Subject: Team declares Wiranto suspect in Timor melee

Indonesian Observer August 22, 2000

Team declares Wiranto suspect in Timor melee

JAKARTA (IO) - Former Armed Forces Commander Gen. [ret] Wiranto has been declared a suspect in the violations of human rights which took place in the former Indonesian province of East Timor, a member of the expert team from the probe into human rights violations in East Timor Luhut Pangaribuan said here yesterday.

He added the findings announced by the Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Abuses in East Timor (KPP HAM), which were later submitted to the Attorney General's Office for further action, and the probe conducted by an expert team did not differ in substance and recommendations.

Wiranto quit President Abdur-rahman Wahid's "Rainbow Cabinet" as coordinating minister for political and security affairs in March this year to facilitate the probe into the alleged rights violations in the former Portuguese colony.

Wiranto, a close aide of former president Soeharto, played a key role in the forming of the Cabinet along with the country's four powerbrokers President Wahid,Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri, House Speaker Akbar Tandjung and People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Chairman Amien Rais.

Wahid vowed to grant an amnesty to Armed Forces commanders if convicted of rights violations in the past.

Pangaribuan also said that an international tribunal was an alternative when it came to bringing the alleged rights violators to justice.

He said the amendment to Article 28 of the 1945 Constitution would render international human rights laws automatically effective in Indonesia.

This was because the violations could be classified as 'gross rights violations' or 'crimes against humanity'.

The KPP HAM expert team yesterday held a meeting at the AGO yesterday to discuss the legal basis to be applied to try the case, he added.

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