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03 February 2009

East Timor Legal News 3 February 2009

Former rebels meet with President Horta and Prosecutor-General Monteiro Timor Post 3 February 2009 - President Jose Ramos Horta and Prosecutor General Longinhos have held a meeting with former rebel leader, Gastao Salsinha, and other followers of slain rebel leader Alfredo Reinado Alves, such as Amaro alias Susar and Marcelo Caetano.

Corruption law should be discussed with NGOs and public, says MP Borges Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 3 February 2009 - MP Fernanda Borges from the Parliamentary Committee C for Finance and Anti-corruption said they would hold public hearings on the draft anti-corruption law with NGOs and other organisations that were fighting against corruption in the country.

EDTL technicians meet with state secretary for electricity Timor Post 3 February 2009 - Timor-Leste Electricity Centre (EDTL) technicians have held a meeting with the State Secretary for Electricity, January Pereira, to discuss the process of the investigation into power outage problems during the debate on the state budget in Parliament.

Horta and state council discuss substitution of appellate court president Timor Post 3 February 2009 - President Jose Ramos Horta has held a meeting with the State Council to discussthe nomination of a new figure that will replace the President of the Court of Appeal, Claudio Ximenes.

LABEH urges prosecutor general to accelerate process of justice minister's case Timor Post 3 February 2009 - Director for LABEH, a national anti-corrption NGO, Christopher Henry Samson said has urged Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro to hasten the process of the corruption allegations involving Justice Minister, Lucia Lobato.

Fretilin MP Cipriana continues driving vehicle from Parliament Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 3 February 2009 - Fretilin MP Cipriana Pereira said she would continue driving the car provided by the Secretariat of the Parliament, because it would help support Parliamentary Committee C for Economy and Anti-Corruption.

Police urge mental health test for PM Xanana's attacker Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 3 February 2009 - Timorese Operational Police Commander, Inspector Mateus Fernandes, has urged the Department of Health to hold a thorough medical test on Patricio Babo Martins who is suspected of being engaged in attacking Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao's convoy on Thursday.

Image: President Jose Ramos Horta with Major Alfredo Reinado (dec'd).

Summary on the Launch of an Overview of the East Timor Justice Sector in 2008

JSMP Press Release Summary January 2009 DILI 3 February 2009 - JSMP is a national NGO that conducts monitoring in all existing courts in Timor Leste, namely at the Dili District Court, Baucau District Court, Suai District Court, Oecusse District Court and the Court of Appeal. JSMP provides analysis on the legislative process and conducts training and disseminates information about legal issues to the public with the overall aim of contributing to the development and improvement of the legal system in Timor Leste.

Since independence Timor Leste has been faced with a wide range of needs, particularly in the justice sector, which includes the need to develop the law and human resources. Therefore, some laws do not yet exist and Timor Leste still applies a number of Indonesian laws and UNTAET Regulations.

JSMP values and recognizes developments that have been achieved to date in the justice sector, and JSMP is proud of government efforts to create favourable conditions to enable legal actors to perform their duties and functions effectively. For example, just recently the government launched a draft penal code and other laws such as the law on witness protection to guarantee the ongoing development of justice in Timor Leste.

Based on monitoring conducted by JSMP in all of the courts of Timor Leste during 2008, there have been significant developments, especially in terms of infrastructure. The government, through the Ministry of Justice, has established a plan to rehabilitate court buildings and offices including accommodation for judges, prosecutors and public defenders, although these efforts are still ongoing.

Nevertheless, JSMP believes that the justice sector will face a number of obstacles and challenges into the future unless there is a change in the administration system. Based on monitoring conducted by JSMP, the administrative system is disorganized (complicated) and no database has been set up to clearly record all registered and pending cases. JSMP submitted a request to access statistical data on all cases, however this request for information was denied based on the Internal Rules of the court. JSMP also submitted a request to receive a copy of the aforementioned rules to be used as a point of reference but this request was also denied.

JSMP also observed that court actors (judges, prosecutors and public defenders) have been carrying out their duties and functions in each of the courts, but it is unfortunate that several public defenders are unable to actively perform their duties in their respective jurisdictions simply because conditions are not conducive. They have not yet been provided with the necessary support they require, on a par with the other courts actors assigned to each court, especially the Suai District Court and Oecusse District Court.

