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East Timor National Alliance for an International Tribunal
c/o Perkumpulan HAK, Farol, Dili, Timor Lorosa’e

Press Release

East Timorese Political Leaders Must Not Interfere with Justice

Tetum original

Contact:  Rosentino Amado Hei 723-7172 (Bahasa Indonesia)
Joao Sarmento +670-723-5043 (B.I. or English)
email: laohamutuk@easttimor.minihub.org

 15 February 2004

The East Timor Alliance for an International Tribunal is shocked to learn of a secret meeting between high officials from East Timor and an accused perpetrator of crimes against humanity. This meeting compounds the many problems East Timorese face in obtaining justice, and raises uncomfortable questions about the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and whether the government hears the victims’ cry for justice.

We recognize that East Timor’s judicial processes have many problems, including lack of resources, lack of international political support, inexperience, and obstruction by the Indonesian government. But the leaders of East Timor should be trying to solve these problems, and not adding to them.

The Alliance has received reliable information that on 31 January or 1 February 2004, President Xanana Gusmão, Foreign Minister José Ramos-Horta and General Prosecutor Longuinhos Monteiro held secret talks with Indonesian former general Wiranto at the luxury Oberoi Hotel in Seminyak, Bali. Partial reports of the meeting have appeared in Australian, Portuguese and U.S. newspapers, but it has not been reported in East Timor. According to the New York-based Wall Street Journal, this is the second time Xanana and Wiranto have met “to discuss reconciliation.”

On 24 February 2003, the Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) in Dili indicted Gen. Wiranto and seven others for Crimes Against Humanity: Murder, Deportation and Persecution. These eight suspects are at large in Indonesia, where Wiranto is running for president. Last November,  the Special Panel court issued a warrant for the arrest of Lt. Col. Yayat Sudrajat, but no warrants have been issued for the other seven: Wiranto, Zacky Anwar Makarim, Kiki Syahnakri, Adam Damiri, Tono Suratman, Mohammad Noer Muis and Abilio Osorio Soares. International circulation of warrants is done by Interpol, and General Prosecutor is East Timor’s contact point. The Sudrajat warrant is not yet listed by Interpol.

On 27 January 2004, East Timor’s Deputy General Prosecutor asked the Dili Special Panel to hold a public hearing about whether the warrants for Wiranto et al should be issued, with testimony from victims and from Wiranto. During the Bali meeting the following weekend, Wiranto agreed to testify by video-link, although we believe that was neither the reason for the meeting nor the main topic discussed. The Panel has not yet decided whether to hold such a hearing.

The East Timor Alliance for an International Tribunal is concerned about the secret Bali meeting. Although we do not know exactly what was discussed, we believe that presidential candidate Wiranto asked the East Timorese authorities to cancel the indictment hanging over his head. Although the ex-general may defend himself in a warrant hearing by video conference, we do not believe that this is an adequate mechanism for trying the serious crimes which he is credibly alleged to have committed.

We question the appropriateness and the legality of East Timor’s political leadership meeting with an indicted criminal for secret discussions, and fear for its impact on the independence of East Timor’s judicial system. According to Article 119 of East Timor’s Constitution, “Courts are independent and subject only to the Constitution and the law.” Although the President has the Constitutional authority to issue a public pardon for Wiranto (or anyone else), he has no authority for behind-the-scenes interference in the process of justice.

We believe that Wiranto offered to provide evidence and testimony about the involvement of lower-ranking Indonesian officers in crimes committed in East Timor, in return for dropping the indictment against him. But if his subordinates have committed crimes, especially with his knowledge (or consent), he is also guilty. Plea-bargaining is a valid technique to encourage lower-level criminals to testify against their commanders, not the other way around.

From 2000 through 2003, the Serious Crimes Unit has indicted 369 persons, 281 of whom remain at large, presumably in Indonesia. These include 41 Indonesian military and police officers, as well as Indonesian and East Timorese soldiers, militia members and civilians. To date, only 78 warrants, including 13 Indonesians, have been circulated by Interpol. It is unclear whether most warrants are delayed due to inaction by the judges or the General Prosecutor.

When the SCU indicted former General Wiranto (he was fired by Abdurrahman Wahid in February 2000) et al a year ago, President Gusmão and Foreign Minister Ramos-Horta hastened to reassure the Indonesian government that they personally opposed criminal proceedings against the former Defense Minister. But both leaders reaffirmed the independence of East Timor’s judicial system, saying that they could do nothing to interfere with the legal process of justice. At the time, President Gusmão told the Jakarta Post “I regret (the indictment) but I could not simply ask prosecutors to drop their charges as the General Prosecutors Office is an independent institution.”

