Subject: Interrogation team to be sworn in

Suara Pembaruan, 12 April 2000

[There is an air of unreality about this! As far as we know, the draft Human Rights Court law has still not been submitted to parliament whereas this is supposed to be the law which will provide the basis, through ad hoc courts, to try grave human rights abuses. Without the enactment of this law and powers granted to ad hoc courts to try the crimes listed in the law, it is unclear how these cases can proceed even if international conventions are belatedly ratified. Also this leaves unanswered the question of the composition of the interrogation team. Several human rights NGOs were invited to take part as 'experts' but the last we heard was that they would refuse to collaborate if the interrogation team includes members of the police and the military police. TAPOL]

Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman will swear in members of the official interrogation team which will handle the cases of human rights abuses in East Timor next Monday, 17 April. The Team is expected to complete investigations of some of the names recommended in the report of the Special Investigation Commission KPP HAM by the end of this month. The KPP's findings were submitted to the attorney-general by the National Human Rights Commission at the end of January.

But the attorney-general told Suara Pembaruan that the government had not yet ratified several international human rights conventions. As things stand at present, Indonesian legal provisions do not cover a number of grave human rights abuses.

'As far as I know, these conventions have not yet been ratified. It's a matter for the human rights minister to handle,' he said. He hoped that ratification would proceed in step with the investigation of these cases.

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