JSMP recommends for the Ministry of Justice to pay attention to the plight of public defenders, recalling that they perform a crucial role in the Timor Leste justice system and also to guarantee that the judicial process can be conducted effectively to provide justice for all.

For further information please contact: Roberto da Costa Pacheco Coordinator of Legal Research, JSMP E-mail: bebeto@jsmp.minihub.org Telephone: 3323883

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Sumariu ba Lansamentu Overview Justice Sector 2008

JSMP nu’udar ONG ne’ebe mak hala’o ninia kna’ar monitorizasaun ba tribunais tomak iha Timor Leste tantu TDD, TDB, TDS, TDO nomos Tribunal Rekursu rasik, no halo analiza ba prosesu legislasaun, treinamentu no halo dizeminasaun informasaun legal ba públiku hodi nune’e bele fornese kontribuisaun ba progresu sistema judisiariu iha Timor Leste.

Depois hetan tiha independensia Timor Leste iha nesesidades oi-oin, liu-liu iha seitor justisa inklui nesesidades ba iha leis nomos rekursu humanu. Tanba lei balun seidaun iha, Timor Leste sei uza nafatin lei balun ne’ebe mai husi Indonesia ninia tempu nomos lei ne’ebe mak kria husi UNTAET nia tempu.

JSMP apresia ba progressu ne’ebe iha ba sistema judisiariu nian, no JSMP louva ba esforsu ne’ebe mak governu halo hodi kria kondisoins ne’ebe favoravel ba autor judisiariu hodi hala’o sira nia kna’ar. Por ezemplu hanesan foin dau-daun governu kria ona draft Kódigu Penal nomos draft Kódigu Sivil e mos lei sira seluk hanesan Lei Protesaun ba Testemuña atu garantia katak justisa iha Timor Leste tenki la’o dadaun.

Bazeia ba JSMP ninian monitoramentu ba tribunais tomak iha tinan 2008 iha progressu ne’ebe maka’as teb-tebes ba iha infraestrutura ninian, governu liu husi Ministeriu da Justisa halo planu hodi realiza reabilitasaun ba iha edifisiu hotu liu-liu ba tribunal rasik no Juizes, Prokuradores nomos Defensor Públiku sira fatin mesmu balu to’o oras ne’e da-daun seidauk remata.

Mesmu nune’e JSMP observa katak iha nafatin obstaklus ka dezafius ba sistema judisiariu Timor Leste ninia ba oin, karik la iha mudansa ba iha lala’ok administrative ninian, tanba lala’ok administrative tuir JSMP ninian hare katak komplikadu teb-tebes no la iha database ida klaru ba kazu hotu ne’ebe mak tama iha no wainhira JSMP husu ka hatama pedidu atu hetan estatístika ba prosesu kazu hotu la konsegue hetan tanba deit katak Regimento Interna husi Tribunal la autoriza, maybe wainhira JSMP mos koko husu ka hatama pedidu hodi husu Regimento Interna ne’e rasik hodi nune’e sai hanesan baze legal maybe mos la hetan.

JSMP observa mos katak atór judisiariu rasik (Juizes, Prokuradores, no Defensor Públiku) oras ne’e da-daun hala’o ona sira nia kna’ar iha tribunal ida-idak maybe ne’ebe sai lamentasaun boot tebes ba JSMP mak Defensor Públiku nafatin seidauk marka sira nia prezensa iha Tribunal ne’ebe sira hakna’ar ba, razaun tanba deit sira la iha kondisoins ne’ebe favoravel hanesan atór judisiariu sira seluk (Juizes no Prokuradores) atu hala’o sira nia kna’ar iha Tribunal Distrital hotu liu-liu iha Tribunal Distrital Suai no Tribunal Distrital Oe-Cusse.

JSMP rekomenda ba Ministeriu Justisa atu tau matan mos ba Defensor Públiku tanba sira nia kna’ar hanesan mos parte importante ida ba sistema judisiariu iha Timor Leste nomos atu garantia katak julgamentu ne’e justu ou lae.

