Subject: SMH: E.Timor: Court told of beating until death

Sydney Morning Herald August 8, 2001

Court told of beating until death

A court holding the territory's first war crimes trial heard graphic evidence yesterday about the torture and murder of a pro-independence guerilla by Indonesian special forces.

Ten members of the Indonesian-trained Team Alfa militia gang are on trial for 13 murders committed in four separate incidents in eastern Los Palos between April and September 1999. Another defendant, Lieutenant Syaful Anwar, a member of Indonesia's special forces command, Kopassus, remains at large in Indonesia.

In the court yesterday a former member of the Team Alfa militia, a group trained and armed by Kopassus, gave evidence that he had been present during the interrogation and murder of Mr Evaristo Lopes, a Falintil guerilla member, at the main Kopassus base in Los Palos.

The court ordered the identity of the witness be protected.

On April 21 Team Alfa members abducted Mr Lopes in Los Palos. After militia members beat him in the street, Anwar ordered that Mr Lopes be taken to the Team Alfa base, the witness said.

Anwar ordered that Mr Lopes be killed with a bayonet, the witness said. He was stabbed, and when he did not die immediately he was kicked by four or five militia members.

"They jumped on him and stamped him until he was dead."

The United Nations administration in East Timor has indicted a further four suspects for crimes against humanity after the territory voted for independence in 1999. The territory's chief prosecutor, Mr Mohamed Othman, said: "This is the first time we have indicted for this scale of deportation."


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