Subject: Lusa: EU critical of Jakarta human rights tribunal

EU critical of Jakarta human rights tribunal

Lusa 22.8.2002

The Danish presidency of the European Union has harshly criticized the recent judgements in Jakarta`s Ad Hoc Human Rights Tribunal, saying that the proceedings do not take full account of 1999`s violence.

In a communique issued Wednesday, the Copenhagen presidency says it has closely monitored the Jakarta trials of 18 officials and military officers accused of human rights crimes in the aftermath of Timor`s independence ballot in August, 1999.

Of the seven so far accused, only the ex-governor of the territory, Abilio Soares, received any sentence (3 years imprisonment). The remaining six defendants, all senior police and Indonesian army officers have been absolved of any responsibility for the violence in which over 1000 died.

The EU statement also points out that important evidence available from investigations in Timor has not been presented to the Jakarta trials and the EU fears the failure to call relevant witnesses and evidence will damage the court`s verdicts.

Only by bringing the perpetrators of grave human rights crimes to justice can faith in the judiciary be enhanced, says the communique, adding that the EU urges Jakarta to ensure that the tribunal`s proceedings take place in accordance with the rule of order, and in full compliance of international human rights standards.

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