Atu hetan informasaun kle’an liu kontaktu: Roberto da Costa Pacheco Koordenador Peskizador Juridiku, JSMP Enderessu e-mail: bebeto@jsmp.minihub.org Telephone: 3323883

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Intisari Peluncuran Tinjauan Umum Sektor Peradilan 2008

JSMP merupakan sebuah NGO nasional yang menjalankan tugas dan fungsinya melakukan pemantauan di seluruh pengadilan yang ada di Timor Leste seperti PDD, PDB, PDS, PDO termasuk Pengadilan Tinggi, melakukan analisis terhadap proses legislasi, pelatihan dan desiminasi informasi hokum kepada publik dengan tujuan utama memberikan kontribusi bagi pembangunan dan perkembangan sistim hokum di Timor Leste.

Setelah memperoleh kemerdekaan, Timor Leste membutuhkan beraneka ragam kebutuhan, terutama pada sektor peradilan termasuk kebutuhan akan pembangunan hokum dan sumber daya manusia. Oleh karena sebagian UU belum ada, Timor Leste masih tetap menerapkan sebagian hokum Indonesia maupun regulasi UNTAET.

JSMP menghargai dan mengakui perkembangan yang ada dalam sistim peradilan, serta JSMP bangga atas daya upaya dari pemerintah dalam menciptakan kondisi-kondisi yang dapat menunjang bagi aktor hokum dalam menjalankan tugas dan fungsinya. Sebagai contoh, belum lama ini pemerintah meluncurkan rancangan hokum pidana maupun perdata serta UU lainnya seperti UU tentang perlindungan saksi untuk menjamin bahwa peradilan di Timor Leste dapat berkembang.

Berdasarkan pada hasil pemantauan yang dilakukan JSMP di seluruh pengadilan di Timor Leste pada tahun 2008, terjadi perkembangan yang sangat signifikan terutama dibidang infra-struktur, pemerintah melalui Kementerian Kehakiman menetapkan rencana untuk merealisir proses rehabilitasi terhadap gedung-gedung pengadilan dan perkantoran termasuk tempat tinggal bagi para hakim, jaksa dan pembela umum, meskipun hingga kini belum selesai.

Kendati demikian, JSMP melihat bahwa masih tetap adanya hambatan dan tantangan bagi system peradilan di masa-masa mendatang, jika tidak ada perubahan dalam sistim administrasi, karena berdasarkan hasil pemantauan JSMP, sistim administrasi masih sangat berantakan (kompleks) serta tidak adanya sistim database yang jelas terhadap semua jenis kasus yang didaftarkan dan masih diproses, dan ketika JSMP mengajukan permohonan untuk mengakses data statistik untuk semua perkara, tidak sempat mendapatkannya hanya karena Regimento Interna (peraturan internal) pengadilan tidak mengijinkannya, akan tetapi ketika JSMP berusaha mengajukan permohonan untuk mendapatkan peraturan yang dimkasud sebagai dasar kebijakan pun tidak diberikan.

JSMP juga memantau bahwa aktor peradilan (para hakim, jaksa dan pembela umum) sampai saat ini sudah menjalankan tugas dan fungsinya di setiap pengadilan tetapi yang patut disayangkan masih terdapat beberapa pembela umum yang masih belum secara aktif menjalankan tugasnya di yuridiksi pengadilannya, hanya karena belum terpenuhinya kondisi-kondisi tertentu yang dapat menunjang kerja mereka seperti para aktor lainnya di semua pengadilan khususnya Pengadilan Distrik Suai & Oe-Cusse.

JSMP merekomendasikan kepada Kementerian Kehakiman untuk menaruh perhatian kepada pembela umum, mengingat tugas dan fungsi mereka juga merupakan bagian terpenting dalam sistim peradilan Timor Leste maupun untuk menjamin bahwa proses persidangan dapat berjalan efektif untuk mengapai keadilan bagi semua orang.

Untuk mendapatkan informasi lebih lengkap dapat menghubungi : Roberto da Costa Pacheco
Koordinator Peneliti Hukum, JSMP Alamat e-mail: bebeto@jsmp.minihub.org Telephone: 3323883

Image: Dili District Court
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Judge's Scheduled Visit Overseas Causes Delays in Court Hearings in East Timor

East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Press Release 3 February 2009 DILI - During the month of February scheduled activities at the Oecusse District Court did not take place as per usual because the judge assigned to this court was supposed to travel overseas. As a result of this planned trip hearings scheduled for this month were delayed.

JSMP was able to confirm this fact with the judge assigned to the Oecusse District Court, Dr. Antonio Helder, who stated that during the month of January no trials had been scheduled because of a planned overseas trip. The aforementioned judge explained that the scheduled activity was cancelled due to ill health. He explained the court activities would return to normal next month (February).

