Subject: E Timor Indicts Five Indonesian Soldiers On Rape Charges

Also: East Timor indicts more Indonesians

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

E Timor Indicts Five Indonesian Soldiers On Rape Charges

DILI, East Timor, April 10 (AP)--Prosecutors in East Timor have indicted five Indonesian soldiers on charges of raping and torturing women during East Timor's bloody break from Indonesia in 1999, the United Nations said Thursday.

U.N. prosecutors in East Timor have charged 247 suspects in connection with the violence four years ago. Thirty have been convicted so far.

But the five soldiers are believed to be in Indonesia, and it is unlikely that its government will hand them over to East Timor. Similar indictments, including one against Gen. Wiranto, Indonesia's military chief at the time of the break, have been ignored.

If the accused leave Indonesia, other countries may be able to arrest them as international warrants will be forwarded through Interpol.

The names of the soldiers, their alleged victims and the area where the crimes allegedly took place weren't released to protect the women involved, the United Nations said in a statement.

It said the women were raped in April 1999, when pro-Jakarta militia gangs and sections of the Indonesian military unleashed a campaign of violence to force people to vote for continued union with Indonesia.

The soldiers "used intimidation, threats of force or actual force to illicit compliance and subservience from the victims," it said.

The victims were forcibly deported to Indonesian held-West Timor after the U.N. referendum found a massive majority in favor of independence, it said.

Nearly 2,000 civilians were believed killed and 250,000 forced to flee their homes in violence before, during and after the ballot.

Several suspects indicted by East Timorese prosecutors have stood trial in Indonesia over crimes stemming from the violence. A special court in Jakarta has freed 11 of the defendants and convicted five, leading to charges by rights activists that the trials were a sham.

East Timor gained full independence in May. The United Nations is providing government advisers, police and peacekeeping troops in the world's newest nation.

-Edited by Genevieve I. Soledad

Wed, April 9, 2003

East Timor indicts more Indonesians

DILI, East Timor (AP) -- Prosecutors in East Timor indicted 16 Indonesian officials, including eight military officers, for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the country's bloody bid for independence in 1999, a U.N. statement said.

Several of those indicted are among 18 military and police officials who already have faced a special tribunal in Jakarta for their role in the violence. That court so far has freed 11 of the defendants, and convicted three.

Lt. Col. Achmad Mas Agus, a former district military commander, and former district chief Col. Herman Sedyono are the highest-ranking officers named in the East Timorese indictment, which was received Wednesday.

They are charged with helping to establish a pro-Jakarta militia gang that killed dozens of refugees at the Ave Maria Church in Suai on Sept. 6 1999. Sedyono is accused of participating in the attack in which three priests were also killed.

Charges against the other 14 include murder, and the forced transfer of thousands of residents following the U.N.-sponsored independence referendum in September 1999.

Prosecutors said they believe all 16 suspects are in Indonesia, which means it is unlikely they will face justice in East Timor. Past demands for extradition have been ignored by Indonesian authorities.

The United Nations, which is assisting the investigations, says the indictments in East Timor serve a symbolic purpose and give victims some sense of retribution. Eventually the warrants will be forwarded to Interpol, which would allow other countries to arrest the suspects.

East Timor has so far indicted 243 people for crimes committed during the violence, including Gen. Wiranto, Indonesia's then-military chief.

About 30 people, most of them former militiamen, have been convicted by the Timorese courts.

Nearly 2,000 civilians were believed killed and 250,000 forced to flee their homes when Indonesian troops and their militia proxies launched a campaign of terror aimed at forcing people to vote to remain part of Indonesia.

East Timor gained full independence in May, after a period of transitional rule by the world body following Indonesia's brutal 24-year occupation.

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