiations with a rebel leader involved in February's assassination attempt on President Jose Ramos-Horta. Renegade soldier Gastao Salsinha is inside a house in the western town of Gleno, with representatives of East Timor's army, prosecutor-general and political leaders - but he has not formally surrendered. Salsinha has promised he will not leave the house until about eight other rebels join him and United Nations authorities are hoping he will then hand over his weapons and surrender. But Salsinha has had similar talks before where he has offered to surrender, only to tell authorities he was going to get his rebel associates, then not come back. East Timorese soldiers have a strong presence in the area, but it is unclear whether they are preparing to take him by force if he does not surrender of his own will.
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Indonesian police arrest another East Timor suspect - ABC 24/04/08 Indonesian police say they have arrested a fourth East Timor suspect believed linked to assassination attempts against the president and prime minister. Indonesia's Police Chief General Susanto announced the development saying the suspects all entered the country without documents, or passports. Earlier this week, Indonesian police arrested three other people, two in a border town in Indonesia's West Timor and another near Jakarta. General Sutanto says all four are currently being held in Jakarta. He says they are East Timorese citizens, and are all members of the East Timorese military. The arrests followed a request from the East Timor government.
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200804/s2227077.htm?tab=asia
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UNMIT Daily Media Review 25 April 2008

Salsinha promises to submit himself within April – The Deputy Commander of the Joint Operation Command Mateus Fernandes said that Salsinha and his members have promised to submit themselves within this month even though the operation is still continuing. "He did not nominate an exact date, but he did promise that in short time he will submit himself to the church. That is what he said … we will see the reality, said Commander Fernandes on Wednesday (23/4) in Dili. (Diario Nacional)

Ed: Pardon for Rogerio Lobato – When President Ramos-Horta said that he would pardon prisoners on 20 May, including former Minister of Interior Rogerio Tiago Lobato, many people were surprised as Mr. Lobato was imprisoned for a short time before he went to Malaysia for medical treatment. We know that Mr. Lobato is a political leader who has political maturity, obeys the law and with humility accepted the decision of the court sentence. We may reject the decision of President Ramos-Horta, but the Constitution gives him the right to do so. As citizens of this country, we should bow our heads to the constitution made by our representatives in the National Parliament.  (Diario Nacional)

Pardon for Rogerio: Horta attacks the Constitution - CNRT MP Aderito Hugo said that the decision made by the president to pardon Rogerio Lobato is an attack on Timor Leste's constitution. "The way that the President has handled this is an attempted attack on our constitution," said Aderito Hugo on Thursday (24/4) at the National Parliament. Mr Hugo added that the man imprisoned for his part in the weapons distribution of 2006, Rogerio Lobato, has not yet earned the right to be pardoned. Separately, National Director of Prison, Helena Gomes said that it is right for President Ramos Horta to pardon Rogerio Lobato as he had shown a good attitude and had collaborated with the justice system before receiving a medical treatment in Malaysia. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)

President holds a meeting with AMP leaders – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão said that PR Ramos-Horta held a meeting with the leaders of AMP Government on Thursday (24/4) at the President's new office in Farol, Dili. The meeting aimed at informing the President on the strategies already implemented by the AMP government during his absence. President Ramos Horta also suggested the all political parties work to strengthen national unity.   (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)

Carrascalao: it is normal to form a shadow cabinet – MP PSD Mario Viegas Carrascalão said that its normal if the President invites all former leaders to from a shadow cabinet in the manner of other countries. He added that a shadow cabinet has the right to provide constructive criticism to the Government. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)  

Prosecutor General Longuinhos goes to Indonesia to bring back captured rebels
– Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro is today (25/4) going to Jakarta to bring back the three rebels arrested by the National Police of Indonesia (POLRI). Prosecutor Longuinhos said that the rebels will be brought back to Timor-Leste before the Prime Minister's visit to Indonesia. He also said that he would be accompanied by court police and the military. The rebels will be transferred from Jakarta to Bali, then to Timor-Leste. (Timor Post)

President Horta interrogated by Public Prosecutor for more than 4 hours
– The Public Ministry has interrogated President Ramos-Horta as a victim of February 11 for more than four hours. Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro said that the interrogation was conducted well and helped clarify the investigation. "Everything went normally. He provided a chronology of events for February 11," said Mr. Longuinhos on Thursday (24/4). Mr. Longuinhos said that the case is very complex, so it needs cooperation from every part, including from Indonesia and Australia. (Televisão Timor-Leste)

Pardon for Rogerio may impact the judgment of 2006 crisis – The Director of HAK Association Jose Luis Oliveira said that the decision of President Ramos-Horta to pardon Rogerio Lobato will impact the process for the unresolved cases of the 2006 crisis. "Because some people have still not been investigated, if the President has decided to pardon Rogerio Lobato this indicates that other cases of 2006 crisis may be closed. The suspects will think this whether they are right or wrong,†said Mr. Oliveira. According to Mr. Oliveira, Rogerio Lobato should at least fulfil his sentence in the prison for half a year. He added that the decision of the President sets a bad example for society. (Timor Post)

Ed: all political parties should have dialogue – On Wednesday (23/4), President Ramos-Horta appealed to all political parties to have a dialogue for the sake of peace and stability in the country. It is clear that there should be a dialogue, especially between the AMP Government and the opposition party of Fretilin. We can all see that AMP is facing great challenges by Fretilin who won the2007 elections but lost the opportunity to rule the country. Fretilin used to claim that the AMP is illegal based on the results of the 2007 elections. At the same time, AMP used to say that they were legal based on the parliamentary chairs they had and the decision of President Horta to form the government. So who follows who? We need collaboration and reconciliation from the highest levels. We do not need early elections as proposed by Fretilin We are still questioning whether the dialogue is for collaboration and reconciliation or to decide on early elections (Timor Post)
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Two killed in gang violence - DILI, April 24 (Reuters) - Two members of East Timor's rival martial arts gangs were killed on Thursday in another bout of violence that has beset the young, impoverished nation, police said. One of the victims was decapitated in a revenge attack that followed the killing of a rival gang member in the eastern district of Baucau, said local police detective chief Rogerio Gueterres. "We are searching for 10 perpetrators who have been identified," Gueterres said. The former Portuguese colony plunged into chaos in 2006 after the sacking of 600 rebellious soldiers triggered violence that killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their homes. Foreign troops had to be brought in to restore order and security has improved, although sporadic violence, vandalism and arson persist, with an unemployment rate of around 50 per cent helping fan a gang culture among bored youths. Indonesia annexed East Timor in 1975. East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia in a violence-marred referendum in 1999. It became fully independent in 2002 after a period of U.N. administration. (Reporting by Tito Belo; Writing by Ahmad Pathoni; Editing by Sugita Katyal)
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UNMIT Daily Media Review 24 April 2008

