Subject: RA: Indonesian government denies E Timor trials are flawed

Indonesian government denies E Timor trials are flawed

The Indonesian government has rejected claims that it is failing to prosecute those responsible for the carnage in East Timor following its vote for independence.

Indonesia set up an ad hoc human rights court in 2001 to investigate and judge individuals suspected of crimes against humanity in East Timor in 1999.

Only six people have found guilty by the court and all are free pending appeal.

Human rights groups say the court is flawed and have called for a new international criminal tribunal to be established by the United Nations.

However, an Indonesian government spokesman, Marty Natalegawa, says Jakarta is not prepared to consider the proposal.

"Of course there are shortcomings in our national tribunal system, but it's not as if it's in such a flawed state that you want to go the international tribunal route," Mr Natalegawa said.

"If - and it's a big if - we were to go the international tribunal route, perhaps it can deliver the type of justice that people are looking for," he said.

"But what beneficial impact would that have on democratisation in Indonesia, on democratisation in Timor, because it is as if we are contracting out what should be our responsibility."

Pro-Indonesia militia gangs went on a rampage after East Timor's landslide vote for independence in August 1999, killing hundreds and destroying entire villages.

15/04/2004 21:51:46 | ABC Radio Australia News

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