Subject: Indon police say killers of W. Timor militia leader now known

also: Indon wont 'disarm' militias but will 'confiscate their weapons' -National police chief

Indonesian police say killers of West Timor militia leader now known

JAKARTA, Sept 11 (AFP) - A team investigating violence in a West Timor border town last week that left at least eight dead, including three UN relief workers, have solved the murder of a militia leader that sparked the violence, the team's head said Monday.

"They number more than five people," Police Senior Superintendent T.H.L. Tobing was quoted by the state Antara news agency as saying in Kupang, the main town of West Timor.

"We already have the names of the suspects and we only are awaiting the appropriate time to arrest them."

The five are suspected of killing Olibio Mendosa Moruk, 45, former leader of the notorious Laksaur militia in East Timor.

His death sparked the attack on the office of the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) in the town of Atambua on Wednesday.

The hundreds of machete-wielding militia members who attacked the UNCHR office had split away from a street rally carrying the headless body of Moruk to the local parliament in protest at the murder.

Tobing said the suspects in Moruk's murder were henchmen of a local criminal gang leader, Aloysius Bere, who was delivered by Moruk to the police after he attempted to extort money from Moruk's driver.

Bere's men killed Moruk in revenge for having handed their leader to the police, Tobing said.

"The perpetrators are all local men. There is no indication of involvement by infiltrators from East Timor or of some sort of international conspiration in that murder case," Tobing said.

In the case of the murder of the three UN relief workers -- an American from Puerto Rico, a Croatian and an Ethiopian -- the team had yet to find a suspect, Tobing said.

"There is no one yet arrested on suspicion of the crime in the incident of the attack on the UNHCR office in Atambua that left three international staff killed."

He said the police were currently questioning 15 people over the attack.

Tobing added that a total of eight people, including Moruk and the three UN staff, had been killed in the violence in and around Atambua last week.

He said four local people were burned to death in their homes and two others seriously injured after Moruk's supporters set fire to around 67 houses in Lorotulus village, in the Malaka Barat sub-district on Tuesday.

"The result of our fact-finding on site says so. Not less, not more," Tobing said of the toll.

Residents and relief officials have spoken of between 11 and up to 20 people were killed in the violence in Malaka Barat.

TEMPO Interaktif, 11 September 2000

Indon wont 'disarm' militias but will 'confiscate their weapons' -Police chief

Police Chief Rusdihardjo on the UN Security Council Resolution: 'Weapons Confiscation' is the Right Term

Jakarta: The Indonesian Police (Polri) Chief, General Rusdihardjo, denied media reports that Polri would 'disarm' militia in West Timor. The 'disarmament' term became popular after the United Nations Security Council issued a resolution that urged the Indonesian Police to disarm militia groups in West Timor.

According to Rusdihardjo, the Police will act according to Indonesian law. In the Criminal Procedure Code, the correct legal terminology is 'confiscation' of illegal guns and sharp weapons. The Indonesian Military (TNI) and Polri will conduct a weapons search operation soon. Rusdiharjo made these comments while waiting for the arrival of President Abdurrahman Wahid and his entourage at Halim Perdana Kusumah Airport this morning.

Rusdihardjo recognizes the strong international community demand for the disarmament and abolition of the militia. The world community also wants the perpetrators of the attack, killing, and burning in Atambua placed on trial.

Rusdihardjo assured that provincial and central government police are coordinating their efforts. "The troops in Atambua are now supported by TNI and Polri. Their task includes "weapons confiscation," he explained. The confiscation still depends on the situation in West Timor.

Of the 15 witnesses to the UNCHR Office attack on Wednesday (6/9), none of them have become suspects, Rusdi said. The Police have only questioned the witnesses. "Perhaps some of them will become suspects, but that depends on the investigation," he added.

Meanwhile, after arriving at Halim Perdana Kusumah airport, President Wahid traveled to Merdeka Palace. At 9:00 AM (Western Indonesian Time), the President received Vice President Megawati, two coordinating ministers, the Polri Chief, and Cabinet Secretary Marsilam Simanjuntak.

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