Ed: the State of Siege, only for Ermera district – How sad for those who are living in Ermera district. They have to endure the consequences of Salsinha's rebel group for one more month (22 April-22 May 2008) by living under a State of Siege, while other districts resume back to a normal state. Sometimes, the State just takes outrageous decision, but what can we do? They have all the power. The worst thing is that if Salsinha does not surrender in one month, then the people of Ermera will be living and dying under a State of Siege.

Why has the Joint Operation Command not taken any alternative action to arrest Salsinha? It is better not to implement a State of Siege just because of one Salsinha. To arrest Salsinha, the State may deploy all the army forces the country to arrest Salsinha. Why should Salsinha become the indicator for the State to prevent people's movement? This might be wrong. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)

Indonesia does not give asylum to rebels – The Vice Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, José Luis Guterres has said that he does not believe Indonesia will grant political asylum to the rebels who were involved in the attempts against PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana Gusmão on  February 11. "I think no, because Indonesia has arrested three people. This shows that we have a good neighbor who sees that peace and national stability are important for Timor-Leste," said Mr. Guterres on Wednesday (23/4).

Separately, the National Parliament said that the three people do not deserve to get political asylum as they are fugitives from justice. "They are criminals who flee and hide in Indonesia. They do not deserve to get political asylum. It depends on the Indonesian Government," said MP Vital dos Santos. According to the information between the Indonesian and Timor-Leste Government, Indonesia continues to cooperate with Timor-Leste as stated by Indonesian President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e) 

PR Horta to pardon Rogerio; Fretilin's happy, MP sad – In a statement made to the National Parliament on Wednesday (23/4), President Ramos-Horta said on 20 May he will pardon 80 prisoners, including former Minister of Interior Rogerio Tiago Lobato who was imprisoned for his part in the weapons distribution of 2006. PR Horta said that the pardon he is going to give is based upon the prerogative rights he has and the recommendations from Ministry of Justice. "I went to Becora prison many times. On 20 May I will pardon 80 prisoners, including former Minister of Interior Rogerio Lobato," said PR Horta on speech in the National Parliament. PR Horta said that the reasons for pardoning Rogerio Lobato were that Rogerio had shown a good attitude and had collaborated with the justice system. The President is also pardoning Lobato as he is the only one surviving member of his family- all who were killed defending the nation. (Timor Post)

PR Horta: asks Alkatiri to form his cabinet – PR Ramos-Horta has asked the Secretary-General of Fretilin Mari Alkatiri to form his cabinet to contribute to the development of the country. "I especially ask the former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, his companions and friends for many years to form a support cabinet of development to contribute to the development of the nation. If the suggestion is accepted, the former Prime Minister may present a clear proposal about the necessities of the cabinet," said the President during his long speech on Wednesday (23/4) in the National Parliament, Dili. Mr Alkatiri said he felt proud of the recognition of President Horta, but he still needs to discuss the details with the President. "I am glad the President still recognizes my ability and I am ready to contribute to the nation. I will talk with the President of how the cabinet is going to be formed," said Mr. Alkatiri. (Timor Post)

Ed: The State of Siege ended  – The National Parliament has approved to extend the State of Siege for one more month (22 April-22 May 2008) in the district of Ermera. The State of Siege is extended upon the reason that there are still illegal weapons carried throughout the country, including 13 riffles of Salsinha and his group. This policy can be considered as discrimination to the people of Ermera as all people in the other districts are living freely. (Diario io Nacional)

President to pardon prisoners –  President José Ramos-Horta has announced that 80 prisoners will receive pardons for good behavior on May 20, the anniversary of Independence, and has named Rogerio Lobato as one of them. "Some prisoners have received pardons from me, as recommended by the judicial justice system. I myself have visited and observed prisoners in Becora prison many times. So, at least 80 prisoners will receive pardons from me as the President on May 20, the anniversary of Independence and Lobato is one of them," said PR Ramos Horta on Wednesday (24/4) at the National Parliament. Separately, the president of Fretilin party, Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo said that his party will be happy if the President pardons Rogerio Lobato. However, PUN MP Fernanda Borges said that this is not the time to do so, as some rebels are still at large. (Diario Nacional)

Malaysia ready to train F-FDTL – The State Secretary for Defence Julio Thomas Pinto said that The Government of Malaysia, through its Defence Department, has agreed to give military training to the Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL). "I have met the Vice Prime Minister who is also the Minister of Defence of Malaysia, Dato Sri Najib Tun Rajak. We discussed defences issues of the two nations and Malaysia is committed to help Timor-Leste in its military development. On behalf of the Government of Timor-Leste, I give my gratitude to the Government of Malaysia for sending its military forces to Timor-Leste during the 2006 crisis and for providing scholarships providing military training to F-FDTL …," said Mr. Pinto via telephone on Wednesday (23/4). (Televisaun Timor-Leste)

Lao Hamutuk: petroleum funds utilized ineffectively – The Program Manager of Lao Hamutuk Mericio Akara said that because the petroleum funds are not utilized effectively, they cannot give benefits to the people. Mr. Akara said that the fund should be managed in order to use the fund effectively. "Minimally, we could guarantee that this will benefit the population. As we see now that there is no sign that the people will benefit from the petroleum fund which is not currently well managed. Our preoccupation is whether to use the fund or not. Is the accountable? Have we the capability to manage the money? Will we be able to minimize collusion, corruption and nepotism or not? These are our preoccupations," said Mr. Akara. (Radio Timor-Leste)
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UNMIT Daily Media Review 22 April 2008

