Subject: UN Slams Indonesia Over Slow Pace Of Justice For E Timor

UN Slams Indonesia Over Slow Pace Of Justice For E Timor

DILI, East Timor, Oct. 24 (AP) -- A senior U.N. official in East Timor Wednesday criticized Indonesia for its slow progress in bringing to justice those responsible for atrocities committed in 1999 after the territory voted for independence.

Speaking after a recent trip to Jakarta where he met Indonesia's Attorney General Muhamad Abdul Rachman, U.N. deputy head of mission Dennis McNamara said he wanted to see more progress made by Indonesia in bringing a number of high-profile cases to court.

"We have many issues outstanding and need much more active cooperation from the Indonesian side if we are going to make real progress," he told reporters in East Timor's capital Dili.

Hundreds of people were killed and about 250,000 others forced to flee their homes in a three-week rampage by the Indonesian army and its militia proxies after East Timor voted to secede from Indonesia in August, 1999.

Earlier this year, the Indonesian government announced that it would establish a special human rights court to prosecute soldiers and militiamen accused of atrocities. Twenty-three suspects, including some senior army officers, have been accused of taking part in the violence.

However, to date no suspects have been brought to trial, and human rights activists have criticized Jakarta for failing to take action against top army and police commanders.

In Jakarta, former Attorney General Marzuki Darusman rejected criticism of the pace of prosecutions, saying trials would start as scheduled in December.

But he too criticized the government's failure to prosecute military chiefs, who he said were in overall control of the situation in East Timor in 1999.

"The key issue remains command responsibility," he told the Associated Press. "The government has not yet decided how to handle that."

McNamara's comments came two days after the trial of a pro-Indonesian militiaman - accused of killing a New Zealand peacekeeper in East Timor last year - was adjourned indefinitely after he claimed he was too ill to attend.


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