Subject: Suspects In UN Aid Workers' Murder To Be Tried In Jakarta

Associated Press 10/29/2000

Suspects In UN Aid Workers' Murder To Be Tried In Jakarta

JAKARTA (AP)--The trial of six East Timorese accused of murdering three U.N. aid workers in West Timor may be moved to Jakarta for security reason, a news report said Sunday.

"The case files of the six are considered complete," said Brig. Gen. I Made Mangku Pastika, chief of West Timor police, as quoted the state Antara news agency.

He said that three others suspects were still at large.

"After we hand them over, we will suggest to the ... attorney general's office that the trials be held in Jakarta due to security concerns," Pastika said.

On Sept. 6, an anti-independence militia mob murdered three workers of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

The deaths led the world body to evacuate all its staff from West Timor. Aid agencies have refused to return to the region until the militias are brought under control.

More than 120,000 East Timorese refugees are still living in camps in the West Timor. Many of them have been prevented from returning home by the same militias that laid waste to much of East Timor last year after its people overwhelmingly voted for independence in a U.N.-sponsored ballot.

Pastika said he would also suggest that Eurico Guterres, a notorious militia leader, also be tried in Jakarta on charges of ordering his followers not to surrender their weapons to the Indonesian police.

Guterres was arrested in the capital Jakarta early this month.

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