PM to pay emergency visit to Ermera – Local authorities in Ermera are preparing today (22/4) to welcome Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão and the F-FDTL Commander Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak in their emergency visit to the district. The visit is aimed at meeting with local leaders, political leaders and the population of Ermera, including Gastão Salsinha's wife. Security has been provided and prepared around the capital of Ermera, Gleno. (Radio Timor-Leste)

Bishop Ricardo: Salsinha should surrender –  The Bishop of Dili Diocese, Mgr. Alberto Ricardo, has called on Gastão Salsinha and his men to surrender. "I pray for them and ask God to help them think positively and to do the right thing." said Bishop Ricardo on Sunday (20/4) after holding a ceremonial mass upon the return of President José Ramos-Horta. (Televizaun Timor-Leste)

PR Horta should clarify the involvement of Indonesia in Alfredo's case – Social Democratic Party (PSD) MP Mario Viegas Carrascalão is asking President José Ramos-Horta to provide a clarification to the Indonesian Government regarding his public statements that some Indonesian people were involved in Alfredo Reinado's case. According to Carrascalão, PR Horta should give this clarification in order to maintain good diplomatic relations between the two nations. "This should be explained as we are friends. The two nations have good relations after May 2002," said Mr. Carrascalão.  On his return, PR Horta said that the Prosecutor General and Australian Federal Police had indicated the involvement of some Indonesian people involved in Alfredo's case. (Suara Timor Lorosa'e)

Indonesia arrests 19 rebels – The Foreign Affairs Minister of Timor-Leste, Dr Zacarias Da Costa, said that the Government has received information through the East Timor Embassy in Jakarta that the Indonesian National Republic Police (POLRI) have arrested 19 rebels who fled to Jakarta, Indonesia. "I know the previous information said that three of Alfredo's man were arrested. They are Ismael S.M Soares known as (Asanku), Jose Gomes and Ijidio Lay Carvalho. They all are former members of the F-FDTL. The latest information on Sunday (20/4) stated that, 19 other rebels were also arrested in Jakarta, Indonesia," said Mr Da Costa to the journalists on Monday (21/4) at Palacio do Governu, Dili.  "Now we and the Prosecutor-General are working together with the Indonesian authorities to bring those rebels into East Timor in order to face justice," said the Foreign Affairs Minister. (Timor Post)

President postpones speech at National Parliament – The Chief of the President's Office, Natalia Carrascalao, said that the President postponed his speech at the National Parliament yesterday because his condition did not yet permit him to do so. "As we all aware, there were a lot of programs during his return and he has been visited by many people. So, the President decided to postpone his long speech at the National Parliament yesterday," said Ms Carrascalao. (Timor Post)

Alkatiri to forward proposal – The Secretary-General of Fretilin, Dr Marii Alkatiri, said that the Fretilin party will move forward with a proposal to establish an International Commission of Inquiry into the events of February 11 and is planning to discuss this with President Jose Ramos Horta. Alkatiri added that in order to ensure the independence of the inquiry, the countries currently involved in maintaining security in Timor Leste should not be involved in the inquiry. "We say that we should trust in our institutions, but the reality is that we do not trust each other yet. So we really need an international investigation," said Mr Alkatiri. (Timor Post)

MPs say no need to prolong Sate of Siege – MPs from CNRT, ASDT and Fretilin have said that there is no need to prolong the State of Siege as the current situation does not warrant an extension, even though Salsinha and his men are still at large. CNRT MP Pedro da Costa said that the State of Siege should not be prolonged because it is not suitable for the current country's situation, but added that it depends on the President whether he wants to continue or not. Fretilin MP Francisco Miranda Branco said that the State of Siege has shown a bad image for this government, so it does not need to be prolonged. But he added that the State of Siege can be applied at places where the rebels are though to be hiding rather than all through the country. ASD MP Jose Manuel Carrascalao said that the State of Siege has to be stopped given that there have been a lot of abuses committed by the forces during the implementation of the State of Siege. (Diario Nacional)

Government needs to address border security – CNRT MP Natalino Dos Santos has said that government need to address the Border Patrol Unit in order to strengthen border security. "I may say that our security at the border is still weak, so it has to be strengthened. Therefore, we have to find out what kind of difficulties are currently faced by our Border Patrol Unit (BPU) in order to provide them with the facilities to carry out their duties," said Mr Dos Santos on Monday (21/04) at the National Parliament.  (Diario Nacional)

E Timor President Lifts State Of Emergency In Most Areas - 22/04/08 DILI (AFP)--East Timor lifted a state of emergency over most of the country on Tuesday but continued to enforce it in a district southwest of Dili where rebels are believed to be holding out, officials said.

The emergency restrictions were imposed in February after rebel former soldiers tried to assassinate President Jose Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. Both men survived but Ramos-Horta was seriously wounded. "I have received a recommendation from the prime minister to lift the state of emergency in the whole country, except in Ermera," Ramos-Horta said.

He said the state of emergency in Ermera, about 40 kilometres southwest of the capital, would remain for another month. Parliament later approved the move. Head of parliament Fernando de Araujo said the state of emergency in Ermera would remain until May 21.

The district is where followers of rebel leader Alfredo Reinado -- who critically shot Ramos-Horta at his Dili home on February 11 before being killed -- are believed to be hiding. Emergency restrictions include a night curfew and bans on gatherings and rallies.

Ramos-Horta returned home last week following two months of treatment in Australia. He also said Gusmao and military commander Taur Matan Ruak left for Ermera on Tuesday to check rumours that Gastao Salsinha -- the rebel most wanted over the attacks -- wanted to give himself up.

Compiled by Warren L. Wright BA LLB

Timor-Leste Legal News April 2008 (Part 4)

UNMIT Daily Media Review 18 April 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Compiled by Warren L. Wright

Timor-Leste Legal News April 2008 (Part 3)

Mentally Ill Defendant Sent to Prison JSMP Press Release 4 April 2008

The Dili District Court heard testimony on 18 February and 17 March 2008 from the defendant, victim and an expert on mental illness in a case of attempted murder.

The trial was presided over by a panel comprising international judge Vitor Hugo Pardal and two national judges, Deolindo dos Santos and Antonino Gonçalves. The prosecution was represented by Felismino Cardoso (international) and the defendant by public defender Olga Nunes Barreto (national).

