Subject: Tempo: E Timorese President Angry with Verdict

Ad Hoc Human Rights Trial on East Timor Case: East Timorese President Angry with Verdict 27 Aug 2002 19:37:41 WIB

TEMPO Interaktif, Dili, East Timor :East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao was very angry when he heard the verdict of the Central Jakarta Ad Hoc Human Rights Court that set free the main suspects--Brig. Gen. Timbul Silaen and other middle-rank Indonesian Military (TNI) and police officers--in the East Timor human rights violation following the 1999 referendum.

Gusmao said that this decision has been considered as a joke by several people in Indonesia.

The East Timorese President made this statement at a press conference together with East Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri at the Palacio de Governo of the Timor Leste Democratic Republic in Dili on Tuesday (27/8).

Alkatiri himself said that his government would discuss the settlement of this case through an international court.

“I can not accept this condition. Moreover, the Indonesian trial only sought a scapegoat in this matter. As an East Timorese, I can not accept the fact that my fellow citizens have been used as scapegoats for all incidents that took place before and after the 1999 referendum,” said Gusmao.

According to Gusmao, this is the official stance of the East Timorese government in regards to the recent ruling.

The judges did however sentence former East Timorese governor Abilio Jose Osorio Soares to three years in prison.

Gusmao mentioned the tri-partite agreement between Indonesian government, United Nations and Portuguese government made on May 5, 1999 in New York, stating that the TNI and National Police officers were to be held responsible for security in East Timor during the 1999 referendum.

“How could the Indonesian government come to the conclusion that the violence in East Timor during the referendum was due to a dispute between East Timorese? I can not accept this,” said Gusmao.

The East Timorese President went on to say the East Timorese could not accept the argument made by Indonesian government that all the violence and human rights violations following the 1999 referendum resulted from disputes between East Timorese.

“The violence that took place was systematic and the Indonesian military was behind it at that time,” he stated.

East Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that he would particularly discuss the option of an International Trial for the East Timor case with National Parliament and Gusmao.

“In this matter, all parties in East Timor have agreed to propose the establishment of and International Tribunal on the main suspects of human rights violation in East Timor to the UN,” said Alkatiri..

Alkatiri admitted that this would not be easy, but added: “However, the support of international community, victims’ families, Catholic church and all East Timorese could be considered by the UN Security Council as a good reason to establish an International Tribunal.”

Gusmao was also convinced that the recent verdict on the East Timor case would not affect the relationship between Indonesia and East Timor.

One problem should not affect both countries’ relationship in other aspects, he said. (Alexandre Assis ­ Tempo News Room)

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