Although no trials were scheduled at the court, JSMP observed that daily administrative tasks were being performed as usual. JSMP also observed that the court building is currently being renovated (court room and fence).

In addition, JSMP interviewed the Oecusse District Police Chief of Investigations on the work performed by the police that is directly linked to the work of the court. The Oecusse District Police Chief of Investigations, Mr. Bernardo, said that the police have a good cooperative relationship with the court although they have encountered difficulties and obstacles that often impede their work. These obstacles include transport and computer facilities to assist the work they perform in the field. Also, the facilities they have been using to date belong to UNPOL (they are reliant on UNPOL).

In relation to investigations into criminal matters, the Oecusse District Police Chief of Investigations said that statistics gathered during 2008 indicate that 102 crimes have been registered. Of these cases, 28 have been processed and handed over to the prosecution unit, 12 cases were currently being investigated and 62 cases have been settled (case closed).

Between the period between January-December 2008 the most common crimes were assault (25), domestic violence (22) and theft (10). Other cases recorded included attempted murder, making threats, assault on a minor, human trafficking, sexual assault, sexual abuse, torture, damage to property, a self-inflicted hanging, arson, abuse of power, the discovery of a body and corruption. These accounted for just a small number of cases (less than 10).

The Oecusse District Police Chief of Investigations recommended for the relevant ministries and the national office of the PNTL in Dili to pay attention to their needs, for example the provision of facilities and other means of support described above to enable them to perform their work in the field more efficiently and effectively.

For more information please contact: Roberto da Costa Pacheco Coordinator of Legal Research, JSMP E-mail: bebeto@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: 3323883

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VIAGEM JUIZ BA ESTRANGEIRO HALO AGENDA JULGAMENTO PENDENTES

Aktividade julgamento iha tribunal Oe-Cusse durante fulan Janeiro nia laran ladun lao hanesan bain-bain tanba Juiz husi tribunal nebe refere sei halo viagem ba rai liur (strangero). Ho agenda viagem ida nee halo agenda aktividades julgamento iha fulan nee mos pendenti. Informasaun neebe maka JSMP konfirma liu husi Juiz tribunal Oe-Cusse Dr. Antonio Helder katak, durante fulan Janeiro laiha horario julgamento tanba iha agenda viagem ba estangeiro. Maibe ikus mai viagem Juiz nee cansela tiha tanba kondisaun Juiz la permite atu ba viagem nebe marcado. Konaba kontinuasaun aktividade julgamento iha tribunal, Juiz haktuir katak aktividade sira nee sei halao fali iha fulan oin (Fevereiro).

Maske laiha horario julgamento, maibe tuir monitorizasaun nebe maka JSMP halo iha Tribunal refere, aktividade administrasaun lao hanesan baibain. Iha monitorizasaun nee, JSMP mos observa kondisaun fisicu tribunal nebe oras nee dadaun halo hela renovasaun (sala de julgamento no lutu) tribunal nian.

Alein de observasaun nebe halo iha tribunal, JSMP mos intervista Comamandante Policia Investigasaun Distrito Oe-Cusse kona ba sira nia serviso neebe iha relasaun directa ho tribunal nebe maka durante nee sira halao. Tuir Commandante seksaun Investigasaun PNTL Oe-Cusse, Sr. Bernardo katak, durante nee sira halo kolaborasaun diak ho tribunal maske hetan obstaclus/impedementos barak nebe maka halo sira nia serviso hetan difikuldades. Nia hateten katak, Impedemento sira nee maka hanesan fasilidades transportasaun no komputador hodi fasilita servisos no nesesidade iha terino. Fasilidades nebe maka durante nee sira usa depende deit ba fasilidades UNPOL nian.

Konaba investigasaun ba kazu crimes, tuir Commando PNTL distrital Oe-Cusse nia statistika durante tinan 2008, iha kazu 102 (indicasaun crimes). Husi Kazu sira nee kazu 28 maka nia prosseso too ona iha Procuradoria, 12 maka sei iha proseso investigasaun nia laran no 62 mmaka taka tiha ona (desizaun final).

