Subject: AFP: Ramos Horta quizzed in Alkatiri case

AFP

Ramos Horta quizzed in Alkatiri case

From correspondents in Dili August 04, 2006

EAST Timor's Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta was questioned today as a witness in a case against his predecessor who stands accused of agreeing to arm a hit squad, an official said.

"At this time Prime Minister Ramos-Horta is giving his declaration to the prosecutor general as a witness for the case of ex-prime minister, Mari Alkatiri," an official from the prosecutor general's office said.

She did not elaborate.

Alkatiri was questioned as a suspect last month over allegations he authorised the arming of a hit squad tasked with eliminating his rivals.

Alkatiri stepped down in June amid intense pressure following bloody violence between rival factions in the security forces in May. The unrest led to at least 21 deaths and 150,000 people fleeing their homes.

He was also dogged by the arms accusations, which he has strenuously denied. His sacked interior minister Rogerio Lobato faces criminal charges over distributing the weapons.

Nobel peace laureate Jose Ramos-Horta was sworn in as premier last month and will lead a transitional government until elections due in May next year.


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