Although a UN investigating team recommended establishment of an international tribunal to try crimes against humanity committed in East Timor through 1999, the international community has failed to exhibit the political will to establish its own process or to effectively encourage Indonesia to provide or comply with meaningful justice. Jakarta’s ad hoc court, widely criticized as a sham, did not even indict Wiranto, who was both Defense Minister and Chief of the Military Forces during 1999 when troops under his command, helped by Indonesian-supported militias, ravaged and terrorized East Timor.

The Alliance is a civil society coalition including victims, NGOs, church leaders, students and others. We are not journalists or investigators, but we encourage East Timor’s media to look into this further and verify the facts. And if high East Timorese officials have transgressed the law, we hope that appropriate action is taken.

But most of all, we continue to demand that all responsible for crimes against our people be held accountable, and that all East Timorese government officials, as well as those in other nations, support the process of justice.

- end -

Aliansa Nasional Timor Leste ba Tribunal Internasional
a/c Asosiasaun HAK, Farol, Dili - Timor Leste

Komunikadu Imprensa

Lider Politika Timor Leste La Bele Interfere Justisa

Kontakta:  Rosentino Amado Hei 723-7172 (Bahasa Indonesia)
João Sarmento +670-723-5043 (B.I. ka Inglez)
email: laohamutuk@easttimor.minihub.org

15 Fevereiru  2004

Aliansa Nasional Timor Leste ba Tribunal Internasional hakfodak tebes bainhira hatene kona ba enkontru segredu ida entre nai ulun boot sira husi Timor Leste ho ema akuzadu ida neebe komete krime kontra umanidade.  Sorumutuk nee naklekar problema hirak neebe ema Timor Leste sira hasoru atu hetan justisa, no hamosu kestaun barak neebe la dun furak kona ba estadu direitu, independensia husi judisiaria no la hatene governu rona vitima sira nian halerik ba justisa. 

Ami reconhese  ho neon no laran katak prosesu judisial iha Timor hetan s problema barak, inklui rekursu neebe la too, ladun hetan suporta politiko husi komunidade internasional, no mos obstaclo nee be maka governo Indonesia rasik krias. Maske nunee ukun nain sira iha Timor Leste tenke hakaas-an atu rezolve problema hirak nee, no la halo problema hirak nee sai hetok aat liu tan.

Aliansa hetan ona informasaun neebe bele fo fiar katak iha loron 31 Janeiru ka 1 Fevereiru 2004, Prezidente Xanana Gusmão, Ministru Negosiu Estranjeiru José Ramos-Horta no Prokurador Jeral Longuinhos Monteiro koalia sub-subar (secreto)s hela ho eiz jeneral Indoneziu Wiranto iha Otel Oberoi neebe luxu iha Seminyak, Bali. Reportajen balu kona ba enkontru nee mosu ona jornal sira iha Australia, Portugal no Estadus Unidus, maibe buat nee sei dauk publika  sai iha Timor Leste rasik. Tuir Wall Street Journal neebe publika iha Nova Iorke, enkontru nee mak ba dala rua ona entre Xanana no Wiranto atu hasoru malu “hodi diskute kona ba rekonsiliasaun.”

Iha 24 Fevereiru 2003, Unidade Krime Grave (SCU) iha Dili akuza Jen. Wiranto no ema nain hitu seluk tan ba Krime Kontra Umanidade: Oho, Deportasaun (lalin ema ho forsa) no Persegisaun. Suspeitu nain walu nee hela hotu iha Indonezia, rai ida neebe Wiranto esforsu hela atu kandidata-an atu konkore iha eleisaun prizidensial.  Iha Novembru liu ba, tribunal Painel Espesial hasai mandatu kaptura hasoru Ten. Koronel Yayat Sudrajat, maibe la iha mandatu kaptura neebe mak hasai ba ema nain hitu seluk: Wiranto, Zacky Anwar Makarim, Kiki Syahnakri, Adam Damiri, Tono Suratman, Mohammad Noer Muis no Abilio Osorio Soares. Interpol mak sei sirkula mandatu kaptura hirak nee internasionalmente, no Prokurador Jeral mak sai nuudar pontu kontaktu ba Timor Leste. Mandatu kapturasaun ba Sudrajat nee sei dauk tama ba lista Interpol.

Iha 27 Janeiru 2004, Vise Prokurador Jeral Timor Leste husu Painel Espesial iha Dili atu halao audensia publika kona ba bele ka lae mandatu kaptura ba Wiranto no ninian belun sira tenke fo sai, hamutuk ho testamunia husi vitima no mos husi Wiranto. Durante enkontru Bali iha semana rohan tuir mai, Wiranto konkorda atu fo sasin liu husi ligasaun video, maske ami fiar katak buat nee laos razaun no topiku importante tebes neebe diskute hela iha enkontru nee.  Painel nee too agora sei dauk deside atu halo audensia ida hanesan nee.

