on findings of E Timor probe, responses by Wahid & others
Jakarta Post February 01, 2000
E. Timor probe faults Wiranto
JAKARTA (JP): The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has implicated former Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Wiranto and four other military and police generals in the violence that swept through East Timor last year, and recommended a formal investigation be held.
The rights body presented Attorney General Marzuki Darusman on Monday with a 16-page executive summary of a four-month investigation by the government-sanctioned Inquiry into Human Rights Abuses (KPP HAM) in East Timor, which detailed the "planned and systematic" violence which occurred following the Aug. 30 ballot.
"The crimes against humanity committed in East Timor occurred entirely, directly or indirectly, because of the failure of the (former) TNI chief to insure security in the implementation of the government's two options," rights body chairman Djoko Soegianto said.
Wiranto was among 33 names which, according to the commission, deserve to be investigated by the Attorney General's Office.
A copy of the inquiry's summary, obtained by The Jakarta Post on Monday, implicated among others -- former East Timor Military Commander Brig. Gen. Tono Suratman, his immediate superior Maj. Gen. Adam Damiri, who was former chief of the Udayana Military Command which oversaw East Timor; former East Timor Police chief Brig. Gen. Timbul Silaen and former intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Zacky Anwar Makarim.
Also named was Governor Abilio Soares.
"Gen. Wiranto, as TNI chief, should be held accountable," the summary said.
The announcement further clouds Wiranto's future after President Abdurrahman Wahid, before leaving on a 16-day trip abroad, said he signed a decree which, effective on March 31, retires the coordinating minister for political affairs and security from active military duty.
Meanwhile during a stop in Davos, Switzerland, President Abdurrahman Wahid said on Monday he would dismiss Wiranto from his Cabinet post if the general was linked to the mayhem which occurred in East Timor.
"We have to uphold human rights in Indonesia, whatever the course," Abdurrahman told Reuters Television, while attending the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in the Alpine town.
Asked if this meant he would dismiss Wiranto, the President said: "Oh yes, of course. I will ask him, to use a polite word, ask him to resign."
Asked when he would dismiss Wiranto, Abdurrahman replied: "When I return (home)."
After the official announcement of the inquiry at the Attorney General's Office, Marzuki said, "the first action that will be taken by the Attorney General's Office is to immediately set up a coordination team to follow up Komnas HAM's recommendations".
Marzuki added that the recommendations would be studied by his office, which he said was "empowered to continue the investigation and eventually proceed with the legal action necessary to settle the matter ... to indict and to bring the matter to the human rights court that will be established".
The inquiry in its executive summary detailed several major cases which occurred between January 1999 and October 1999.
Among them was the April 6 massacre at Liquica Church in which some 30 people were killed, the Sept. 5 attack on the Dili diocese where 25 were killed and the mass destruction of some 80 percent of the buildings in the town of Mailiana on Sept. 4.
It also noted numerous cases of sexual abuse and torture.
Among the most damning accusations was that former Suai subdistrict Military chief Lt. Sugito had allegedly participated in the looting and arson during an attack on a church complex in Suai, which was estimated to have killed at least 50 people.
Sugito was allegedly involved in the removal of 26 bodies which were then secretly buried in East Nusa Tenggara.
"The mass killings took place in churches, police stations and military installations. These acts were carried out using sharp weapons or firearms by militias together with, or supported by, military and police personnel," a separate press statement issued by the rights body said.
The rights body said the inquiry confirmed the strong link between the military and militias, who were blamed for most of the violence in East Timor.
"Most leaders and core members of the militia groups were either members of the civilian security forces or the Army," the inquiry said.
The inquiry also said there was proof of efforts to conceal and destroy the evidence.
Despite numerous allegations it unfurled, the rights body said in its press statement that it had "not found crimes of genocide" in its investigation.
KPP HAM was established in October shortly after Jakarta rejected the United Nations plan to launch an inquiry into the East Timor violence.
Chaired by Albert Hasibuan, the commission comprises of Todung Mulya Lubis, Asmara Nababan, H.S. Dillon, Munir, Zoemrotin KS, Nursyahbani Katjasungkana and Koesparmono Irsan.
When asked, the inquiry's secretary Asmara Nababan admitted that there had been "pressure" by certain parties on commission members mostly via telephone calls and mail.
"But for Indonesia that's pretty normal isn't it?," he told the Post.
On a visit to East Timor last week, the chief defense lawyer for the TNI generals, Adnan Buyung Nasution, said his clients were ready to face a human rights or war crimes tribunal.
But he said he found no evidence of military complicity in the mass destruction and killings.
Meanwhile from Singapore East Timor leader Jose Alexandre "Xanana" Gusmao said Monday he did not want to seek revenge against Wiranto over the violence that erupted in East Timor.
Asked for his reaction over the inquiry's recommendations, Xanana told AFP the most important thing was that the truth be established.
"I can't say if I am happy or unhappy. I am not seeking revenge. I know him (Wiranto) and he knows me," he said in a telephone interview in Singapore where he arrived Sunday for a three-day visit.
"I just want the truth to be revealed," he said. (byg/01)
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