The public prosecutor had laid charges under Article 53 (2) of the Indonesian Penal Code, alleging attempted murder, the intended victim being the defendant’s own wife.

The defendant was kept in pre-trial detention at the Becora Corrections Facility from 11 May 2007. In his testimony to the court, the defendant admitted slashing the victim three times with a machete but claimed his actions were not premeditated. The court also received information that the defendant was receiving medical treatment due to signs that he was suffering from a mental illness.

To provide another perspective on the defendant’s state of mind, the court heard from expert witness Dr. Chamilou Selsel. Dr. Selsel stated his examination of the defendant had found no conclusive evidence of mental illness.

The defendant’s wife, and the target of his violence, also testified. She stated that since 1999 the defendant would often sit alone and talk to himself. At other times, he would scream abuse and strike her without warning.

The panel of judges, in its final decision, acquitted the defendant from all charges on the grounds of mental illness, pursuant to Article 44 (2) of the Indonesian Penal Code, which allows a judge to order committal and/or probation on mental health grounds.  Accordingly, the defendant is to be held in protective custody at the Becora Correctional Facility for a period of one year, to be reviewed after six months.

The court indicated that protective custody was needed to prevent the defendant from posing any danger to himself or to the community.  It was noted that the defendant was not convicted, but rather was ordered to undergo mental health treatment. As the court was unable to identify any facilities in Timor-Leste able to suitably house a potentially unstable patient, this period of treatment is to be undertaken at the Becora prison.

It appears the panel of judges gave considerable weight to the testimony of the victim, whereas the findings of expert witness Dr. Selsel were rejected.

Article 165 of the Timor Leste Criminal Procedure Code states that “the court shall freely assess the result of the proof obtained by means of recognition”. Judges are hence able to come to their own assessment of the facts. Furthermore, Article 121 (2) of the RDTL Constitution states “in performing their functions, judges are independent and owe obedience only to the Constitution, the law and to their own conscience”. This suggests that the testimony of expert, and other, witnesses may be balanced according to the judges’ own appraisal of circumstance, in keeping with these factors alone.

On the issue of expert opinion, Article 162 (2) of the Timor Leste Criminal Procedure Code states “where the conviction of the judge diverges from the judgment contained in the expert reports, the judge shall substantiate the reasons for his or her dissenting opinion”. The court’s rationale for an acquittal on the basis of mental illness, against expert testimony, has not been made entirely clear in this matter.

JSMP is concerned about the placement of the defendant in the Becora Corrections Facility for treatment, particularly considering the defendant was kept there for almost a year in pre-trial detention. It is uncertain what therapeutic value this environment will provide. Additionally, a failure to sufficiently distinguish between criminals and the mentally ill adds to an already worrying stigma.

The lack of appropriate public facilities for the mentally ill is not only a matter of public health but one also of social justice. JSMP calls on the government to respond to this issue not only with legislation and policy statements, but also a practical commitment to providing dedicated infrastructure.
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UNMIT Daily Media Review 10 April 2008

RTL News Coverage

Horta gives total support to investigators - The Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro has said that President José Ramos-Horta is totally supporting the investigations into the events of February 11. Mr. Monteiro said that he had informed the President on the progress of the investigation, including on the evidence gathered to date. He said that the briefing satisfied the President.

Lasama: State to use force against Salsinha - Acting President Fernando Lasama de Araujo said that that the state will use military force to resolve the problem of Salsinha. The Acting President said that the use of force will ensure that Salsinha and his men surrender immediately. He also said that the State would bear the responsibility for any criticisms towards the Joint Operation Command.

Print Coverage

Fretilin asks AMP to be humble - Fretilin MP Estanislau Aleixo da Silva has said that the Government should humble itself by seeking contributions from all Timorese people to solve the problems of the country. "As we have seen, the problems of the IDPs and the petitioners have become national issues. But the government has not thought to ask the people how they think the problems can be solved," said Mr. da Silva on Wednesday (09/04) in National Parliament. (DN)

Ramos-Horta asks PGR to further investigate February 11 - During the visit of Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro to the President on Monday (7/4/00) in Darwin, Australia, President Jose Ramos-Horta called on the Public Ministry to further investigate the events of February 11. "The explanation and information that I presented to the President was based on the facts uncovered from the investigation. The President was delighted and supports us in continuing to investigate the case further." said Mr. Longuinhos. (TP)

Arsenio denies involvement with Alredo - Responding to rumours, Fretilin MP Arsenio Bano has denied that he had any contact or relations with Alfredo Reinado Alves. Mr Bano called on the Prosecutor General to resign from his role as he had made contact with Alfredo Reinado and his men. (STL)
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Fretilin Parliamentary Group
National Parliament
Media Release Dili 10 -04-2008

FRETILIN demands de facto PM Gusmao to sack his Deputy

The FRETILIN parliamentary group, using documentary evidence, demanded in the National Parliament this Tuesday (8 April 2008) that de facto Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao sack his deputy, Jose Luis Guterres, and that he initiate an investigation into transfers authorized by Mr Guterres of public funds to increase his wife's salary as a diplomat in New York, whilst he was Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

The matter was raised by FRETILIN MP Ilda Da Conceicao on behalf of the FRETILIN parliamentary group.

"In February this year FRETILIN first raised this matter in the parliament regarding Mr Jose Luis Guterres for his action as Foreign Minister in authorizing the Ministry of Finance to transfer an extremely high salary to his wife who was then employed at Timor-Leste's UN mission in New York, USA," she said.

"FRETILIN considers this case to be grave given that it involved an abuse of power, corruption and nepotism," said Da Conceicao.

When FRETILIN presented this case in February, other MPs demanded proof, and so today FRETILIN presented proof by way of an excerpt from an email written by Mr Guterres' wife herself in June 2007, stating the following:

"The transfers made into my personal account by the Ministry of Finance to date were respectively $10,673.33 on 24 November (being for the first quarter) 2006, $8,005.00 on 11 January (being for the second quarter) and $18,667.14 on 11 April (being for the third quarter) which can certainly be verified with the Ministry of Finance. I only became aware at the time I sought verification that by law, even though I possess a Timorese Diplomatic passport, I do not have citizenship rights because I have not lived in Timor-Leste for a minimum of eight years. For this reason I could not be classified as a Diplomat for contractual purposes nor for entitlements."

