Subject: Daily Media Review 13 June 2003


Subject: Daily Media Review 13 June

Dili, 13 June 2003

Daily Media Review

Timor-Leste Welcomes Indonesian Investors

During his official visit to Jakarta, Prime Minister Alkatiri and his delegation, which included Timorese businessmen/women on Thursday, met with Indonesian entrepreneurs in Jakarta on Jakarta on Thursday. Alkatiri said that Timor-Leste is open to foreign investors and that his government is in the process of preparing the legal framework to favor foreign and local investors. It is expected that a big country like Indonesia will be a major partner in the development of Timor-Leste, said Alkatiri. Speaking to the media in Jakarta, he called for an amnesty for prisoners currently serving sentences in Timorese jails for crimes committed around the time of the territory's 1999 independence ballot. He said that a general amnesty was the only way to resolve "the injustice" of perpetrators of less serious crimes being imprisoned, while those responsible for major human rights violations "sometimes remain difficult to indict". "It is up to the parliament to decide on an amnesty, which I think is the only solution to the problem. It is a question worthy of national debate in Timor", said Alkatiri. His comments herald a more pragmatic position The Portuguese newsagency reported that taking the opportunity of their official visit, Alkatiri and the Minister of Foreign Affairs José Ramos-Horta, met with diplomats of three Portuguese speaking countires (Mozambique, Portugal and Brazil). "Timor Post" reported that the statement made by Ramos-Horta in Jakarta, would not affect the work of the Serious Crimes Unit in Dili. On Wednesday the Timorese Minister of Foreign Affairs had stated that the government would not lead the push for the establishment of an International Tribunal to try the responsible of crimes against humanity in 1999. (Lusa, STL. TP)

Court Releases Former Militia Awaiting Trial

The Special Panel for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court on Monday ordered the release of alleged former militia member Abilio Mendez Correira, in custody and awaiting trial in the past 25 months from pre-trial detention pending the re-listing of his case for trial hearing, reported Lusa on Thursday. Correira an alleged member of the former militia group Besi Merah Puti, has been in custody since 2001, accused of various crimes against humanity committed in Timor-Leste in 1999. His trial had been scheduled for hearing in 2002, but was postponed on several occasions. The judge in the case said that according to international fair trial standards, a period of pre-trial detention exceeding two years couldn't be justified except in very limited circumstances, such as the imminent opening of the trial. (Lusa)

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