Subject: AN: U.S. proposal on truth commission for E. Timor unclear: RI Envoy

[For the record: However unclear the notion, the U.S. raised the truth commission idea last May, before the appeal acquittals. as well. - John]

U.S. proposal on truth commission for E. Timor unclear: RI Envoy

NEW YORK (Antara): The United States' proposal to form an International Truth Commission for human rights abuses in East Timor, made during a recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) assembly, is unclear, an Indonesian official said here on Friday.

"We have to study further the commission proposal made by the U.S. delegation to the UNSC meeting because its objective and form are unclear," Indonesia's permanent representative to the UNRezlan Ishar Jenie said.

Rezlan said the proposal was apparently advanced due to the U.S. disappointment over the Indonesian appeal court's decision to overturn lower court convictions for human rights abuses in East Timor.

During the UNSC meeting, which discussed the report of the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), U.S delegation representative Stuart Holliday expressed his concern over the Indonesian ad-hoc human rights tribunal.

The ad-hoc court was set up to punish those responsible for human rights abuses after the UN-sponsored ballot in East Timor in 1999 that led to the territory's separation from Indonesia.

Judging that the Indonesian court had failed to punish the perpetrators, the U.S. delegation proposed the formation of an independent International Truth Commission.

Several other countries including the Netherlands, Portugal and New Zealand also expressed dissatisfaction over the Indonesian ad-hoc court's rulings.

The Indonesian government had told these countries that the legal processes in the country during the present reform and democratic era was independent, Rezlan said. (**)

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