Subject: No RI citizens in Horta attack: Police

No RI citizens in Horta attack: Police

The Jakarta Post

No Indonesians were involved in the attempted murder of Timor Lest President Jose Ramos-Horta, police chief says.

The police have arrested four Timor Leste military deserters who crossed the border following the abortive assassination attempt in February, National Police Chief Gen. Sutanto said.

"None of them are our citizens," he said. "The four are military deserters from Timor Leste."

The suspects had stayed in a house belonging to East Timor-born youth figure Hercules. Hercules, however, is not a suspect in the case, Sutanto said.

"He (Hercules) only provided the four suspects with shelter for humanitarian reasons, not to protect them," Sutanto told reporters.

Last week, Horta said "individuals in Indonesia" were involved in his murder attempt, but said he had no intention of implicating Indonesia or the Indonesian military.

Returning to Dili following two months of medical treatment in Australia, Horta said Australian and Indonesian elements were involved in the attacks.

Horta also accused Metro TV journalist Desi Anwar of helping rebel leader Maj. Alfredo Reinado travel to Jakarta ahead of the murder attempt.

The police arrested three of the suspects last Friday and the other a few days later, Sutanto said, after the Timor Leste government requested the hunt for the suspects.

Although the four suspects violated immigration regulations, Sutanto said, the police had not decided whether or not to deport them.

"We're still investigating the immigration offense until we decide whether or not to send them home."

Sutanto said the National Police would not expand the investigation without a request from Timor Leste.

"At the moment we can only charge them with immigration violations," he said.

Later Thursday, Metro TV denied Horta's accusation linking its senior Desi with the murder attempt and asked the Timor Leste president to retract his statement.

"Metro TV requests President Mr. Jose Ramos Horta that immediately retracts his false and defamatory accusations," the channel's head of corporate communications Adjie S. Soera Atmadjie said in a statement issued Thursday.

Metro TV will also seek clarification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and file a complaint with the Indonesian Press Association and the Press Council. (dia)


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