Subject: Wiranto to testify on atrocities in Timor

Also: Indonesia Wiranto will not return to cabinet-Wahid

Straits Times [Singapore] April 26, 2000

Wiranto to testify on atrocities in Timor

The trials are expected to start next month

JAKARTA -- Former defence forces commander General Wiranto and several other generals will be summoned next week to testify on last year's East Timor atrocities, said Attorney General Marzuki Darusman, adding that their trial could begin next month.

The Indonesian Observer quoted him as saying that investigators were listing the names of those to be questioned in connection with the violence conducted by military-backed militias after East Timor voted for independence on Aug 30 in a UN-sponsored referendum.

All of those to be summoned are on a list issued by the Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Abuses (KPP HAM) in East Timor.

The commission was established late last year by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM). "Those who will be interrogated were recommended by KPP HAM," said Mr Marzuki, a former Komnas HAM chairman.

Apart from Gen Wiranto, other generals on the list are former TNI intelligence chief Zacky Anwar Makarim and former chief of the East Timor Military Command Timbul Silaen.

Mr Marzuki said the dossiers of the suspects were expected to be finished soon and submitted to a joint civilian and military court in May.

"Hopefully we will submit the dossiers to the court by the middle of May or in late May," he said.

Meanwhile, Gen Wiranto said he was prepared to be questioned about the atrocities in East Timor, but told the Attorney General's Office that it should not neglect other cases of human rights abuse.

"There is no problem with the summons, we must let the process run and respect the law, as long as it is conducted in an honest, fair and open way," he told reporters at a function at private Yarsi University in Jakarta.

Gen Wiranto was in February suspended from Cabinet as Coordinating Minister for Security and Political Affairs after KPP HAM said he was morally responsible for the violence.

The retired four-star general said he did not object to the reopening of past cases of human rights abuse, but warned that judicial processes must take place without any intervention.

He criticised media reports on the East Timor carnage, saying they eliminated the positive aspects of the activities conducted by TNI and the police.

Generals to be called up

Former military chief General Wiranto.

TNI intelligence chief Zacky Anwar Makarim.

Former chief of the East Timor Military Command Timbul Silaen.

Indonesia Wiranto will not return to cabinet-Wahid

JAKARTA, April 24 (Reuters) - Indonesia's President Abdurrahman Wahid said on Monday said that defiant General Wiranto, under investigation over his alleged role in last year's East Timor violence, would not return to his cabinet.

Wahid suspended Wiranto from his cabinet last February following an official report which linked the former armed forces chief to the mayhem. The suspension came after the attorney-general's office moved in to investigate the report.

``Even if legally he was proven not guilty, he (Wiranto) would still be sacked from his post as the coordinating minister for political affairs due to moral reasons,'' Wahid said during a dialogue with local leaders.

Wahid's comments came hours after Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman announced that the government expects to begin trials over atrocities in East Timor in May.

Darusman added that the investigators would question Wiranto next week along with other generals whose names were mentioned in the report, drafted by the government-sponsored human rights inquiry.

The mayhem in East Timor broke out in the territory after the former Portuguese colony voted for its independence in last August. The wave of murder and destruction were conducted by pro-Jakarta militias, backed by the Indonesian military.

Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 in a move never recognised by the international community. 

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