Subject: LUSA: Parliament will not intervene over president's choice of top judge

East Timor: Parliament will not intervene over president's choice of top judge

Dili, April 22 (Lusa) - East Timor's parliament decided Tuesday that it will not need to ratify the choice by President Xanana Gusmão of a head for the new nation's Court of Appeal.

President Gusmão originally nominated Cláudio Ximenes in March as the president of Timor's highest court, but his decision was criticized by some opposition lawmakers in the Dili Assembly and the appointment postponed until MPs decided whether the choice needed their ratification.

Separately, it has been announced that the Dili government is to strengthen the East Timor Police Force Rapid Deployment Unit by over 500 officers by the end of 2004.

Interior Minister Rogério Lobato announced the beefing up of police manpower at the beginning of a two-day seminar Tuesday on the ability of Timor's forces of law and order to deal with disturbances, such as those as recently witnessed in Dili.

Lobato said the Rapid Deployment Unit reinforcements will be recruited from "the most experienced officers" of Timor's 2,500-strong regular force.

ASP/CJB -Lusa-

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