Subject: East Timor denies rebels executed

Aug 18, 2008 9:40 PM

East Timor denies rebels executed

An autopsy gave no indication that East Timor rebel leader Alfredo Reinado and a top lieutenant were executed during a suspected presidential assassination attempt,  Attorney General Longinus Montero said.

The Australian newspaper reported last week that the autopsy had shown marks on the corpses of Reinado and Leopoldino Exposto suggesting they had been shot at close range, rather than by guards standing metres away, which is the official version of events.

"It's not right, that information isn't right," Montero told reporters in Dili. "The case is still under investigation." He said the results could not yet be made public.

The two rebels were killed during the attack on President Jose Ramos-Horta on February 11 which left him critically wounded.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner was flown to Australia for life-saving surgery and spent two months recovering there.

Another attack on the same day targeted Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who escaped injury.

Gusmao declined on Monday to comment on the report and said the case should be brought to court.

Reports of executions by security forces could stoke fresh tensions in the fledgling nation, where ethnic tensions remain raw.

A United Nations report into the assassination attempt has yet to be released. More than 2,500 foreign troops and police remain in East Timor to help local security forces maintain stability.

Source: Reuters

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