Subject: Gusmao intervenes to cool down Timor jail protest

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

Gusmao intervenes to cool down Timor jail protest

JAKARTA, March 19 (AFP) - East Timor independence hero Xanana Gusmao intervened Tuesday to help cool down a prison protest in the territory's capital Dili, the United Nations said.

Most of the 250 prisoners at Becora jail refused to return to their cells Monday night until their complaints about poor conditions were heard, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) said in a statement.

Some "minor damage" was caused to prison facilities, it said.

The prisoners returned to their cells after meeting with Justice Minister Ana Pessoa and his deputy Domingos Sarmento late Monday and with Gusmao Tuesday morning, it said.

UNTAET said an independent investigation had been launched into the complaints,

Gusmao is standing in the April 14 presidential election and is considered a certain winner. The territory becomes independent on May 20.

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