Aliansa preokupadu ba enkontru segredu nee. Maske ami la hatene ejatamente saida mak diskutida, ami fiar katak kandidatu prezidente Wiranto husu autorridade Timor Leste sira atu kansela akuzasaun ba nia neebe halo nia ulun moras.  Maske eiz jeneral nee bele defende nia-an iha audensia liu husi konferensia video, ami la fiar katak ida nee mekanizmu adekuadu ida atu julga krime grave neebe nia alegadu lolos komete ona.

Ami kestiona ninian diak no legalidade husi lideransa politika Timor Leste neebe halo enkontru ho akuzadu kriminozu iha diskusaun segredu, no tauk ba ninian impaktu ba sistema judisial Timor Leste. Tuir Artigu 119 husi Konstituisaun Timor Leste, “Tribunál sira independente no sira sei halo tuir de’it Lei-Inan no lei-oan sira haruka.” Maske Prezidente iha autoridade Konstitusional atu fo perdaun ba Wiranto (ka ema ruma), nia la iha autoridade ba interferensia iha estajiu nian kotuk ba iha prosesu justisa.

Ami fiar katak Wiranto oferese atu fo evidensia no testamunia kona ba involvimentu ofisial Indoneziu sira neebe ho diviza kiik iha krime hirak neebe komete iha Timor Leste, hodi selu fali ho hasai akuzasaun hasoru nia.  Maibe karik ninian elementu sira komete ona krime, espesialmente tuir ninian matenek (ka lisensa), nia mos ema kulpadu ida.  Husu malu ida nee sai teknika validu ida atu enkoraja krimonozu kiik sira bele fo sasin hasoru ninian komandate sira, laos ninian komandante sira hasoru ninian elementu sira.

Husi 2000 too 2003, Unidade Krime Grave akuza ona ema nain 369, husi sira nee iha ema nain 281 mak hela, dala ruma iha Indonezia. Ema hirak nee inklui ofisial militar no polisia Indonezia hamutuk nain 41, nunee mos soldadu Indoneziu no Timor Leste, membru milisia no ema sivil sira. Too ohin loron, iha deit mandatu kaptura ba ema nain 78, inklui Indoneziu nain 13, neebe mak Interpol sirkula ona. La klaru tanba sa mak mandatu kapturasaun barak liu mak ne-neik hela tanba la iha asaun husi juiz sira ka Prokurador Jeral rasik.

Bainhira SCU akuza eiz Jeneral Wiranto (neebe mak Abdurrahman Wahid hasai husi ninian kargu iha Fevereiru 2000) no ninian maluk sira tinan ida liu ba, Prezidente Gusmão no Ministru Negosiu Estranjeiru nakdedar fo hatene lolos ba governu Indonezia katak sira ida-idak kontra prosedimentu kriminal hasoru eiz Ministru Defeza nee.  Maibe ukun nain rua nee mos reafirma independensia sistema judisial Timor Leste, hodi dehan katak sira la halo buat ruma atu interfere prosesu legal husi justisa.  Iha tempu neeba, Prezidente Gusmão haktuir ba Jakarta, “Hau laran susar (ba akuzasaun nee) maibe hau simplesmente la bele husu prokurador sira atu hasai tiha fali akuzasaun nee tanba Eskritoriu Prokuradoria Jeral nee instituisaun independente ida.”

Maske ekipa investigasaun ONU rekomenda estabelesimentu tribunal internasional ida atu julga krime kontra umanidade neebe komete iha Timor Leste durante 1999, komunidade internasional faila hatudu vontade politika atu harii ninian prosesu ka atu efektivamente enkoraja hadia ka kumpri justisa ida neebe iha sentidu.  Tribunal ad hoc Jakarta, neebe globalmente hetan kritika hanesan finji ida, la konsege akuza Wiranto, neebe natoon nee kaer kargu rua hanesan Ministru Defeza no Xefe Forsa Militar durante 1999 bainhira tropa sira iha ninian komandu, neebe hetan tulun husi milisia sira neebe Indonezia suporta, estraga no teroriza Timor Leste.

Aliansa nee mak koligasaun sosiedade sivil inklui vitima, ONG sira, nain ulun uma kreda, estudante no selu-seluk tan.  Ami laos jornalista ka investigador sira, maibe ami fo korajen ba midia Timor Leste atu haree asuntu nee no verifika faktu hirak neebe iha.  No karik iha nai ulun boot Timor Leste sira mak kontra ona lei, ami hein katak sira sei hetan medida apropriada ruma. 

Maibe importante liu mak ami kontinua ejije nafatin katak buat hirak neebe responsavel ba krime kontra ita nian ema sei simu renponsabilidade, no mos guvernu ofisial  Timor Leste hotu, nunee mos ofisial sira iha nasaun seluk, atu dudu prosesu justisa nee.

 - ramata -

English Translation