Subject: TEMPO: TNI Seeks Former Militia Commander

Report from Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara: TNI Seeks Former Militia Commander 6 Dec 2000 16:28:54 WIB

TEMPO Interaktif, Kupang:The 161/Wirasakti military command announced a search for the former sector commander of the Integration Fighter Troops (PPI/Aitarak), Joanico Cesario, after he made a controversial statement last week. Joanico alleged that some voluntary military personnel who traveled by ship to Lospalos, East Timor, were arrested and assaulted after their arrival.

When contacted by TEMPO Interaktif on Sunday (3/12), the 161/Wirasakti military command head, Col. Inf. Budi Heriyanto, denied Joanico's allegation. According to Budi, an UNTAET staff member, Parameswara, told him that members of the voluntary military were welcomed by a traditional ceremony. Budi criticized Joanico's statement and ordered his personnel to bring in the former militia leader for questioning. However, the security forces have not yet found Joanico.

Joanico, accompanied by fellow ex-PPI commanders Nemecio Lopez de Carvalho and Dominggus Pareira, claimed to have information that 30 voluntary military members who returned Lospalos were arrested and brought to Dili for trial. Meanwhile, another six personnel were tortured, he said. When the families of the 30 arrested members of the voluntary military requested for his assistance, Joanico refused the request by reason that the TNI was managing the case. end

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