29 July 2009

East Timor Legal News 28 July 2009

Salsinha and Caetano appoint new legal adviser Timor Post 28 July 2009 Following the consecutive absence of Legal Adviser, Benevides Correia Barros, in the court, his clients, former rebel leader, Gastao Salsinha and Marcelo Caetano, have decided to appoint new legal advisers to defend them in the trial.

Reinado is my enemy: Agustinho Timor Post 28 July 2009 A witness from the Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL), Agustinho Freitas, said former military police commander Alfredo Reinado was his enemy, as he deserted from the defence force's barracks.

Budget plans should follow priorities: Minister Pires
Timor Newsline 28 July 2009 Minister for Planning and Finance Emilia Pires said the Government's budget plans for 2010 should follow priorities and should be in respect of the Timorese Constitution.

PNTL should respect human rights: Atul Khare Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 28 July 2009 Chief of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), Atul Khare said the Timorese National Police in Manatuto should respect human rights and should be responsible for providing security to the community, so that people could move forward with the country’s development.

Budget for Anti-Corruption Commission will be augmented Suara Timor Lorosae 28 July 2009 The Minister for Planning and Finance Emilia Pires said the Government was trying looking at ways of increasing the budget for the anti-corruption commission.

Legalizing “SDSB” gambling has negative impacts: Luta Hamutuk Timor Post 28 July 2009 General Manager of the national economic justice NGO Luta Hamutuk (Struggle Together) Joazito Viana said the Government should not legalize the “SDSB” gambling game as it would have a negative impact on the country's young generation.

ETLJB Editorial Note: In an Analysis in relation to the issue of the Circulation of Lottery Tickets (SDSB) in the Democratic Republic of East Timor by Civil Society Working Group F Health, Social Affairs, Labour & Solidarity, several national NGO's, applying the ROCCIPI methodology of analysis of social problems in the context of legislative drafting for democratic social change, found that it was precisely the lack of regulation of gambling (legalisation) that is the essential problem. The intervention of the government to regulate previously illegal SDSB gambling is a positive step forward. Most democratic societies have found that the prohibition on gambling - like the failed and disastrous prohibition on alcohol - only promoted much greater social evils; and produced no social benefit.

Country needs to recognise PNTL and F-FDTL’s work: MP Riak Leman Timor Post 28 July 2009 MP Riak Leman from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) said recognition of the Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) and the Timorese National Police officers who have been working well was necessary.

I like the way justice in the country is going, says Bishop Nacimento Timor Post 28 July 2009 Bishop of Baucau Diocese, Monsignor Basilio do Nacimento, said it was good to see the process of justice in the country going on smoothly, because Timor-Leste started to put justice as its top priority.

ETLJB Editorial Note: The justice system is not, in fact, going very well at all. Though staffed by some competent and honorable jurists and, despite the efforts of those dedicated to building a democratic justice sector in East Timor, the judiciary is headed by a judge whose jurisprudence has been repeatedly demonstrated to be inadequate and fundamentally erroneous, a court system replete with maladministration and inefficiencies, judges who can not read the applicable law because they do not understand Indonesian, multiple executive interference in the judiciary, violations of the separation of powers doctrine, corruption in the public administration and a Parliament that only publishes the laws of the country in a language that the vast majority of citizens or law enforcement agencies can not read because they do not understand Portuguese.

These are not the circumstances of a justice system that most lawyers would consider worthy of endorsement.

The justice system in East Timor is a matter of grave concern - particularly the questions whether comprehension and manifestion of the rule of law, the separation of powers, constitutionality of laws, judicial independence and democratic social transformation through policies and legislation that are informed by reason and experience are in fact taking root in Dili. There is growing evidence to suggest that these matters are not the guiding principles of the state and its agents in East Timor.


Alkatiri challenges Prime Minister Gusmao to fight in the court Suara Timor Lorosae 28 July 2009 Fretilin Secretary General Mari Alkatiri has challenged Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao to fight in the court, because the current Government had accused the former Fretilin Government of engaging in corruption.

ETLJB Editorial Note: Fretilin does not apply the same standards to its constant and groundless challenges to the constitutionality of the AMP government and take the matter to court instead of issuing irresponsbile and destabilising allegations that the government is a mere de facto government. In truth, and in law, the AMP government is not only the de facto government of East Timor, it is also the legitimate
de jure government. If there were legal grounds for saying that it is only a de facto government, then the proper course of action is to submit the matter to the court.
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