Kazu sira temi iha leten, Nomero kazu nebe maka a’s liu husi Janeiro-Dezembro 2008 maka kazu assaltu iha (25), Violasaun Domestica (VD) iha 22, naok (10). Kazu sira seluk hanesan, koko atu oho, ameasas, assaltu labarik, traficu umano, vioalasaun sexual, abuso sexual, torturasaun, estragos sasan, tara a’n, ahi han uma, abuso poder, hetan mate isin, no korupsaun, sira nee nia Numero kiik, (10 mai karaik).

Commandante Investigasaun PNTL Oe – Cusse rekomenda ba ministerio kompetente no ba instituisaun PNTL iha central Dili atu bele tau matan ba sira nia nesesidade hanesan fasilidades sira nebe maka temi iha leten hodi nunee bele fasilita sira nia serviso ho diak no evetivo liu tan”.

Atu hetan informasaun kle’an kontaktu: Roberto da Costa Pacheco Koordenador Peskizador Juridiku, JSMP Enderessu e-mail: bebeto@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: 3323883
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KUNJUNGAN HAKIM KE LUAR NEGERI MENYEBABKAN TERTUNDANYA AGENDA PERSIDANGAN

Aktivitas persidangan di pengadilan Oe-Cusse selama bulan Februari tidak seperti biasanya karena Hakim dari pengadilan tersebut akan melakukan kunjungan ke luar negeri. Dengan agenda kunjungan tersebut membuat agenda aktivitas persidangan pada bulan ini juga tertunda. JSMP sempat menkonfirmasi hal tersebut melalui jakim pengadilan Oe-Cusse Dr. Antonio Helder bahwa, selama bulan Januari tidak ada jadwal sidang karena ada agenda kunjungan ke luar negeri. Mengenai hal kunjungan tersebut hakim menjelaskan bahwa agenda tersebut sudah dibatalkan karena kondisi kesehatan memungkinkan. Mengenai kelanjutan aktivitas persidangan di pengadilan, Hakim menjelaskan bahwa, aktivitas tersebut akan kembali dilaksanakan pada bulan depan (Februari).

Meskipun tidak ada jadwal sidang, tetapi menurut pantauan yang dilakukan oleh JSMP di pengadilan tersebut bahwa, aktivitas administrasi harian berjalan seperti biasa. Dari pemantauan tersebut, JSMP juga melakukan observasi kondisi fisik pengadilan yang sedang direnovasi (ruang sidang dan pagar/tembok) pengadilan.

Selain observasi yang dilakukan di pengadilan, JSMP juga mewawancarai Comamandan Polisi Investigasi Distrik Oe-Cusse mengenai pekerjaannya yang berhubungan langsung dengan pengadilan yang selama ini mereka lakukan. Menurut Commandan bagian Investigas PNTL Oe-Cusse, Sr. Bernardo bahwa, selama ini mereka melakukan kolaborasi yang baik dengan pengadilan walaupun mendapat kesulitan-kesulitan dan hambatan mana yang sering membuat pekerjaan mereka kurang lancer. Menurutnya hambatan-hambatan tersebut seperti fasilitas transportasi dan computer untuk mefasilitasi pekerjaam mereka di lapangan. Demikian pula fasilitas yang selama ini mereka gunakan adalah milik UNPOL.( tergantung pada UNPOL).

Mengenai investigasi kasus tindak pidana, menurut statistic Commando PNTL distrital Oe-Cusse selama tahun 2008, ada kasus sebanyak 102 (indikasi crimes). Dari semua kasus tersebut, ada 28 kasus yang prosesnya sudah sampai di kejaksaan, 12 kasus yang sedang dalam proses investigasi. Dan 62 kasus yang sudah mendapat putusan akhir (tutup).

Kasus’kasus yang disebutkan diatas, jenis kasus yang paling tinggi terhitung dari Januari-Desember 2008 adalah kasus penyerangan (25), kekerasan dalam rumah tangga (KDRT) 22, pencurian (10). Ada Kasus lain seperti, percobaan pembunuhan, ancaman, penyerangan terhadap anak dibawah umur, human traficking, kekerasan sexual, pelecehan sexual, totortura, pengrusakan barang, gantung diri, kebakaran, abuso poder, penemuan mayat dan korupsi. Kasus-kasus ini jumlahnya sedikit, (10 kebawah).

Commandan Investigasi PNTL Oe – Cusse merekomendasikan kepada kementerian yang terkait dan kepada institusi PNTL di pusat, Dili agar dapat memperhatikan keperluan mereka, seperti fasilitas dan sarana penunjang lainnya yang disebutkan diatas agar supaya bisa mefasilitasi pekerjaan mereka di lapangan dengan lebih baik dan lebih efektif.

