Subject: JP: KPP HAM warns militia leaders of 'obstruction of justice'

Jakarta Post December 22, 1999

KPP HAM warns militia leaders of 'obstruction of justice'

JAKARTA (JP): The government-sanctioned commission of inquiry into human rights abuses in East Timor (KPP HAM) warned prointegration militia leaders on Tuesday if they failed to adhere to the inquiry's summonses they could be considered to be "obstructing justice".

The warning came after militia leaders failed to attend questioning on Tuesday.

The leader of Besi Merah Putih militia group, Manuel Sousa, failed to appear for questioning at the office of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

It was not clear why Manuel, who was the first militia leader scheduled to be questioned by the commission, failed to arrive.

"We are going to send him a second summons and if he still fails to answer, KPP HAM will then write in its report that he is unwilling to cooperate or it is an obstruction of justice," KPP HAM deputy chairman Todung Mulya Lubis told journalists.

Later on Tuesday, Aitarak militia leader Eurico Guterres said in a television interview he would not abide by the summons as the inquiry had been impartial in its investigation.

KPP HAM started this week questioning militia leaders, Army generals and former East Timorese regents about the violence and destruction in the former Indonesian province after the Aug. 30 ballot.

"We have asked defense minister Juwono Sudarsono to help us bring these militia leaders to Jakarta because we want to obtain information from both sides, so we flatly deny allegations saying that KPP only seeks information from proindependence supporters," Todung remarked.

"Those accusations are completely wrong, obscure and misleading," Todung said, adding that "KPP has started and will interview all parties to obtain information".

Todung was referring to a team of defense lawyers representing top military generals, led by Adnan Buyung Nasution, which said earlier the information KPP HAM had made public was one-sided and mostly obtained from proindependence sources.

A source close to the investigation said that along with Manuel and Eurico, those scheduled to be questioned included; the commander of prointegration forces Joao da Silva Tavares; the leader of Laksaur militias Olivio Moruk; and the leader of Saka-Sera militias Joanico.

The source said Eurico, Tavares and Olivio were scheduled to be questioned on Wednesday while Joanico was scheduled on Friday.

Coordinating Minister for Political Affairs and Security Gen. Wiranto, who was the Indonesian Military (TNI) chief when the ballot was held in East Timor, is scheduled to be questioned on Wednesday.

The source also said a lieutenant colonel from the Army's Special Force (Kopassus) would be questioned on Thursday for his alleged involvement in an attack on a group of nuns and church workers near the East Timorese town of Los Palos in late September, in which at least nine people, including Indonesian journalist Agus Mulyawan, were killed.

Two other middle-ranking Army officers would also be questioned on Thursday for their alleged involvement in an attack on a church in Suai on Sept. 6 which killed at least 26 people, the source said.

Meanwhile, Todung also said the commission was seeking to acquire the assistance of three foreign human rights experts.

Todung said the complexity of the East Timorese problem necessitated the involvement of the foreign experts, but he did not elaborate.

He named the experts as Malaysian rights advocate Datuk Param Cumaraswammy, University of Philippines' Carolina G. Hernandez and Vitit Muntarbhorn of the Culalongkorn University in Thailand.

Cumaraswammy and Hernandez have already agreed to help while Muntarbhorn has yet to give an answer.

Earlier in the day, KPP HAM questioned the former spokesman for the Indonesian Task Force for the Implementation of the Popular Consultation in East Timor Dino, Patti Djalal, and former Dili regent Dominggos Soares.

Dominggos said after the questioning that "there was no official instruction to launch a campaign of destruction in East Timor".

KPP HAM member Nursyahbani Katjasungkana said, however, that Dominggos admitted during the questioning that prointegration militia groups were set up under a decree and they had received a monthly allowance from the local government. (byg/emf)

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