MP Ilda Da Conceicao explained: "Mr Jose Luis Guterres, as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, knew that his wife, as a foreigner, could not be appointed as a diplomat at the Timor-Leste mission in New York. So why did he make this decision? Is this not an abuse of power, corruption and nepotism?

"We also know that Mr Guterres' wife used the funds to purchase a grand piano in the US," said Da Conceicao.

The FRETILIN MP also explained that the government, headed by His Excellency Mr. Jose Alexandre Gusmao already knew of this case, but until now, has not done anything. Why? This shows that the government does not have transparency in its affairs and lacks integrity. It shows clearly that the government is covering up one of its members.

"We from FRETILIN requested the parliament executive to take this matter up with the government but until now we have not heard anything further," said Da Conceicao.

"Once again we demand H.E. Mr. Jose Alexandre Gusmao as head of the government to dismiss Mr. Jose Luis Guterres from the government and initiate an investigation into this case of his authorization of transfers of funds to increase his wife's salary as a diplomat in New York," Da Conceicao concluded.
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UNMIT Daily Media Monitoring 09 April 2008

TVTL News Coverage

Guterres appeals to Salsinha to cooperate - The Acting President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres, has appealed for Salsinha and his group to cooperate with the Joint Operation and to avoid confrontation. "As the representative of the people, I am appealing to Salsinha to collaborate with the state. It is better for him to submit himself to solve the problem," said Acting PR of the National Parliament. 

RTL News Coverage

Ramos-Horta vows to serve people on his return - Through a direct interview with TVTL on Tuesday (8/4), President Ramos-Horta vowed that he would continue to serve the people upon his return from Darwin, Australia. The President said that he has recovered and is planning to return to Timor-Leste in a short time to continue as the nation's President. PR Ramos-Horta also said that he would consult with Bishops and other Timorese people before making a decision to resign.

Print Coverage

Ramos-Horta can't promise he can lead for next 5 years - President José Ramos-Horta said that he is not promising he can continue as the Chief of the State for the next five years. "I will inform the National Parliament when I get back. I will not promise to lead for the full term," said the President. "I should be sensitive to what the Bishops and East Timorese people say," said PR Ramos-Horta to The Australian on Monday (7/4) in Darwin, Australia. (TP)

Joint Operation asks people not to believe rumours - The Commander of  F-FDTL/PNTL Joint Operation, Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixão, has asked community members in the district of Ermera to not believe the rumour that Susar has died in prison. "In Ermera, some people are spreading the rumours that Susar has died in prison. We have asked the media [TVTL] to film Susar in prison," said Commander Paixão on Tuesday (8/4) in Memorial Hall, Dili. "Susar is in good health and is maintaining contact with the Joint Operation and the Public Ministry." Commander Paixão also confirmed that the Joint Operation is going to enter the third phase (muscular operation). The Australian Forces will assist with helicopters to support logistics and the evacuation of soldiers during the operation. (TP)

Paixão confirms launch of Joint Operation - During a press briefing held on Tuesday (8/4) in the Memorial Hall-Dili, Commander of the Joint Operation Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixão said that following the decision made by the Joint Operation, the serious military operation against Salsinha and his men would start today (Wednesday 9/4). He also confirmed that the rebel's stronghold has been identified. (DN)

Fretilin agrees that Salsinha should surrender when Horta returns - Fretilin MP Antoninho Bianco agrees that Salsinha and his group should surrender before the return of President Ramos-Horta. "Salsinha's suggestion that he will only surrender to PR Ramos-Horta is acceptable as it requires only a short time for the recovery of the President. Everything will go peacefully," said Mr. Bianco on Tuesday (8/4) in the National Parliament. Mr. Bianco said that Fretilin's intention is not to hold back the operation, but only to voice an opinion as to the best way to avoid bloodshed in this country. (DN)

Alkatiri: IICI stall shows no respect for NP decision - Former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has said that the Government is not respecting the decision of the National Parliament by stalling the establishment of an International Independent Commission for Inquiry (IICI). "The Government has made the mistake and seems to give no respect to the decision of the National Parliament. It shows clearly that a dictatorship is starting to enter the nation. I have called and told some of them [MPs] that it is a mistake, and it is against the law," said Mr. Alkatiri.   Separately, Vice Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres said that the establishment of an IICI is still under discussion and requires consultation with the judicial organs in Timor-Leste. "The Council of Ministers decide to consult with the judicial sector to establish an IICI," said Mr. Guterres. (DN)

Paixão: Four of Salsinha's men surrender - The Commander of the Apprehension Operation, Filomeno Paixão, has confirmed the surrender of four of Salsinha's men to the Apprehension Operation forces on Tuesday (8/4). Three of the men were former members of the F-FDTL, and one was a former member of the BPU, (Border Patrol Unit). They also surrendered one AK33 rifle. (STL)

PM inspects President's residence - Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has inspected Ramos-Horta's residence in Metiaut. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak and other officials from the Government. They were welcomed by the Horta's brother, Arsenio Horta, on Tuesday (8/4) at the President's house. The inspection aimed to uncover the chronology of events on February 11. Mr Horta showed them where Alfredo's body had laid and the place where the President was shot. (STL)

Treason to hide or feed Salsinha - The Commander of the Military Police, Abel Ximenes, has declared it an act of treason to feed or hide Salsinha or any of his men. He added that the Apprehension Operation will treat the people who support Salsinha through the provision of food and supplies (including phone cards) as criminals. (STL)

Timor-Leste Legal News April 2008 (Part 2)

UNMIT Daily Media Review 08 April 2008

TVTL News Coverage

Alkatiri: Do not kill Salsinha or anybody else - Fretilin's Secretary-General Mari Alkatiri has asked the Apprehension Operation to not kill Gestao Salsinha or his men and to not take advantage of the State of Siege to kill anybody else. (TVTL)

Print Coverage
Joint Operation threatens to shoot MP - The Joint Operation Command force assigned in Bobonaro district, sub district Atabae, threatened to shoot an MP along with some judges on the way back to Dili at around 8pm yesterday evening. "Though we still had time to return to Dili, the forces did not allow us to continue our trip," said MP Fernando Gusmao. (STL)

