|Subject: AFP: Ramos-Horta seeks freeze on Suharto
assets to indemnify victims
Date: Sun, 01 Aug 1999 11:09:18 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
Ramos-Horta seeks freeze on Suharto assets to indemnify military victims
MANILA, July 25 (AFP) - East Timor activist Jose Ramos-Horta on Sunday said he is seeking to freeze the assets of former Indonesian strongman Suharto, to be used as compensation for rights victims.
"I am already working with a large number of attorneys from Australia, England, France, Spain and US to look into ways and means to bring to justice senior Indonesian military officers, including President Suharto (and) to freeze their assets," Ramos-Horta told a news conference here.
In the absence of an international war tribunal, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said one alternative "is to look into national legislations in Australia, Europe (and) US, in order to initiate proceedings in those countries against Indonesian war criminals and to seize their assets."
Ramos-Horta said the proceedings could be similar to the one that took place against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who has been detained in London since October last year for human rights violations committed under his 1973-1990 military regime.
"You are dealing with people who are most backward intellectually and academically, (who are) very arrogant, they think they can get away with it," he added.
East Timor, a former Portuguese colony was annexed by Jakarta in 1976 in a move that was never recognized by the United Nations.
About 200,000 East Timorese have died in the more than two decades Indonesia has ruled the region, Ramos-Horta said.
The East Timorese are to decide in a landmark vote set for August 21 or 22 whether they accept an offer of autonomy under Indonesian rule or opt for independence.
However Ramos-Horta said the Indonesian military has continued to terrorize the East Timorese, with internal refugees in the region estimated at 80,000, 95 percent of whom are Roman Catholics.
Ramos-Horta arrived here Saturday for a five-day visit, at the invitation of Manila-based activists supporting independence for East Timor.
He said he planned to visit East Timor but that the Indonesian government has not lifted a ban against him.