Subject: Lusa: Militia Chief Eurico Guterres Under Arrest, Jakarta Says

East Timor: Militia Chief Eurico Guterres Under Arrest, Jakarta Says 4 Oct-11:37

Indonesian authorities announced Wednesday that they had arrested one of East Timor's most notorious militia gang bosses, but the territory's independence leader, Xanana Gusmao, reacted with skepticism, saying he would "wait and see".

In Jakarta, National Police Chief Suroyo Bimantoro said Eurico Guterres, head of the Aitarak, or Thorn, militia had been arrested for ordering hundreds of followers to hide their weapons rathern than disarm in defiance of an Indonesian effort to demobilize the militias.

Guterres' lawyer told reporters the paramilitary chief, considered responsible for much of the destruction in the East Timor capital, Dili, last year, had been arrested at his Jakarta hotel.

The detention came two days after Guterres was added to a Jakarta list of militiamen, police and military officers under formal investigation for human rights abuses and atrocities during East Timor's August 1999 independence plebiscite.

Guterres recently told a Jakarta news conference he had done "nothing bad" during the anti-independence rampage in East Timor and that his paramilitaries would seek revenge if he were arrested.

In Dili, Gusmao welcomed word of Guterres' arrest but added that he would "wait and see" the outcome, after repeated failures by Jakarta to rein in its proxy militias, who continue sporadic attacks inside the territory and harass refugees in camps in Indonesian West Timor.

Both the territory's United Nations administration and local leadership, he added, had "lost confidence" in Jakarta's promises and awaited concrete action on its commitments to dismantle the militia gangs and try those responsible for the slaughter and scorched-earth campaign last year.

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