The group had been stopped by the Joint Operation after having attended a funeral ceremony in Bobonaro. They were on their way back to Dili when the Joint Operation Command forces stopped them and prevented them from continuing their trip as it was already 8 pm. The Joint Operation Command force threatened to shoot them if they continued their journey. (STL)

Joint Operation will collect all illegal guns - The Joint Operation Command up till now has collected 8 guns from the rebels. The Joint Operation forces will not tolerate any group who wants to destroy the nation. (STL)

Don't discriminate against veterans - An MP has asked the government to not discriminate against veterans, particularly those who have served under five years. "This is discrimination, because they have also sacrificed their whole lives," said Mr. Adriano Nascimento from PD. (STL)

Horta grateful to soldier who shot Alfredo - President Jose Ramos Horta has said that he really appreciated the actions of the F-FDTL soldier who killed Alfredo Reinado Alves at his house on 11 February 2008.  "The soldier who shot Alfredo was doing his duty," said Mr. Horta. (TP)

Petitioners wait for a just decision - Petitioners in Aitarak Laran are waiting for a just decision from the Government. "The Government has the competency to resolve the petitioners' problems. The Government must make a balanced decision that will be accepted and satisfy all," said the Coordinator of the petitioners, Mr. Tara. (TP)

Lasama: No Pardon for Salsinha - State tolerance towards the rebel group led by Gastao Salsinha has ended. The Government announced that from this Wednesday, there would be no chances to pardon them. Acting President Lasama said that the rebels would be ambushed and arrested. "We have decided. The State tolerated him [Salsinha] for almost two months. Nevertheless, the Operation's orders are to capture Salsinha alive- the state does not want him dead," said Mr. Lasama. (TP and DN)

IDPs at National Hospital should be moved by next week - The Minister of Social Solidarity, Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves, said that the IDPs who are currently living in the National Hospital compound should be moved as the rehabilitation of the transitional houses in Becora has finished. The Minister said that for health and security reasons, the IDPs have to move. She also said that the IDPs were impeding the rehabilitation of the National Hospital. (DN)

Police have set up 12 posts in Dili - The Commander of the Intervention Rapid Unit, Armando Monteiro, confirmed that the police have set up 12 posts in Dili to ensure the IDPs return home. "Up till now, the Intervention Rapid Unit is playing a role to ensure the implementation of the State of Siege and also to ensure the IDPs return home," said Mr Monteiro. (DN)
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Decision in Baucau Sexual Assault Case JSMP Press Release 26 March 2007

Legal researchers from JSMP monitored three cases of violence against women that were heard at Baucau District Court on 10, 11 and 12 March 2008. One case involved domestic violence and two involved sexual assault. Two of these cases are still being processed - JSMP will monitor their progress.

The Court did issue a final decision in one case. This case involved two defendants. The first, the victim’s step-father, was found to have sexually assaulted her on two occasions.  On one occasion, before having sexual relations with the victim, this defendant used force against her and threatened to kill her if she told her mother about his actions. This incident occurred on 29 April 2002.  The judge sentenced this defendant to five years and six months imprisonment.

The second defendant, the victim’s uncle, was found to have sexually assaulted her on four occasions. On one occasion, before having sexual relations with the victim, the defendant struck her on the back and legs and threatened to kill her. This incident occurred on 10 May 2002.  The judge sentenced the second defendant to four years imprisonment.

JSMP will shortly publish an in-depth analysis of this case. As outlined above, the victim was related to the defendants.  She was also a minor. Such crimes occur in the context of a relationship of familial trust and are further aggravated by violence. JSMP continues to recommend that, when adjudicating matters of this kind, judges consider applying the maximum sentence available. 

The three gender-based violence cases that JSMP observed in the Baucau District Court  had been pending since 2002 and were only recently processed in 2008.  JSMP has observed that the court is processing more gender-based violence cases and that it is also addressing the backlog of cases.  It is hoped that a greater proportion of these pending cases will be processed during 2008.

JSMP has observed that the courts, especially the Baucau District Court, are dealing with an increasing number of cases of violence against women.. During court monitoring  this year, JSMP has seen  more regular hearings and decisions issued by the Baucau District Court in cases of sexual assault and domestic violence compared to previous years. This suggests that public understanding of the formal justice system may be increasing, and that women are more willing for their cases to be resolved through the courts. It also shows that courts are becoming more practiced at dealing with gender-based violence cases.

For more information please contact: Lola Soriano Menezes WJU, Legal Research, JSMP Email : lola@jsmp.minihub.org
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Procedural Flaws in Baucau Domestic Violence Case JSMP Press Release 26-27 March 2008

Nine criminal cases were scheduled for hearing at the Baucau District Court during the last week of March 2008. Two of these cases, however, could not be heard due to the absence of defendants and witnesses. Three of the seven remaining cases related to domestic violence.

This press release will focus on one of these cases of domestic violence, due to an apparent procedural flaw in its prosecution and adjudication. The case involved a defendant who was found to have thrown an empty bottle at  the victim, his wife, causing her to bleed from the ear.

During the trial the defendant admitted his guilt and expressed remorse. The victim testified to the violence against her.  JSMP understands that, following mediation, the two are again living together as husband and wife.

During the recommendation of sentence, the prosecution proposed the defendant be found guilty for violating Article 351 (1) and Article 356 (1) of the Indonesian Penal Code. The first of these clauses establishes an offence of maltreatment and the second clause indicates that where such an act is committed against a spouse the sentence should be increased by one third. The prosecutor accordingly requested the presiding judge to sentence the defendant to six months imprisonment with a probation period of one and a half years.

The court, however, acquitted the defendant on these charges, and instead issued its decision pursuant to Article 352 (1) of the Indonesian Penal Code (amending the indictment and disregarding prosecutorial recommendations). Pursuant to Article 352 (1), which reflects a lesser charge of minor, or ‘light’ maltreatment, the court sentenced the defendant to two months imprisonment with a probation period of one year.

JSMP observed that the prosecutor was not present when the sentence was announced and so did not have an opportunity to interject or present an opposing viewpoint. The lawyer for the defendant, unsurprisingly, had no objection to the court'substituting a lesser charge.

