24 October 2009

The Legacy of Maternus Bere in Timor-Leste

TEMPO SEMANAL 10/22/2009 The President of Timor-Leste Jose Ramos-Horta has recently returned from traveling to Jakarta for the inauguration of Indonesian President SBY yesterday at 19/10/2009.

Horta returned from Jakarta on 21 October 2009 via Indonesian airline Merpati.

During a press conference in President Nicolao Lobato Airport in Dili he said he denied information that former ex-Laksaur milita commander Maternus Bere has been moved from Timor-Leste from the Indonesian Embassy in Farol Dili via an Indonesian Embassy car on 20 October.

According to a Tempo Semanal source within the Government before Horta left the country on 19 October that he called for an urgent meeting with acting Prime Minister (Vice Prime Minister) Jose Luis Gutteres he left the country on 19/10/09, to discuss the Maternus Bere case.

The source said, "The President is concerned about Bere's health and that the case of Marternus Bere has to solved in the near future."

Apparantly Bere has some health problems and Horta urged to resolve this case as soon as possible.

The deputy Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres called the Minister of Justice Mana Lucia to his Office late in the morning of Monday 19 October before the President's plane left from Dili.

Today there was some informaion circulating with the office of Government said Bere has left Timor Leste for west Timor last night with an Indonesian Embassy car.

At least the Indonesian Embassador to Timor-Leste confirmed to Tempo Semanal on 21/10/09 in Dili airport that Maternus Bere still in Dili and they are working with the government to solve the issue.

Martenus Bere came to Timor-Leste on 05/08/09 to participate in a funeral of one his relative in Suai district which suffered from Militia attacked in September 1999.

The Laksaur Militia commander was arrested in Suai on 09/08/09 prior to 10th anniversary of the Suai Church massacre which happened on 06/09/1999 after the pro-autonomy side lost in the United Nations referendum.

Bere was released on the 30/08/09 from preventive detention in Bekora Prison and this caused a major scandal for the Timorese leadership. The Oposition called for a vote of no confidence which was defeated by the AMP MPs with only 25 vote for votes from the oppositions parties in the National Parliament. Acording to Tempo Semanal sources that even though the Opposition lost the vote of no confidence, they have a plan to take the Government to court.

This action will be taken in conjunction with civil society. The Fretilin party didn't confirm it's involvement in bringing Gusmao to the courth but Dr. Alkatiri said, "We know that civil society organisations are working on taking the Government to the court."
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East Timor Legal Information Site - 2006-2008 archive of legal news, parliamentary proceedings, court reports and United Nations Police security reports, the 2006 crisis and elections
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