|Subject: UN, Australia Demand E Timor
Militia Leader Remains Jailed
also: E Timor Militia Leader Still In Jail Despite Court Ruling
Associated Press October 24, 2000
UN, Australia Demand E Timor Militia Leader Remains Jailed
CANBERRA (AP)--The United Nations and Australia - responsible for most of the troops safeguarding peace in East Timor - maintained pressure on Indonesia Tuesday to bring to justice militias responsible for continuing violence and intimidation in the region.
U.N. special representative in East Timor Sergio Vieira de Mello said the credibility of Indonesia's judiciary would be fatally damaged if a court ruling that a notorious militia leader's arrest was unlawful is upheld.
And Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said that while Indonesia had made progress in disarming and disbanding the militias, more needed to be done.
An Indonesian court on Monday ordered the release of East Timorese militia leader Eurico Guterres after ruling that his police detention was illegal.
Police said they would appeal and senior officials said Guterres would stay in custody until they had decided what to do.
Speaking in the Australian capital of Canberra, where he met Tuesday with Prime Minister John Howard and Australia's foreign and defense ministers, de Mello said Guterres, "must remain in jail."
"It would be fatal for the credibility of the Indonesian judiciary and judiciary process and investigations on last year's crimes if Eurico Guterres left the place where he belongs, which is jail," he said.
Guterres is awaiting trial on charges that he ordered his followers not to hand over their weapons to Indonesian police disarming militia gangs now sheltering in Indonesian West Timor. He faces six years in prison if found guilty.
He is also on a list of suspects accused of orchestrating the violence that swept East Timor 13 months ago when its people overwhelmingly voted in a U.N.-supervised ballot to break free from Indonesian rule.
Australia led a multinational peacekeeping force into the province to restore order.
The Indonesian government has come under intense pressure from the United Nations to crack down on militia thugs blamed for the deaths of three U.N. aid workers in West Timor in September.
The government has promised to disband the gangs and to bring those responsible for the murders to justice.
Downer, after meeting with Vieira de Mello, said they had agreed that Indonesia had shown new determination to bring the militias under control since the U.N. killings.
"That is not to say that the situation is resolved," Downer said. "There are still militias in West Timor. They still represent a threat to the peacekeeping force in East Timor and to civilians in East Timor."
It was "fundamentally important" that Indonesia continue to disarm and disband the militias.
"We are pleased that some progress has been made but there is some way to go."
Downer said he hoped that multinational troops in East Timor be would able to leave "toward the end of next year," when full independence is achieved and the new nation has its own security forces.
Associated Press October 24, 2000
E Timor Militia Leader Still In Jail Despite Court Ruling
JAKARTA (AP)--Lawyers representing a notorious East Timorese militiaman have complained Tuesday that Indonesian police are still detaining their client despite a court ruling ordering his release.
"Eurico Guterres couldn't be freed today (Tuesday) because police headquarters haven't received a copy of the pretrial verdict," the militiaman's lawyer, Suhardi Sumomulyono, said.
On Monday, a judge in a pretrial hearing ordered Guterres' release on a technicality after ruling his arrest and detention were executed without a proper warrant.
The government has said it would appeal the decision.
Guterres has been charged with ordering followers not to hand over weapons to police disarming militias now sheltering in Indonesian-controlled West Timor.
Jakarta has come under intense international pressure to crack down on militia thugs blamed for the deaths of three U.N. aid workers in West Timor in September. The government has promised to disband the gangs and to bring those responsible for the murders to justice.
Guterres is also on a list of suspects accused of orchestrating the violence that swept East Timor 13 months ago when its people overwhelmingly voted to break free from Indonesian rule.
Sumomulyono told reporters he hoped Guterres would be freed from detention by next week.
Guterres is being held in a guarded house in the police headquarters' compound.
Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter V3.5.8, is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from http://www.v3inc.com/