Subject: AFP: Indonesian police arrest Dili riot suspect in West

Agence France Presse December 18, 2002

Indonesian police arrest Dili riot suspect in West Timor

JAKARTA -- Indonesian police said Wednesday they have arrested the main suspect in the torching of East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri's house during riots in Dili this month.

Dominggos dos Santos, an East Timorese, was arrested in the border town of Atambua in Indonesian West Timor on Monday night, said provincial police chief Brigadier General Jacki Uly.

"He testified during interrogation to being the main provocateur" in the December 4 violence, Uly told AFP by telephone.

Uly said he was coordinating with UN and local police in East Timor to hand over dos Santos.

The violence on December 4 -- in which two people died and 25 were injured -- was the worst since Indonesian troops and their militia proxies withdrew in 1999, destroying much of the country as they left.

It caught UN peacekeepers and local police off guard.

Some 10 buildings were gutted by fire or severely damaged in other ways, including a foreign-owned supermarket, a hotel, four shops, Alkatiri's home and houses owned by two of his brothers.

Uly said police had no record of past militia activity by dos Santos. "For the moment, our information suggested that he is not a former militiaman."

Some government officials have suggested a political agenda to the riots. Foreign Minister Jose Ramos-Horta has said that former pro-Jakarta militiamen were involved.


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