Subject: AP: Intl Tribunal Should Try Indonesian Officers: E. Timor PM

Also: Lusa -PM seeks 'good relations' with Jakarta leaders on 1st official trip; JP: RI seeks clarification of E. Timor PM's call for rights tribunal

E Timor PM Wants Intl Tribunal To Try Indonesian Officers

DILI, East Timor, May 30 (AP)--The prime minister Friday called for the establishment of an international tribunal in a neutral country to try Indonesian military officers for the bloodshed that swept East Timor when it voted to break from Jakarta in 1999.

Mari Alkatiri also criticized the trials of 18 senior Indonesian officials in Jakarta over their alleged roles in the violence, which left up to 2,000 people dead.

"I am not satisfied (with the Jakarta trials)," he told reporters after meeting with President Xanana Gusmao. "They are like a piece of theater."

The Jakarta trials, which followed intense international pressure on Indonesia to prosecute those responsible, have so far acquitted 12 suspects and convicted five, who got sentences from three to 10 years.

Alkatiri's comments will likely cheer local and foreign rights activists, who have also criticized the Jakarta trials and called on Gusmao to push for the prosecution of the Indonesian officials in an international war crimes tribunal.

Alkatiri said there was "an obligation to establish an international tribunal in a neutral country to punish and bring to justice the perpetrators." He didn't elaborate.

Alkatiri said he and several ministers were traveling to Jakarta on June 10 and would discuss the issue of an international tribunal with President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Indonesian troops and their militia proxies destroyed much of East Timor and killed up to 2,000 people before and after a U.N.-sponsored independence referendum in 1999.

Gusmao has said that maintaining ties with its giant neighbor and former occupying power are more important than pursing justice for those accused in the violence, which only stopped when international peacekeeping troops arrived in East Timor.

Prosecutors in the capital Dili are pursuing their own war crimes trials. They have indicted nearly 250 people, including the former chief of the Indonesian military, Gen. Wiranto. Thirty people - mostly former militiamen - have been convicted.

Indonesia has said it won't send any officers to Dili to stand trial. It is unlikely to agree to cooperate with an international tribunal unless foreign governments and the United Nations put intense pressure on it to do so.

Jakarta convened the trials in Jakarta to head off an international drive to set up a U.N. war crimes trial for East Timor akin to those for ex-Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

-Edited by Kevin Lim


East Timor: PM seeks 'good relations' with Jakarta leaders on 1st official trip

Dili, May 30 (Lusa) - East Timor's prime minister, Mari Alkatiri, makes his first official visit to Indonesia in June at the head of a delegation of senior Timorese government officials and top businessmen, an official Dili source announced Friday.

Alkatiri, who will be accompanied by his foreign, finance, transport and education ministers, will meet Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri before a wider encounter with Jakarta government ministers.

Timor`s head of government told Lusa the Jakarta visit, from June 10-13, was primarily aimed at creating "good personal relations with Indonesian leaders", particularly Megawati.

"We want to establish the bilateral economic and political agenda now. We also wish to resolve outstanding problems over maritime and land frontiers", said Alkatiri.

ASP/CJB -Lusa-

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June 02, 2003

RI seeks clarification of E. Timor PM's call for rights tribunal

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia sought clarification Monday of reports that the East Timorese prime minister has called for an international tribunal to delve into atrocities by Indonesian troops in 1999.

Foreign ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa said a ministry director met East Timor's charge d'affaires "to seek clarification and information" about reported comments by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri last week.

"We wish first of all to confirm the accuracy of those reports before going further," Marty said, as quoted by AFP.

Alkatiri reportedly called for an international tribunal to try Indonesian military personnel for the violence that devastated East Timor in 1999. Reports said he also criticized trials related to the violence at Jakarta's own human rights court.

His comments appear to conflict with the long-standing position of East Timor's president, the former anti-Indonesia guerrilla chief Xanana Gusmao, who has said the two countries must move on despite their past history.

Marty said a call for an international tribunal would conflict "with the two countries' wish to move forward in their relations."

Jakarta's state-appointed human rights court on May 22 issued its latest acquittal of an Indonesian soldier charged with crimes against humanity in East Timor.


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