Subject: Lusa: Weapon of Slain NZ Peacekeeper Turned in by Militiaman

East Timor: Weapon of Slain NZ Peacekeeper Turned in by Militiaman 7 Nov-19:41

The weapon of a New Zealand soldier killed four months ago in East Timor has been turned in to the Indonesian military, who will on Wednesday return it the territory's UN peacekeeping force.

The automatic rifle was discovered by members of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) in a pile of weapons taken from members of the East Timorese anti-independence militias now based in Indonesian West Timor. It is to be turned over to UN peacekeepers from New Zealand stationed along the border separating the two halves of Timor island.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff told media Tuesday that delivery of the weapon was an "encouraging" sign of the Indonesian authorities` commitment to investigating the murder of soldier Leonard Manning.

"Recently the TNI captured a member of the militia that allegedly killed soldier Manning, though he was unfortunately able to escape," Goff said.

"I hope that he will be recaptured soon, along with his associates, and later tried for this terrible crime. The Indonesian authorities seem to be serious in their attempts to confiscate militia weapons and control their action," he added.

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