Subject: KY: Indonesia prosecutors appeal verdict on general in E. Timor's violence

Wednesday August 13, 2:09 PM

Prosecutors appeal verdict on general in E. Timor's violence

Prosecutors have filed an appeal to higher court over the three-year jail sentence recently handed down by an ad hoc tribunal for human rights violations in East Timor to the then Indonesian military commander in the territory, local media reported Wednesday.

"Prosecutors signed an appeal form on Monday," Attorney General Office spokesman Antasari Azhar was quoted as saying by the newspaper Kompas.

Antasari said the appeal is made because the prosecutors decided to stick to their stance of asking the court for an acquittal from charges against Maj. Gen. Adam Damiri and disagreeing with the legal determinations of the judicial panel.

On Aug. 5, a panel of five judges ruled that the general was guilty gross human rights violation in East Timor in 1999, before and after the then Indonesian-occupied territory conducted a U.N.-sponsored ballot on independence.

According to the judges, the general is held responsible for widespread violence and human rights violations launched by pro-Indonesia East Timorese militia groups at that time.

Antasari did not elaborate on what sort of legal reasons were to be presented in the appeal notes.

Among the 18 people tried by the court, most of them of military or police backgrounds, Adam was the highest ranking officer and was the only suspect for whom the prosecutors sought acquittal.

East Timor gained independence on May 20 last year after more than 24 years under Indonesian rule and about 30 months under U.N. administration.

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