Subject: SMH: Evidence Links Indon Top Brass With E.Timor Slaughter

Sydney Morning Herald Monday, November 20, 2000

Evidence links top brass with post-poll slaughter


Dili: Indonesian military officials actively directed and organised last year's murderous political violence in East Timor, according to new evidence uncovered by a United Nations official investigating war crimes in the soon to be independent territory.

Foreign affairs consultant James Dunn, 73, a former Australian consul in Dili in 1963, has been appointed "special rapporteur" by the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) to investigate Crimes against humanity committed by army-backed militias last year.

"I'm getting more and more evidence of deep Indonesian military involvement. I'm getting much closer to the [Indonesian] military," Mr Dunn told the Herald at the weekend.

He said an army colonel had been positively identified as directing the mayhem in Suai including the massacre of up to 200 people at the Ave Maria Cathedral on September 6, days after the announcement of a pro-independence victory.

"He was not just an ordinary military officer. He was a full colonel in the infantry, and that was the highest army rank in East Timor," Mr Dunn said, adding: "He was carrying a weapon and giving orders." Mr Dunn said the officer had been identified in a photograph handed to him as evidence.

"The people who organised this violence, it is now very clear, were the TNI [Indonesian army]. They paid the militias and issued them with arms," Mr Dunn said.

He said his report, which will be finished by January, will name those responsible for last year's violence who could be subject to UN or Indonesian prosecution.

One of the tasks facing Mr Dunn will be an investigation of repeated claims that bodies of militia victims were taken out to sea and dumped to hide the evidence.

On August 30, 1999, East Timor voted in a historic UN-organised ballot to end 24 years of Indonesian rule.

In the three weeks of mayhem that followed, human rights investigators estimate about 1,000 East Timorese independence supporters were killed and more than 250,000 people deported to West Timor.

- A controversial UN mission to bring home as many as 30,000 demobilised Indonesian territorial soldiers and their families got under way yesterday marking the first return to West Timor by the UNHCR since three of its staff were killed there last September.

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