Gutterres: Habibie Should be Brought to Court
TEMPO Interaktif Dec 24, 1999
Eurico Gutterres: Habibie Should be Brought to Court
Eurico Gutterres, Commander of Pejuang Pro-Integrasi (Pro-Integration Fighters) of East Timor said that former President B.J. Habibie should be brought to court in relation to human rights abuses in East Timor. He disclosed the matter in a press conference in Hotel Acacia, Jakarta on December 23.
The atrocities in East Timor, Gutterres said, were the result of political crimes in the upper levels of the government. The atrocities were the consequence of the independence option that Habibie offered without first consulting the House of Representative/People's Consultative Assembly. Therefore, Habibie should be held responsible for the human rights abuses in East Timor.
Gutterres, accompanied by his associate from PPI, Joanico Cisario, and eight lawyers, said that they were not militia or the ones responsible for the 'cleansing' of East Timor. "I am an Indonesian born in East Timor," he said repeatedly. He also said that the burning of houses by pro-integration groups in East Timor was not correct, rather the house owners burned their own homes. "Before the poll result was announced, the pro-independence people visited the houses. They said to the pro-integration people that they must leave East Timor. How could they leave their houses to others? Therefore, the pro-integration people burnt their own houses," he explained.
Commenting on whether or not he would be available if the Commission for Investigations into Human Rights Abuses (KPP HAM) summoned him, Gutterres said that so far he had not received any summons from KPP HAM. However, Gutterres regretted that KPP HAM only focused its investigations into human rights abuses in East Timor on the September 5 and 6 events, after the referendum. He thought that they should investigate former cases, like the incident in 1959 where thousands of people were slaughtered in Viqueque and the 1965 and 1975 incidents where the Portuguese troops left thousands of rifles to the people, with the consequence of causing conflicts amongst them.
Kompas Friday, 24 December 1999
Johny Lumintang Investigated Over May
Former Army Chief of Staff, Lt. General Johny Lumintang, had to provide information to the Investigation Commission of Human Rights Offenses (KPP HAM) Thursday evening (23/12). The investigation led by Chairman KPP HAM, Albert Hasibuan, lasted only about twenty minutes. Lumintang was questioned about a cable dd. May 5 1999 which he sent to the Commander of Military District Commando Udayana, Major General Adam Damiri.
Hasibuan stressed that Lumintang was not one of the high ranking officers targeted by KPP HAM. As Army Chief of Staff, he had not been involveduch in the East Timor military operations.
"Tomorrow (Friday) is the best part of the investigations. Wiranto will be questioned by KPP HAM. He said that he would come, questioning is scheduled at 14.00," he said.
Lumintang told reporters that his turn had actually been scheduled for Monday (27/12). "To speed up matters, because I observe Christmas, I came today. I only clarified KPP HAM's question. Just ask them, I cannot disclose the questions," he said.
Lumintang arrived alone about 18.55. At the investigation he was accompanied by members of the HAM Advocacy Team for TNI Officers, Hotma Sitompoel, Ruhut Sitompul, Tommy Sihotang and TNi Legal Training Chief, Major General Timur Manurung. Aside from Hasibuan, Munir and HS Dillon investigated Lumintang.
Hasibuan admitted, KPP HAM only questioned about Lumintang's telegram, made out on behalf of the Chief of Staff to the Commander of the Udayana Military District Commando. The cable contained instructions for the Commander, in case the East Timor pro-independence group should win the opinion polling. Contents of the cable entailed for instance, security measures pertaining to TNI assets as well as that of government's, safety measures for village guards and refugees. KPP HAm has a copy of the telegram, on account of this the Commission has questioned Lumintang in hbis capacity of Army Deputy chief of Staff. Lumintang confirmed to having sent the cable on May 5, which contents were only meant for TNI officers. KPP HAM only clarified the telegram," he said.
"The telegram was of a general nature and meant for TNI insiders. There was, therefore, not much said about the telegram or Lumintang. KPP HAM admitted, their target is not Lumintang," he explained again.
Throughout the afternoon, KPP HAM investigated former Regent Covalima Herman Sediono, Commander of Special Task Force Tribuana VIII, an offshoot of the Special Elite Commando Unit (Kopassus), Lt. Colonel Yayat Sudradjat, former governor East Timor Abilio Soares, former Regent Liquisa Tarman Suprapto. Former Commander Military Rayon Covalima, Lt. Sugito also called that day, failed to show up at KPP HAM.
TNI Head Legal Training Agency, Major General Timor P. Manurung said, the Armed Forces hopes thal the investigations will be over next week, for those reasons, a proposal had been forwarded to KPP HAM to hold Wiranto's hearing on Friday (23/12).
Desires for a speedy settlement was also voiced by Secretary KPP HAM East Timor, Asmara Nababan. He said, KPP HAM should be able to come up with a report on December 31 at the same time the International Investigation Commission would deliver their report and recommendations to the Secretary General United Nations.
Former Justice Minister Muladi, a consultant in the HAM Advocacy Team for High Ranking Officers, said at a seperate occasion that he met with the United Nations Head of Human Rights Commission, Mary Robinson.
"From the meeting with Robinson it came to light that the UN commission is closely observing KPP HAM East Timor operations led by Albert Hasibuan.
"KPP HAM East Timor should work fairly and be impartial," she said. Quoting Robinson's statement, Muladi said, "As long as the KPP HAM commission is working in a fair and impartial way, the UN HAM Commission will limit itself to an observatory role only. This might change as soon as the KPP HAM East Timor commission is showing signs of unfairness and partiality. It would, however, not be an easy task to take matters of human rights over for the UN. Procedures have to be followed, like for instance, recommendations of the UN HAM commission to the UN Secretary General, from which it will be forwarded to the session of the UN Security Committee. Not to mention the vetos. There is a long way to go still."(*)
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