Subject: Australian/East Timor: Pires's Heart-Shaped `Betrayal' of Reinado

The Australian

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pires's heart-shaped `betrayal' of Reinado

Paul Toohey, Mark Dodd, Additional reporting: Paige Taylor

VICTOR Alves goes to his bedroom and returns with a red velvet heart-shaped box. The box, he says, is proof of the deceit of Angelita Pires.

Pires has been accused of being a force behind the events of February 11 that left East Timor's President Jose Ramos Horta shot and her lover, Major Alfredo Reinado, shot dead.

Alves, Reinado's adoptive father, opens the box, which contains gold necklaces set with what appear to be inexpensive jewels. He says Pires gave it to him the day after Reinado was killed. Pires told him Reinado had meant it as a present for his wife, Nety, who lives in Perth.

He refuses to believe Reinado would have asked his lover to pass on a present to his wife. He believes Pires was, at the time, desperately trying to distance herself from Reinado. ``I contacted the people close to Alfredo and they said he gave her two dogs and this thing,'' Alves said in Dili yesterday. ``After he died, she said it was a present for his wife.''

Pires says she does not agree with Alves's version of events, but that she will not participate in ``he said, she said'' arguments and that investigators should be left to conduct and finalise their work. Things went stranger yesterday after police investigated claims by a Dili restaurant owner, who claimed Pires had been in his restaurant two days before the shootout saying Reinado was planning to come to Dili in coming days and would be killed.

``Don't believe any of this craziness,'' Pires told The Australian yesterday. ``Try to stick to reality. It's pure nonsense. I have said everything I know. I don't make up stories and I don't want to answer this by making false allegations against others.''

In Perth, Reinado's widow knew nothing of the jewellery box touted by Alves and did not want to talk about Pires. Those close to Nety Reinado maintained she had never believed that her rebel husband, whom she met on her 15th birthday, was having an affair with Pires in Dili during the couple's reluctant 21-month separation preceding his death.

Nety fled Timor with the couple's three children in May 2006 to live on a bridging visa in Perth while Reinado took to the Dili hills with armed men.

She has previously told The Australian that in their last conversation, the night before his death: ``He asked me to promise him that I would look after myself and our children.''

Nety Reinado and the four children are now waiting for a ruling from the Rudd Government on her appeal to be allowed to continue to live in Australia.

Australian security agencies announced yesterday they would investigate a number of telephone calls reportedly made to Australia made by Reinado in the hours before his death.

ASIO and the Australian Federal Police are expected to help identify local subscribers contacted by Reinado before his involvement in an alleged assassination attempt on the country's senior leaders, government sources told The Australian yesterday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed a ``request for mutual assistance'' had been received from East Timorese authorities as part of its investigation into the February 11 attack that left Ramos Horta critically wounded.

Alves believes Pires tricked Reinado into going down to Ramos Horta's compound that morning. He is unable to say why Pires might have wanted Reinado dead but believes unknown foreigners were in turn manipulating Pires in order to shake the country.

Ramos Horta, who is due to return to Dili tomorrow and who has also blamed Pires, yesterday shifted from his previous stated position that no foreigners were involved in the February 11 attacks. He told CNN ``external elements'' had supported Reinado in an attempt to plunge East Timor ``into an endless civil war so it could be declared a failed state''.


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