Subject: Double Agents, Cash, Weapons Offered by TNI in RI-Timor Truth Commission Testimony

The Jakarta Post

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

CTF hears of offers of 'cash, weapons'

Ati Nurbaiti, The Jakarta Post, Dili

A Timor Leste government official who said he was once a"double agent" in East Timor's resistance movement and the Indonesian Military, claimed offers of financial aid and weapons were made by Indonesian generals to "pro-integration" Timorese.

Tomas A. Goncalves, a former local executive of the Apodeti political party and regent of Ermera, southwest of Dili, told a public hearing Tuesday that the offers were made separately by Yunus Yosfiah and A.M. Hendropriyono, in anticipation of the 1999 referendum to determine East Timor's future.

Goncalves, who said he was an "aide" to the intelligence unit SGI, part of the special forces in East Timor, also told the Indonesia-Timor Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF) that Indonesian Military officers promised hundreds of weapons.

On one occasion, he said, "all honorary members" of the special forces were given a pistol and AK-47.

Goncalves said he also joined troops led by Yunus against East Timor's resistance movement in 1975 in Balibo, when five foreign journalists were killed. Yunus has denied any involvement in the deaths of the journalists.

He previously testified before Indonesia's Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations (KPP HAM) and Timor Leste's Commission of Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR).

The Dili hearings are being held in the former CAVR compound, which was earlier a prison.

Similar to the CAVR hearings, snacks and a buffet were laid out -- but the CTF hearings have drawn far fewer people.

"I guess it's important but we don't know much about it," a driver, Leno, said.

A resident said the people of Timore Leste were preoccupied with unresolved political and economic troubles.

Goncalves also testified that then transmigration minister Hendropriyono, who later headed the State Intelligence Agency, had asked whether the militia in Timor needed to be led by an Indonesian general.

The minister also said that "funds from the transmigration ministry could be used for militias", Goncalves said.

According to his testimony, Goncalves has been acquainted with high-ranking Indonesian Military officers since 1974, when he asked then defense minister/military chief M. Panggabean whether he and other like-minded Timorese could be provided with arms.

He said he asked for Indonesia's help on behalf of Apodeti because "93 percent of Timorese were poor and illiterate".

Panggabean, he said, told him he could not be provided with arms and that "Indonesia had no territorial ambitions"; but would welcome Timorese "with open arms" if they wanted to be part of Indonesia.

Goncalves told The Jakarta Post he felt safe in testifying in Dili, while in Indonesia "I'm afraid I could be kidnapped".

If he had not been a double agent, he told the hearing, "there would have been many other victims" in the conflict on both sides.

The hearing was disrupted by shouting from demonstrators outside the compound, who demanded the CTF be disbanded.

"Justice is achieved through trial, not a political compromise," their banner read.

Back to September menu

World Leaders Contact List
Main Postings Menu