Subject: E. Timor Charges Indonesian Troops, Militiamen with 1999 Killings
Also: SCU FILES TWO NEW INDICTMENTS: THE MURDER OF 2 UNAMET STAFF MEMBERS IN ATSABE AND THE VIQUEQUE INDICTMENT
Associated Press October 29, 2004
East Timor Charges Indonesian Troops, Militiamen with 1999 Killings
East Timor on Friday indicted eight Indonesian soldiers and two militiamen for allegedly killing two U.N. election workers and attacking independence supporters during the country's bloody break from Indonesian rule in 1999.
The indictments bring to 391 the number of Indonesian military and militia members charged with human rights violations over the violence that left 1,500 Timorese dead and the half-island in ruins. The indictments were filed at the Special Panel for Serious Crimes in the capital, Dili.
Prosecutors alleged that Lt. Mohamad Roni and soldiers Joao da Costa and Domingos de Deus gunned down the two U.N. election workers during an independence referendum on Aug. 30, 1999.
The soldiers targeted the pair at a polling station in Atsabe, about 57 kilometers (35 miles) west of Dili, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors also said that five members of the Indonesian army, including three district commanders, joined two militia leaders in attacks on independence supporters.
The seven allegedly killed six independence supporters between early May and Aug. 11, 1999, in Viqueque, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) west of the capital. Prosecutors say the killings were aimed at convincing voters to reject independence.
But the referendum passed and East Timor became a sovereign country in May 2002.
De Deus remains in Dili but the other nine suspects are believed to be in Indonesia.
Some 280 others are also believed to be in Indonesia, including failed Indonesian presidential candidate Gen. Wiranto, who was the country's military chief in 1999.
Indonesia is under no obligation to hand over the suspects, and has said it will not respond to earlier indictments. East Timor has not aggressively pushed to have the defendants returned to the country, saying that maintaining good relations with its large neighbor is more important.
Courts in Jakarta were set up to prosecute top Indonesians responsible for the violence, but rights groups have widely criticized the trials as failures. All 16 police and military officers charged have been acquitted, while two ethnic East Timorese civilians were found guilty.
Office of the Deputy General Prosecutor for Serious Crimes Timor Leste
SERIOUS CRIMES UNIT INFORMATION RELEASE
29 October 2004
SCU FILES TWO NEW INDICTMENTS: THE MURDER OF 2 UNAMET STAFF MEMBERS IN ATSABE AND THE VIQUEQUE INDICTMENT
On 29th October 2004, the Serious Crimes Unit filed two new indictments with the Special Panels for Serious Crimes, charging 10 persons with Crimes Against Humanity. One indictment charged seven leaders of military and militia forces with a series of crimes, including murder, torture, deportation and widespread destruction of property committed in Viqueque district in 1999. The second indictment charges three men with the murder of two election workers in Ermera District on the day of the Popular Consultation, 30 August 1999. A total of 10 murder victims are covered by the two indictments.
THE MURDER OF 2 ELECTION WORKERS UNAMET staff members IN 1999
This indictment alleges that Second Lieutenant Mohamad Roni and TNI soldiers Joćo da Costa and Domingos de Deus were involved in the planned and coordinated attack at the Baboe Leten polling station in Atsabe sub-district, Ermera district, by the Indonesian National Army or TNI and Tim Pancasila militia members, on 30 August 1999, the day of the popular consultation vote in Timor Leste. The attack resulted in the murder of Joćo Lopes and Orlando Gomes and the attempted murder of Alvaro de Deus Lopes, all UNAMET staff members who were administering the election.
Mohamad Roni was the TNI DANRAMIL (sub-district military commander) of Atsabe and Joćo da Costa and Domingos de Deus were both TNI soldiers attached to the Atsabe KORAMIL (sub-district military command) as well as commanders of the Tim Pancasila militia. The indictment states that they participated in the meeting held at the house of the village chief where the attack was planned and the three victims were specifically named as targets because they were serving United Nations staff. After that, Joćo da Costa and Domingos de Deus, with other TNI soldiers and Tim Pancasila militiamen, surrounded the polling station and entered the building deliberately looking for UN local staff. Orlando Gomes and Joćo Lopes died in the attack. Alvaro de Deus Lopes survived the wounds inflicted upon him, by one of the accused. Allegedly, Mohamad Roni had prior knowledge of the attack, however he did nothing to prevent it or to punish the perpetrators subsequently. Arrest warrants have been requested against Mohammed Roni and Joao Da Costa whose current whereabouts are unknown. Two of the accused are at Large and one is in Timor Leste, under reporting conditions.
THE VIQUEQUE INDICTMENT
This indictment focuses on the crimes committed by TNI soldiers, Makikit and 59/75 Junior militias in and around the town of Viqueque during 1999. The indictment targets seven leaders of military and militia forces who are believed to be among those most responsible for the crimes in that district. Inline with the present priorities of the SCU this indictment only deals with those most responsible for the crimes.
The Viqueque indictment charges all those accused with the crimes against humanity of for murder, torture, deportation or forcible transfer, and persecution. The accused include a total of 7 persons: namely the 2 TNI district commanders of KODIM 1630 Viqueque [DANDIM], Lieutenant Colonel Djoko Soeharsoyo and Lieutenant Colonel Gustaf Heru, the district TNI Special Forces [KOPASSUS] commander, First Lieutenant Minton, the KODIM intelligence section head [KASI Intel], First Lieutenant Yusuf Tandi, a KODIM intelligence section soldier, Head Sergeant Andreas Prawin, the commander of the Makikit militia and the Viqueque acting district administrator [BUPATI], Martinho Fernandes, and one of his assistants, Emiliano Joaquim Gomes, who was also deputy commander of the Makikit militia.
The indictment alleges that the circumstances of the crimes committed in Viqueque for which they are accused, both with individual and superior criminal responsibility, follow the pattern of violence that occurred throughout the rest of Timor Leste during 1999, which targeted in particular young influential independence supporters. Specific crimes charged include This is evidenced by 3 murders that occurred in early May 1999 following the 59/75 Junior militia's inauguration ceremony and the murder of another 3 independence supporters on 11 August 1999 prior to the popular consultation vote. The indictment alleges that these murders, along with others that occurred in Viqueque district, were designed to persuade the population of Viqueque to voting forvote for integration within Indonesia and to disrupt the work of independence supporters. FSimilarly, as an act of revenge following the announcement of the result of the popular consultation vote, the physical infrastructure and residences in Viqueque district were as torched by through the combined efforts of the TNI and militia and the population was deported or forcibly transferred. All seven the 7 accused are at large, and believed to be in Indonesia.
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