200 involved in Timor atrocities
Also: Indonesia military sets out defence on Timor; Wiranto 'morally responsible' for Timor chaos
Indonesian Observer January 27, 2000
Over 200 involved in Timor atrocities
JAKARTA (IO) — The Investigative Commission on Human Rights Violation [KPP HAM] yesterday said about 200 people, including scores of high-ranking military officials, were involved in the East Timor atrocities.
The Commission will soon issue its recommendation based on the results of the inquiry.
"The recommendation does not name just twenty violators, but about 200 from all sides…[pro-Indonesia] militias, police, pro-independence [forces]," KPP HAM Secretary, Asmara Nababan, told reporters.
Prior to and after the August 30, UN-led ballot held to decide the future of East Timor, the now independent territory witnessed massive killing and burning spree allegedly conducted by military-backed militias.
When asked whether the recommendation also names Indonesian military officers, Nababan said: "Yes, those who have often been mentioned by newspapers."
"I think those who have been summoned by KPP HAM are included in the recommendation. However, let’s wait until the plenary meeting," he added.
KPP HAM is scheduled to hold the meeting on January 27-29 to deliberate the recommendations.
"The meeting will be held in an ‘unknown’ place so that the KPP HAM will not be disturbed by anybody," Nababan said.
The once all-powerful military has launched an intensive psy-war against the commission, which has implicated scores of generals over the atrocities.
They are Gen. Wiranto, former military commander who is now coordinating minister for political and security affairs, Maj.-Gen. Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, Maj.-Gen. Adam Damiri, Maj.-Gen. Zacky Anwar Makarim, Brig.-Gen. Tono Suratman and Brig.-Gen. (police) Timbul Silaen.
On Monday Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab expressed his confidence that Indonesia will secure a veto on a proposed international war crimes tribunal for the Timor atrocities.
The United States last week also gave Jakarta more time for its own human rights inquiry.
President Abdurrahman Wahid told the Far Eastern Economic Review he will take even stronger measures should the KPP HAM investigation implicate the military officials.
If the investigation finds evidence of military complicity in the East Timor abuses, the individual officers named will have to be assigned an interim nonactive status, the president said in an interview to be published in the magazine’s latest issue to be released today.
"And when he or she is proven by the court to be guilty, then they should resign and become a civilian," he added.
---- Also: Wiranto 'morally responsible' for Timor chaos
Indonesia military sets out defence on Timor
By Tomi Soetjipto
JAKARTA, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Indonesia's military on Friday set out its defence against claims it was involved in the wave of murder and destruction that ravaged East Timor last year, saying it played no systematic part in the violence.
In a report drafted by its own inquiry into the violence, the military (TNI) said there was no evidence to support claims it organised and encouraged the unrest, although it conceded individual members of the security forces may have played a part.
The move comes ahead of next Monday's unveiling of a report by the official Indonesian inquiry on the East Timor violence.
The inquiry, run by the country's independent human rights commission, is expected to name several military officials it accuses of involvement.
President Abdurrahman Wahid said earlier this month that powerful General Wiranto, former armed forces chief and now coordinating minister for political and security affairs, would be asked to resign his cabinet post if found guilty of backing human rights abuses in East Timor.
Jakarta has been awash with rumours that the relationship between Wahid and Wiranto has deteriorated and that the disgruntled military may even have considered staging a coup in response to the probe into its activities in East Timor.
MILITARY ADMITS INDIVIDUAL EXCESSES
The military conceded that some of its members had played a part in the destruction in East Timor.
``Several over-emotional members of the security forces set fire to hostels, offices, houses and vehicles before leaving East Timor,'' the report said.
It also said that members of security forces attacked vehicles owned by the U.N. mission in East Timor, and a number of Indonesian police were caught trying to rob a bank.
But it denied the military coordinated the destruction.
``Houses and shops in Dili and other towns were burned down by unknown people without any authorisation from the security forces,'' it said.
The report also put the death toll from the violence at 79, despite the fact that U.N. investigators have discovered more than 230 bodies in the territory.
It said media reports of army-backed genocide in the territory were aimed at discrediting Indonesia and its military.
``Press reports that the violence following the referendum led to the deaths of tens of thousands in East Timor are erroneous, systematic and politically motivated and designed to discredit TNI and the Republic of Indonesia as a whole.''
At a news conference, the military said 13 soldiers would be put on trial for their part in the East Timor violence. But it did not give any timeframe for the legal action.
``Some of them were commanders of military districts in East Timor,'' said Rear Admiral Yoost Mengko, a member of the military's inquiry team.
East Timor was ravaged by a wave of killings and destruction in the aftermath of its August vote for independence from Indonesia. The U.N., human rights groups and independent observers have said there is clear evidence the military was involved in the violence, along with pro-Jakarta militias.
Jakarta Post January 29, 2000 Wiranto 'morally responsible' for Timor chaos
JAKARTA (JP): The government-sanctioned KPP HAM said on Friday former military chief Gen. Wiranto was "morally responsible" for the post-ballot campaign of terror and destruction in East Timor.
"It is likely that it will be recommended that Wiranto and (Maj. Gen.) Adam Damiri be held morally responsible," the chairman of the Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations in East Timor, Albert Hasibuan, told The Jakarta Post by phone.
"Or they could be charged with omission," he added.
Albert however refused to confirm whether Wiranto and Adam would be among the 20 to 30 names, most of them from the military, who would be submitted to Attorney General Marzuki Darusman for further investigation.
"There are some 20 to 30 names, including a number of high and middle- ranking officers and civilian officers, that will be recommended to the Attorney General's Office for further investigation," Albert said.
Albert was speaking during a break in a meeting of the commission to finalize its report and recommendations. The meeting is due to end on Saturday and KPP HAM is scheduled to announce the results of its report on Monday.
Adam was chief of the Bali-based Udayana Military Command, which oversaw security in East Timor, when the self-determination referendum was held in the former Indonesian province in August.
Wiranto is currently Coordinating Minister for Political Affairs and Security.
Meanwhile, former justice minister Muladi said he had advised Wiranto to resign his ministerial post if he was named in the inquiry's report.
According to Muladi, who is coordinating the defense team for senior military officers questioned by the inquiry, this would allow Wiranto to fully concentrate on the case without having his attention diverted by other matters.
However, he stressed that any decision would be up to Wiranto himself.
"If Pak Wiranto resigns it must not be because of pressure by anyone, or even because the KPP HAM investigation has cornered the military," he said during an interview with The Australian.
"Anyway, whichever way Wiranto decides, the TNI (Indonesian Military) legal defense team will back him up," he added.
Former home affairs minister Syarwan Hamid also said that if named in the report Wiranto should focus all of his attention on his defense.
He also stressed that if Wiranto resigned it should not be due to outside pressure, but of his own accord.
Leading human rights activist Munir, who is also a member of KPP HAM, said last week the inquiry would likely verify the military's involvement in the post-ballot violence in the territory.
He said the inquiry had found evidence that military personnel were either involved in or failed to prevent the violence.
Jakarta has objected to the proposed establishment of a United Nations rights inquiry on East Timor, saying it is capable of investigating allegations of atrocities and human rights abuses itself and will not be bound by any UN findings.
Marzuki said earlier that if KPP HAM found evidence of rights abuses an ad hoc committee would be established to prosecute the perpetrators in a national human rights tribunal. (byg/rms)
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