Untuk informasi lebih lanjut hubungi: Roberto da Costa Pacheco Coordinator Peneliti Hukum, JSMP Alamat e-mail: bebeto@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: 3323883
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Summary of Criminal Cases Tried by the Baucau District Court in January 2009

East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program Baucau Court Reports January 2009 - 3 February 2009 - JSMP conducted monitoring for five days at the Baucau District Court (BDC) during the first week of January 2009. JSMP observed that the BDC conducted hearings in relation to 9 cases that occurred within the jurisdiction of this court.

On 12 January the court tried two cases relating to the criminal act of maltreatment. In both cases the court only heard testimony from the defendants and heard the final statements of both sides that were delivered orally.

On 13 January the second case of maltreatment was tried and once again both sides presented their final statements orally. A final decision will be issued on 20 January.

On 14 January the BDC was scheduled to try two criminal cases. The first case was registered as Case No. 137/Crm.C/08/PDB. This criminal matter was supposed to be tried before a panel, but the hearing was adjourned because one of the judges was absent. The other criminal case was also adjourned because the defendant did not attend the trial. Therefore both cases were adjourned and the court will notify the parties about when subsequent hearings will take place.

On 15 January the BDC issued final decisions in two criminal cases, namely Case No. 161/Crm.S/08/TDB and Case No.148/Crm.S/08/TDB.

On 16 January the BDC conducted three separate hearings. The court issued a final decision in criminal Case No. 122/Crm.S/08/TDB and heard the final recommendation of sentence in Case No. 119/Crm.S/08/TDB. The court also conducted a trial into criminal Case No. 20/Crm.C/08/PDB involving the defendant GD. This trial will be continued on 19 January at the Manatuto Police Station with the examination of testimony provided by witnesses appearing for the defence.

More information has been provided below on the criminal trials that were observed by JSMP between 12 January and 16 January 2009 at the Baucau District Court.

Case No. 157/Crm.S/ 08/TDB

On Monday (12/01) the Baucau District Court tried a case of maltreatment involving the defendant CVC. According to charges presented to the court, on 6 July in Laclo, Manatuto the defendant CVC kicked the victim in the neck causing the victim to fall to the ground unconscious. This incident took place in a rice field because the son of the defendant had cut down a tree that was being used to secure rope around the rice field.

As a result of this incident the victim was unable to move his left leg and fell unconscious. He required medical attention at the Manatuto Hospital for one week.

Based on statements provided to the police the defendant was immediately arrested and placed in detention for 72 hours.

The prosecution charged the defendant for committing the aforementioned act under Article 351.2 of the Indonesian Penal Code. However, after hearing testimony from the victim during the trial, the prosecution amended the charge to Article 351.1 of the Indonesian Penal Code and recommended that the defendant be given a suspended sentence and a fine of US$ 50.00.

The defence asked the court to issue a fair decision in accordance with the facts and with consideration shown to the admission made by the defendant and his expression of remorse. A final decision in this case will be issued on 20 January 2009.

Case No. 421 Crm.S/ 08/TDB

On Monday (12/01) the Baucau District Court issued a suspended sentence of one year and six months imprisonment against the defendant LO pursuant to Article 351 of the Indonesian Penal Code in accordance with the recommendation of sentence made by the prosecution for committing the act of maltreatment against the victim GC. The defendant was found guilty of the prosecutor’s charge after striking the victim four times after the victim returned home from playing soccer. As a consequence of this violent act the victim suffered an injury to his eye and received three stitches. In addition to hitting the victim the defendant also went to the victim’s home and damaged a door.

In response to the aforementioned evidence the defendant expressed remorse and stated that he had replaced all of the goods that he had damaged. The defendant also told the court that he and the victim had reconciled.

In relation to the evidence presented the prosecution recommended for the court to issue a suspended sentence against the defendant to educate him.

Case No. 154/Crm.S/ 08/TDB

The Baucau District Court tried a case of domestic violence (maltreatment) that occurred between the defendant JM and his wife (the victim ML). The prosecution alleged that the incident occurred because the victim asked the defendant to hold their baby so that the victim could finish her work (in the house). However the defendant did not accept what the victim said to him and immediately hit the victim. Based on a statement provided the victim summoned up her courage to report the incident to the authorities because as a result of the maltreatment the victim suffered a wound on her back and her arm was grazed. As a consequence of the incident the victim received medical attention at the hospital.

