Subject: LUSA: PM says gov't probe of December riot is now criminal investigation

03-03-2003 15:25:00. Notícia nº SIR-4737389

East Timor: PM says gov't probe of December riot is now criminal investigation

Dili, March 3 (Lusa) - Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said Monday that separate government and parliamentary inquiries into a Dili riot last December, that caused two deaths, have been handed over to judicial authorities to begin criminal investigations.

Alkatiri told Lusa the two investigations had "given some clues, but are not complete".

"It is necessary the investigation now becomes a criminal one", said Alkatiri, adding that the two documents have been sent to Attorney General Longuinhos Monteiro.

The Timorese head of government was speaking after a meeting with President Xanana Gusmao and the speaker of the Dili Parliament, Francisco Guterres, on the reports of the events of December 4 in Dili.

Groups of protesters were involved in violent clashed with police and several buildings in the capital were looted and destroyed, including Parliament and the home of Mari Alkatiri.

Alkatiri said it would be necessary to fully probe the involvement of students from the Escola 28 November in the Dili disturbances.

Pupils from this school were involved in confrontations with police the day before the riot, after a student was arrested and accused of murder.

"The involvement of this school appears more significant in the Dec. 4 riots than the report would make believe", said Alkatiri, adding that the police's role in the lead up to the riots also needed a thorough examination.


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