Charges laid by the prosecutor can only be amended pursuant to Articles 273 and 275 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which state that if the court considers there are relevant facts not represented in the indictment, there remains a judicial discretion to put these facts to the prosecution and defence, giving them time to prepare their procedural position. JSMP contends that, in this instance, the court did not proceed in the manner established by law.

JSMP is generally concerned at the leniency displayed in sentencing on domestic violence matters. Whilst no direct critique is made of the judge’s finding of fact in this matter, the apparent lack of compliance with applicable domestic law suggests either disregard or a disturbing lack of awareness. Accordingly, JSMP calls for a review of judicial performance and for a more comprehensive program of training on criminal procedure to be extended to all officers of the court.

For more information please contact: Timotio de Deus, Director JSMP Email: timotio@jsmp.minihub.org Phone: 3323883
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UNMIT Daily Media Review 07 April 2008

TVTL News Coverage

Fretilin demands police be punished for biting a civilian - MP Fretilin, Antonino Bianco, has demanded the State Secretary for Security to punish police officers for biting a man in Balide. The man had presented himself to the National Parliament with swelling and bruising on his face and eyes. The victim also asked the Apprehension Operation Command to take responsibility for his medical treatment.

Print Coverage

Two of Salsinha's men surrender - The Commander of the Apprehension Operation, Filomeno Paixao, has confirmed the surrender of two of Salsinha's men to the Apprehension Operation forces on Sunday (6/4). This was achieved through negotiations with the Prosecutor-General on Saturday (5/4). The former member of the Military Police, Filomeno Soares Menezes, surrendered himself with one pistol in Korluli, Maliana and the former member of the F-FDTL, Vitor de Deus, surrendered himself with no weapons in Goulolo, Ermera. The Vice Commander of the Apprehension Operation, Mateus Fernandes, said that: "Both of them were treated well by the Apprehension Operation," said Mr Fernandes. (DN & STL)

Apprehension Operation kill a man in Bobonaro - The Commander of the Apprehension Operation, Filomeno Paixao, confirmed that a member of the Apprehension Operation shot dead a man on Saturday (5/6) in the sub-district Atabae, Bobonaro. The man was shot in the stomach after he chased after an officer and cut off his whistle belt with a machete. The man's body has been taken to the National Hospital for an autopsy. The investigation is still underway. Locals from Atabae claimed that the victim was slightly mad. (DN/STL)

Bishop says Apprehension Operation should avoid bloodshed - The Bishop of Baucau, Basilio do Nascimento, has said that bloodshed should be avoided as the Apprehension Operation moves to implement the Government's four steps. These four steps are to secure the surrender of Salsinha and his men. The first step has been to criminalise any acts of support provided to the rebels. The second step is for the Apprehension Operation forces to carry out simultaneous operations in the bushes and in private homes. The third step is for the Operation to minimize people's movements in farms or coffee plantations, and lastly, the fourth step will be a use of force by the Operation. "I hope that the decisions made by the State will be right and not result in any more bloodshed in the country. Too many people have already suffered and died for the independence of this nation. It is now time for them to maintain calm and peace," said the Bishop. (DN)

Joint Operation should not engage in propaganda - The Member of Parliament from PUN, Ms. Fernanda Borge, had said that the Joint Operation should follow their mandate and not engage in any propaganda activity about the extension of the State of Siege. (STL)

People should be careful not to impede the return of IDPs - The Dili District PNTL Commander, Pedro Belo, said that people should be careful to not impede any IDP from returning home. He said this during a dialogue with a community in the Dili Sub-ditrict of Cristo Rei. The Police Commander said that the police are now very keen to facilitate the dialogue with communities aimed at addressing the return of IDPs. As such, he has appealed to all people to not interfere in the process of IDP repatriation. (DN) 

43 weapons still missing - The Commander of the Intervention Rapid Unit, Armando Monteiro, has confirmed that 43 weapons are still missing. Based on information he received from the police, the 43 weapons include 22 pistols, 20 AK33 rifles and one 12-calibre pistol. "We don't have any information about where these guns are. We insist that the people who have these weapons should return them to the Joint Operation Command either through the local authorities, youth representatives or their Aldeia or Suco chiefs," said Mr Monteiro. (DN)

Paixao: Salsinha and his men must surrender on April 9 - The Commander of the Apprehension Operation, Filomeno Paixao, has set the deadline for the surrender of Salsinha and his men as April 9. "We are now giving a chance to Gastao Salsinha and his men to surrender peacefully on April 9 2008. If they don't, the Apprehension Operation will intensify their home searches and begin to arrest people suspected of supporting Salsinha and his men. The Apprehension Operation will react if Salsinha and his men take any action against them" said the Commander on Sunday (6/4) in Memorial Hall, Dili. (DN)

TMR thanks ISF for bringing peace and stability to Timor-Leste - Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak has thanked ISF soldiers for bringing peace and stability to Timor-Leste during an awards ceremony for the Australian troops. The Brigadier-General presented ISF officers with the Australian Service Medal during the parade on Friday (04/03) evening. For many of the ISF officers, the presentation by the Brigadier-General marked the end of their six-month deployment to Timor-Leste (TP)

Victims in Liquica demand justice - The victims of the massacre which had taken place at the resident of Liquica Priest on 5 April, 1999 have demanded that the Government and the UN take action to help them achieve justice and reparations for what they suffered. (TP)

Fretilin accuses Government of hiding evidence - The Fretilin MP, Arsenio Bano, has accused the Government of trying to hide evidence related to the February 11 attacks. It is for this reason that Fretilin continues to demand that the Government create a Commission of Inquiry into the February 11 events. (TP)
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Daily Media Review 04 April 2008

Print Coverage

Benevides to hand over Alfredo's secret documents - Alfredo's Defence Attorney, Benevides Correia Barros, will soon release Alfredo's secret documents to the State. These documents were provided by Alfredo's lawyer, Angelita Pires, in December 2007. Mr Barros did not clearly explain to the journalists what the documents contained, but he did reveal that there would be information about the February 11 attacks. (TP)

Pires had completely removed herself from Alfredo's case in December 2007 - "I had completely removed myself as a lawyer for Alfredo in December 2007. This is why I handed over the documents to Benevides Correia Barros who was his lawyer," said Pires. (TP)

