|Subject: Munir and Naipospos on West Timor
crisis and protecting witnesses
Extracts from a report in Kompas, 8 September 2000 Need to protest witnesses and suspects
Munir, who was a member of the Indonesian special investigation commission on human rights abuses in East Timor, says that the attorney general's office has failed in its duty to protect the lives of suspects and witnesses in forthcoming trials about East Timor. He said that early on, he warned the authorities of the need to safeguard sources of evidence in West Timor as well as the lives of suspects and witneses. These warnings were not heeded as is apparent from the fact that an important witness and suspect, Olivio Mendoza Muruk, has been murdered.
'It is absolutely clear to me that this murder was a deliberate attempt to eliminate channels of information which could have been opened up by suspects regarding the other suspects, in particular those who were responsible for security in East Timor while it was still a part of Indonesian territory. As members of the commission, we realised that it was extremely likely that he would "sing",' said Munir.
Munir said that Moruk was a key figure in the murder of priests and the destruction of the church in Suai. He knew a great deal about the involvement of a number of officials in that event. 'The attorney-general's office should have been aware of his position and taken special protective measures. It would be far better for the attorney-general's office to place certain people under arrest, especially those of civilian rank, so as to provide them with the maximum protection,' said Munir.
Kompas also quoted Coki Naipospos as condeming the failure of Major-General Kiki Syahnakri, commander of the Udayana military command to disarm the militias of all their weapons, firearms as well as sharp implements. This failure has now led to intensified pressure on Indonesia from the international community to deal with the militias and protect Un humanitarian workers helping refugees in Indonesian territory.
He said that Solidamor has called on the Indonesian police to take action against members of the militia in accordance with the law on the unlawful possession of firearms . The police should also thoroughly investigate the murder of four UNHCR staff members as well as the murder of Olivio Mendoza Moruk, in order to prevent such things from happening again.
Naipospos said Solidamor has also called on President Wahid to take measures to end the refugee crisis in Indonesia which has now become a heavy yoke round the neck of the Republic. The militias should be separated from the refugees, the refugees should be repatriated to East Timor and all the militias removed from NTT (West Timor) because their continued presence there is seriously disrupting the lives of the local inhabitants.
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