Subject: AP: Former Indonesian soldier indicted in East Timor for crimes against humanity

Timorese charge former soldier

Former Indonesian soldier indicted in East Timor for crimes against humanity

September 23, 2003 2:36am Associated Press WorldStream

DILI, East Timor (AP) - A former Indonesian soldier was indicted Tuesday in East Timor for crimes against humanity in connection with the disappearance of a pro-independence activist during violence that swept the territory four years ago.

Rusdin Maubere, a Timorese national who was detained in March, is accused of taking part in the beating and kidnapping of Andre de Oliviera, who was killed in April 1999 when Indonesian troops and their proxy militias began targeting supporters of the country's independence campaign.

Oliviera was arrested by Indonesian soldiers following his escape from a church massacre in the town of Liquica, according to the indictment. He was later beaten unconscious by soldiers and militiamen and his body dumped in an unmarked grave, the indictment said. His body has never been found.

East Timorese overwhelmingly voted for independence in August 1999, after 24 years of often brutal Indonesian rule. The vote triggered attacks by Indonesian forces that left 1,500 dead and the former province in ruins.

East Timor gained full independence in May last year.

East Timorese courts have indicted 326 people including 32 Indonesian commanders and officers for the violence and convicted 35. But nearly all the Indonesian defendants remain free, since the Indonesian government has refused requests from East Timor to extradite them.

Among them is former Gen. Wiranto, a presidential candidate who was Indonesia's armed forces chief during the 1999 violence.

Trials have also taken place in Jakarta but the process has come under widespread criticism from right activists. Only six of 18 Indonesian government and military officials accused of allowing the violence have been convicted.

They were all given light sentences and remain free pending their appeals.


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