Subject: Trial of Pro-Indon Militiaman Delayed; Accused Of Killing UN Soldier

Associated Press October 22, 2001

Timor Rebel's Trial Delayed; Accused Of Killing UN Soldier

JAKARTA (AP)--The trial of a pro-Indonesian militiaman accused of killing a New Zealand peacekeeper in East Timor was adjourned on Monday because the defendant was too sick to attend.

Judge I Ningah Suriada said the defendant, Yacobus Bere, was receiving treatment for a prostate complaint at a prison hospital.

The trial, which opened Monday in the Central Jakarta District Court, will resume at an unspecified date, said Suriada.

Bere, 38, is accused of murdering Pvt. Leonard William Manning on July 24 last year in an attack by a militia patrol close to the border with Indonesian-held West Timor. The soldier's body was mutilated.

Manning was serving with a U.N. force dispatched to East Timor to restore order after pro-Indonesian militiamen ravaged the territory when it voted for independence from Indonesian rule in September 1999.

The militiaman, along with about 100,000 refugees, fled to neighboring West Timor when peacekeepers arrived.

Bere has allegedly confessed to Manning's murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum punishment of 20 years in jail.

Earlier this year, six militiaman were convicted in the murders of three U.N. workers in West Timor for between 10 and 20 months by a Jakarta court. The verdict's apparent leniency outraged the world body.

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