Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 9 February 2007

[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list ( have been removed.]

Friday, 09 February 2007


National Media Reports

Court To Continue To Be Firm: Sarmento

In relation to the protest organized by MUNJ demanding transparency in the court proceedings, Minister of Justice Domingos Sarmento said the court would not bow to any pressure and will continue to be firm on its decisions according to the rules. Referring to the demands of MUNJ to expel two internationals, Prosecutor Felismino Cardoso (Cape Verde) and Bernardo Fernandes (Portugal), for alleged manipulation on the letter of notification to Mari Alkatiri, Sarmento said that any citizen has the right to present their complaints to the Prosecutor General and to the Magistrate Council of the Public Ministry if a Prosecutor is not functioning within the legal framework of the Public Ministry. He appeals to the citizens to understand that justice should not be carried out according to a person's or group's wishes. The Minister also said that the recruitment of international staff is done through the United Nations and the UNDP and not through bilateral agreements with the CPLP countries with the aim of reinforcing the country's judiciary system. A total of five international and nine national staff are currently working in the Procurator of the Republic.

Prosecutor Felismino Cardoso reportedly said they are performing their duties without any political interference and they are working in Timor-Leste under the recruitment of the UN and not CPLP countries. Cardoso added, the decision to close Alkatiri's case in the meantime is due to insufficient evidence but it could be reopened if there are more indications of Alkatiri's involvement. He told Timor Post that when Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro returns from his Australian trip he has to explain to the population about the decision taken on the case to avoid further confusion.

Yesterday MUNJ met with President Xanana Gusmão and handed him a letter containing various points but the main point asks for the prosecutors and judges from CPLP countries to leave the country. Copy of the same letter was handed to the Prosecutor General's Office and to UNMIT. (DN, TP, STL)

UNMIT Facilitating Process of Hearing For Alfredo

Speaking to the media during UNMIT's weekly press conference Thursday, Acting SRSG Eric Huck Gim Tan said UNMIT has been facilitating the judicial process including plans for a court hearing process for Major Alfredo in Gleno, Ermera District. The Acting Head of UNMIT further said the UN wants to find a peaceful solution to the situation and that includes dialogue for the hearing process which will continue when the Prosecutor General returns from Australia. On the same occasion, speaking about the demonstrators, Tan said that if MUNJ would not follow the peaceful path, UNPOL would have to take actions. In relation to rumours of another protest by people from the east in support of Alkatiri, Acting SRSG Finn said UNPOL had not received any information or notification but if the information is correct, the police ensure the maintenance of law and order as the security in Dili is part of the responsibility of the UN police.

UNPOL Police Commissioner, Rodolfo Tor also informed the media Thursday, that although UNPOL does not know the whereabouts of Major Alfredo the International Forces know where he is as they are the ones providing assistance and security. And Acting SRSG Tan also denied rumours that Alfredo has fled his latest location saying it is likely that the people are not seeing him but he is still in Aifu as per the agreement to find a solution to the political military crisis. (DN, STL, TP)

Youth Rejects Forces Presence

A group of youth and members of the community from Lautém district staged a protest which began Tuesday, 6/2 against the presence of the international forces from New Zealand. The Administrator for that district, Olavo Monteiro, said that the community is arguing that the platoon is not needed in that area as the situation is stabilized. Although he sees the presence of the troops as important due to the election process, the Administrator said that the youth and some members of the community continue to demand their withdrawal. Monteiro said despite clarifications, negotiations are currently in process between the head of the platoon and the youths. STL reported that almost 200 people are holding a demonstration against the presence of the Australian troops in Lautem for the past two days. MP from Fretilin said youths are protesting against the work of the troops claiming that the Australian military has not been impartial and is not putting in the effort to capture Major Alfredo since he fled from prison. The community has also complained that the troops are questioning them on whether the majority of Fretilin members are from that district. (DN, STL)

RTTL News Headlines

Demonstrators Arrived in Dili

Protesters in about 60 trucks who organized the group MUNJ met with President Xanana Gusmao and asked the President to act on the judicial process in order for it to be transparent. They claim that it is time for him to act. MUNJ coordinator Agusto Trindade informed that more people are expected to join the protest later.

Fretilin Grupo Mudança

MP Terezinha Viegas of Fretilin Grupo Mudança said MUNJ was protesting for changes as the courts are not functioning properly. She said her group is pressuring for justice to be equal in the territory and for all Timorese. According to TVTL the majority of the demonstrators are from Fretilin Grupo Mudança from Liquica.

Recommendations Of Provedor Human Rights And Justice

Sebastião Dias, Provedor for Human Rights and Justice handed the recommendations to the Ministry of Health following suspension of an employee in the enclave of Oecussi. He said the suspension of the worker should have been based on the current norms.

International Media Reports

NATIONAL NEWS SOURCES: Timor Post (TP) Radio Timor-Leste (RTL) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional Seminario Lia Foun (LF) Televisaun Timor-Leste [TVTL]


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