Subject: AFP: East Timor president, PM to testify to truth & friends commission

East Timor president, PM to testify to truth commission

Sun Sep 2, 1:45 AM ET

JAKARTA (AFP) - East Timor's president and prime minister are to testify to the Indonesia-East Timor commission later in September over violence surrounding East Timor's 1999 independence vote.

"We have received the confirmation President Jose Ramos-Horta, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and Armed Forces Commander Taur Matan Ruak will testify in our fifth hearings in Dili on September 24-27," Indonesian co-chairman of the Commission of Truth and Friendship, Benjamin Mangkudilaga, told AFP.

He said that the venue was picked at the behest of the East Timorese government. The hearings have so far been held in Bali, where the commission has its headquarters, or in Jakarta.

Following the overwhelmingly pro-independence results of the ballot, East Timor was put under UN tutelage and gained independece in May 2002.

Militia gangs -- which the United Nations says were recruited and directed by Indonesia's military -- went on an arson and killing spree before and after the East Timorese voted for independence.

They killed about 1,400 people and laid waste to much of the infrastructure in the half-island, a Portuguese colony before Indonesia invaded in 1975.

The commission, set up in 2005, is aimed at reconciliation along the lines of South Africa's post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Recommend It:

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