Subject: SCU: Tacaqui verdict and trial of Marculino Soares

Subject: SCU Press Release on Tacaqui verdict and trial of Marculino Soares


Conviction of One Oecussi Sakunar Militia Commander to 12 Years of Prison.

On 26th July 2004, a Special Panel for Serious Crimes of Dili District Court rendered its final decision in the case of the Deputy General Prosecutor against Florencio Tacaqui. The Panel convicted Tacaqui of five counts, acquitted him of three others and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

The indictment alleged that Florencio Tacaqui was a former Sakunar militia commander in Passabe, Oecussi District, and the allegations against him included involvement in the killing of 47 men on 10 September 1999 in Oecussi District, in an incident commonly referred to as the Passabe Massacre. The panel of Judges, presided over by Judge Francesco FLORIT, acquitted Tacaqui of involvement in the Passabe massacre but convicted him of criminal participation in the murder of eight persons from Kiobiselo village, in Oecussi on 8 September 1999. In addition, the panel convicted Tacaqui of persecution of CNRT members in Oecussi, severe deprivation of liberty of 43 CNRT members at the police station in Passabe in April 1999 and the commission of other inhumane acts.

Tacaqui has been in custody since his arrest on 26 January 2001. The judges indicated that time he has already spent in custody will be deducted from his 12 years sentence and he was remanded to prison. The written decision of the Panel with a full discussion of the Panels's findings will be released on 17 August 2004.

Trial Concerning Attack On Home Of Manuel Carrascalao Ongoing

The same Special Panel is also continuing this week to hear witnesses in the trial of Marculino Soares. Soares is alleged to have been a commander of the Besi Merah Putih militia. Soares is charged with murder and inhumane acts, relating to an attack by members of the TNI and Besi Merah Putih militia on the house of Manuel Carrascalao following a pro-autonomy rally in Dili on 17 April 1999.

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