Subject: AFP: 10-yrs in jail sought for Dili police, military chiefs

Received from Joyo Indonesia News

Agence France Presse November 20, 2002

10-year jail terms sought for former Dili police and military chiefs


Prosecutors at Indonesia's human rights court on Wednesday demanded 10-year jail sentences for the former police and military chiefs in the East Timor capital of Dili for failing to prevent atrocities three years ago.

In separate hearings, prosecutors asked judges to sentence former Dili police chief Lieutenant Colonel Hulman Gultom and former Dili district military commander Lieutenant Colonel Sujarwo to 10 years in jail.

Prosecutor Nasir Maksum said Gultom, 51, failed to anticipate and prevent an attack by pro- Indonesia guerrillas on the refugee-packed house of independence activist Manuel Carrascalao on April 17, 1999.

"The defendant should have been able to prevent or at least anticipate the April 17, 1999 incident... but as head of police operations in Dili, the defendant allowed it to take place," Maksum told the court.

He said 12 people were killed and many others wounded.

Maksum said Gultom had been "unable to control his subordinates, especially in assuring security, had been unable to forecast the impact of government policies on the local population and did not take the perpetrators to justice."

In another court, prosecutor Maju Ambarita said Sujarwo had failed to anticipate and prevent attacks on the refugee-packed Dili diocese and residence of Dili Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo in April 1999.

Prosecutors have said at least two people were killed at the diocese while 13 others were slain in at the bishop's residence.

Ambarita also said that Sujarwo had failed to seek assistance from his superiors even though "the military was clearly no longer able to control the situation."

Gultom and Sujarwo are two of 18 military and police officers, officials and civilians who have faced charges of gross human rights violations in April and September 1999.

In widely criticised verdicts, the rights court has already acquitted six officers including the territory's former police chief, and sentenced the former governor to just three years in jail. The others are still on trial.

Pro-Jakarta local militias, who were armed and organised by the Indonesian military, launched a brutal campaign of intimidation before East Timor's August 1999 vote to break away from Indonesia and carried out revenge attacks afterwards.

An estimated 1,000 people were killed.

Gultom's hearing will resume in a week while Sujarwo's trial will resume on November 26. Judges do not have to follow the prosecutors' sentence recommendations if they find the defendants guilty.


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