Subject: SMH: Reinado High On Ice, Booze During Attack

The Sydney Morning Herald

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Reinado high on ice, booze during attack

Lindsay Murdoch in Darwin

THE East Timorese rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was under the influence of alcohol and the drug methamphetamine when he led the attacks in Dili in February, East Timor's President, Jose Ramos-Horta, has disclosed.

He rejected speculation in Dili that a powerful Timorese politician was behind the attacks, saying Reinado did not take orders from anyone.

"I do not know of any political figure who was involved in any way whatsoever in supporting Alfredo Reinado," Mr Ramos-Horta told the Herald in Darwin, where he is recovering from gunshot wounds.

Mr Ramos-Horta said Reinado "came to my house on his own while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, although behind the scenes he was also manipulated by certain people.

"Whether his intent was to kidnap me to exert pressure on the Government, I don't know."

Mr Ramos-Horta said Reinado probably believed his support base was being undermined by a deal under which 600 soldiers who were sacked in 2006 would be either reinstated to the army or given compensation.

The Government, with Mr Ramos-Horta's support, had insisted that Reinado's case be dealt with as a matter of military discipline and justice, separate from the soldiers, who are known in Dili as the petitioners.

Mr Ramos-Horta earlier named a Timorese-born Australian woman, Angelita Pires, as one of the people who influenced Reinado in the lead-up to the attacks.

Ms Pires has admitted she was Reinado's lover but has denied exerting any influence over him.

Mr Ramos-Horta said there was no information that Reinado was supported by sources from Indonesia or Australia but he said there were indications that Timorese individuals in non-government-organisations provided cash and other support, such a telephone cards, to Reinado, which were passed to him by Ms Pires.

The President told the Herald he wants East Timor's Prosecutor-General, Longuinhos Monteiro, who is leading the investigation into the attacks, to report his findings to Parliament as soon as possible to prevent unfounded speculation that could further destabilise the country.

Mr Monteiro briefed Mr Ramos-Horta on the investigation yesterday.

Mr Ramos-Horta said he had known since 2006 that Reinado was abusing alcohol and methamphetamine, or "ice", but the rebel had been sober on the occasions he met him in the country's mountains when trying to negotiate his surrender.

He also said Reinado was "highly temperamental and unstable".

Mr Ramos-Horta expects to return to Dili late this month.

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