Subject: AFP: Police suspects held after East Timor shootings

Agence France Presse

June 5, 2007

Police suspects held after East Timor shootings

DILI, East Timor, June 5 2007

Police suspected of involvement in shootings that left two political activists dead in East Timor face disciplinary action, the country's prime minister said Tuesday.

Officials, including President Jose Ramos-Horta, have said police personnel were behind the separate Sunday shootings during campaign rallies for the National Congress of Reconstruction of Timor (CNRT) party.

Prime Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva told journalists here Tuesday that an unspecified number of policemen have been held.

"An investigation has proceeded and the policemen under suspicion have been disarmed and these policemen will face action for police indiscipline," da Silva said, declining to specify the number of police involved.

"As prime minister I state that whoever does not respect the law and transgresses it or the rights of others, must be taken to court. There is no impunity for anyone," da Silva said.

Meanwhile, the eastern district of Viqueque, where the shootings took place, remains tense.

"The security situation in the country as a whole has been stable, although Viqueque remains tense following the shootings on Sunday," a statement from the UN Police in East Timor said Tuesday.

"UNPol is continuing its investigation into the alleged murders that took place in Viqueque last Sunday. Officers from the Major Crime Investigation Unit are working with forensics experts and other officers from the National Investigation Unit who arrived on the scene today (Tuesday)," the UN Police said.

Campaigning kicked off last week for crucial June 30 elections to choose a new prime minister and parliament.

The polls are expected to see a tough contest between the CNRT and Fretilin, which has dominated parliament since East Timor officially gained independence from Indonesia in 2002.

Baucau, Viqueque and Lautem districts were strongholds of Fretilin, the former resistance movement.

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