31 October 2009

East Timor Massacre Suspect Back in Indonesia for Treatment with Undisclosed Health Problems



The Associated Press October 30, 2009 Suspect in East Timor Massacre Back in Indonesia Jakarta - Indonesia brought home a suspected militia leader accused in a massacre of dozens of women, children and priests in a church in East Timor a decade ago, the Foreign Ministry said.

Maternus Bere arrived in Indonesia on Friday and was taken to a hospital with undisclosed health problems, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah. He faces no charges in Indonesia and will be a free man after treatment.

An Indonesian national, Bere was indicted by U.N. prosecutors in 2003 on charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, persecution, forced disappearances, torture, extermination and abduction.

More than 1,000 people were killed by pro-Indonesian militias when East Timor voted to break from Indonesia in 1999, but more than 300 suspects remain at large, most of them in Indonesia. Leaders from both countries oppose criminal trials so rights activists have called for the establishment of a U.N. tribunal.

Bere was recognized during a visit to Suai, the town where the massacre took place in September 1999, and was arrested by Timorese police in early August.

He was handed over to the Indonesian Embassy at Jakarta's insistence after negotiations between the two governments on Aug. 30, the 10th anniversary of the tiny country's vote to become an independent state.

East Timor Law Journal - Towards the rule of law in Timor-Leste

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