Fretilin MP says all documents related to Alfredo should be given to PGR - Fretilin MP Arsenio Bano has said that any documents related to Alfredo's case should be handed to the Prosecutor-General. "If some of the documents have been kept by Alfredo's lawyer, the Prosecutor-General should have them to use as part of the investigation process." said Mr Bano. (TP)

TMR says no response from ISF on 11 February - Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak has said that on February 11, the F-FDTL had asked for security assistance from the ISF but received no response. Because of this, the F-FDTL had to send its patrol boat to the Aria Branka beach near Ramos-Horta's residence. TMR made these comments at a meeting with Timorese Ambassadors on Wednesday (03/04) at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. "There were no helicopters, no vehicles or movement from the ISF in response to the February 11 attacks, same as what they usually do for the IDPs," said the TMR. TMR did acknowledge that it was only the Portuguese Formed Police Units that gave timely assistance to the President. "At that time, we could not do much because the ISF had done nothing- there was no movement from the ISF. Only the Portuguese FPU were mobilised," he said. (TP)

Hens Klemm asks Salsinha to surrender - American Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Hens Klemm, said that Salsinha and his men have to surrender in order to appear as witnesses for the February 11 attacks. (STL)

Government classifies Petitioners - During this month, the Government has classified petitioners into groups of those who want to rejoin the military and those who want to return to civilian life. (STL)

Government forbids people to be armed - The Council of Ministers have approved a proposal set forth by the Government to forbid civilians from using any type of weaponry including guns, machetes, swords, arrows and sling shots. This has been approved under the proposed law created on Thursday (4/04) at the National parliament.

People ask the Government to prolong 'State of Siege' - During a dialogue carried out by the Apprehension Operation, people have asked that the State of Siege be prolonged in order to ensure the stability in the country.

Military Police Commander asks people to remain calm - The Military Police Commander, Abel da Costa, asked the people of Timor-Leste to remain calm and not to create problems if they don't want to be imprisoned. "Whoever creates problems will be taken to the free hotel [prison] in Becora. Therefore I beseech people not to create problems," said Mr da Costa. (STL)
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UNMIT Daily Media Review 03 April 2008

TVTL News Coverage

Apprehension Operation to use force to capture Salsinha - The Vice Commander of the Apprehension Operation, Mateus Fernandes, said that were going use force to capture Salsinha and his men and that they would stop the leniency they had shown so far towards the rebels. The Vice Commander warned that serious action would be taken by the end of the week.

Judge: Court postpones trial for suspects in Fatu Ahi case - udge Ivo confirmed that the Dili District Court has postponed judicial proceedings against the suspects accused of being involved in the fighting led by the late Major Alfredo Reinado Alves against the F-FDTL in Fatu-Ahi on 23 May, 2006.  "The judicial proceedings against the suspects were postponed because three of the other suspects did not appear," said Judge Ivo.

RTL News Coverage
Pedro Belo: PNTL and F-FDTL won't tolerate criminals - The Dili District's PNTL Commander, Pedro Belo, said that Apprehension Operation commanders have no tolerance for any criminals who threaten or retaliate against any IDP who wants to return home. Mr Belo made this statement during a dialogue with community members in the village of Vila Verde, Dili. "The commanders of the Apprehension Operation will use their tactics to capture and seize weapons from people who engage in crimes," said Mr Belo.

Print Coverage

CNRT MP demands explanation from the Prosecutor-General - CNRT MP, Moises Romeo, has demanded an explanation from the Prosecutor-General regarding the results of the current investigation into February 11. The MP has called on him to present this explanation to the National Parliament. "I did not demand that he send a report to us, but I did demand that he present himself to the National Parliament with an explanation of the criminal investigation carried out by the Australian Federal Police, FBI and himself," said Mr Romeo. (STL)

Petitioners lack discipline - 'Piloto' Sejar Valente de Jesus, coordinator of the petitioners gathered in Aitarak Laran, has complained about the lack of discipline shown by some petitioners. "Five of the petitioners have decided to return home, saying that they don't want to stay with the other petitioners in Aitarak Laran because of what the government had decided," said Piloto. (STL)

Zero tolerance for medical officers who sexually violate patients - The Minister of Health, Rui Martins, has said that he will fire any of his staff who commit sexual violations. "The Health Ministry will not tolerate medical officers who sexually violates any patient," said the Minister after the issue was raised by Fretilin MP Ososrio Soares at the National Parliament on Wednesday (31/3). (STL)

Fretilin opposes PM's 'Fragile, not Failed State' statement - Fretilin MP Joaquim dos Santos has come out against the Prime Minter's statement that defined Timor-Leste in terms of a 'failed' or 'fragile' state. "According to me, Timor-Leste is a normal State. Not a failed or fragile State. Be weary of people who are trying to reduce Timor-Leste to the level of a failed State," said Mr dos Santos on Tuesday (1/4) at the National Parliament. (STL)

Judge: No law forbids PGR from negotiating surrender with rebels - Judge Ivor Roza Baptista has said that there is no law forbidding the Prosecutor-General from negotiating a surrender with the rebels. She said this in response to recent remarks condemning the Prosecutor-General's initiative to maintain contact with the rebels. (TP)

NRC hands over 137 houses to the Government - The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) today officially handed over 137 houses at Mercado Becora to the Government of Timor-Leste. These houses were built with the cooperation of the Ministry of Social Solidarity and the NGO, Triangle GH. These transitional houses are for IDPs currently staying at the National Hospital. (TP)

Fransico Guterres: PNTL petitioners receive full Government attention - The State's Secretary for Security, Francisco Guterres, said that two PNTL members currently gathered together with other petitioners in Aitarak Laran have already received the Government's full attention to solve their problems. "They had been given a choice by the Government, whether they want to rejoin the PNTL or become civilians," said Guterres. (TP)

PTT MP asks Government to suspend martial arts activities - PTT MP Jacob Xavier has asked the Government to temporarily suspend the activities of martial arts groups claiming that they cause too many problems. Mr Xavier argued that the activities could re-start once the Government had created regulations for the groups. (DN)


Compiled by Warren L. Wright BA LLB