The defendant and the victim testified that after the incident they immediately reconciled and they stayed together.

The prosecution charged the defendant with Article 725 of the Indonesian Penal Code. In his final recommendation of sentence that was delivered orally the prosecutor asked that the defendant be given a suspended sentence of eight months imprisonment based on the act committed and also taking into account the fact that the victim regretted the incident and that no other incidents have occurred. The decision in this case will be read out on 20 January 2009.

Case No. 131/Crm.S/ 08/TDB

Based on the indictment read out by the court against the defendant DA, on 10/9/2003 in Buikai Viqueque the defendant deliberately approached the victim who was in a plantation and struck the victim on the head and back with a stick. The defendant also kicked the victim once in the stomach. The victim could not do anything in response because at the time of the incident the victim was sitting by a campfire with the witness AG.

The defendant testified that he committed the act after hearing that the victim had been saying unsavory things about the defendant.

The prosecution charged the defendant under Article 351.1 of the Indonesian Penal Code and recommended a sentence of 2.5 years imprisonment.

All parties also testified in court that after they received a summons from the court on 7 July 2008 they immediately took the initiative of reconciling. As part of the reconciliation the defendant gave two pigs to be eaten together by the two families including the village chief and customary elders.

In his final statement the defendant admitted that after the incident the defendant was immediately placed in jail (temporary detention) for six months.

After hearing testimony from the defendant the judge announced that the court did not require any further witness testimony because the defendant admitted the acts that he committed against the victim.

The prosecution made a final recommendation of sentence and asked the judge to give a suspended sentence against the defendant. The prosecution reinforced the charge made pursuant to Article 351.1.

The defence asked the court to carefully consider all factors in sentencing and to issue a decision that would educate the defendant. The final decision will be read out on 20/1/2009.

Case No. 119/Crm.S/08/TDB

This case of light maltreatment was committed by the defendant AA against the victim DS. According to the charge the incident occurred in October 2003 in Ma’abat village, Manatuto. The prosecution charged the defendant with maltreatment against the victim (kicking and punching) because the victim danced with the mother of the defendant during a party at the home of the victim to end a period of mourning.

In response to the charge the defendant admitted that he did in fact commit the act described in the indictment. The defendant also testified that he committed the act because he felt uncomfortable when the victim asked the mother of the defendant to dance. As a consequence of the defendant’s actions the victim was injured and received three stitches.

A mitigating factor for the defendant was the presentation of several testimonies in relation to this case stating that they had reconciled on 4 September 2008 before the village council.

Based on all of the testimony provided to the court the prosecution maintained its charge under Article 351.1 of the Indonesian Penal Code. The prosecution was confident that this article could be proven due to the existing evidence and the deliberate intent of the victim which was clearly evident (that the victim clearly had the intention of committing violence against the victim because the victim danced with his mother). The defendant also referred to the transcript and the testimony provided by the defendant to the court and asked the court to carefully consider all factors in order to issue a truly fair decision.

The court issued its final decision and sentenced the defendant to six months imprisonment to be suspended for one year.

The court also ordered the defendant to pay a fine of US$ 5 in accordance with Article 358 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Case No. 119/Crm.S/08/TDB

This was the second time the court convened to hear this case of maltreatment because during the first hearing the court only heard testimony from the defendant FC and at the time the victim did not attend the hearing. In this final hearing the court heard evidence from the victim to clarify what act the defendant committed against the victim based on the charges made by the prosecution against the defendant.

Before the judge the victim testified that the defendant hit the victim because at that time the defendant (PNTL) was taking the victim to a holding cell at the Baucau police station. The victim explained that the defendant was carrying a large baton about one meter long that was normally used by the police. The defendant struck the victim once on the thigh with his baton. As a result of the defendant’s action the victim suffered a large bruise and swelling.

When the judge asked why the defendant struck the victim, the victim responded that the motive was to get information from the victim about a gun (pistol). The defendant used this method to get information because he was a member of PNTL and heard that a person with the initial A had a gun. However the victim testified that he did not know anything about this information.

The court decided that the testimony of the victim was sufficient and therefore asked the prosecution to orally submit its final recommendation of sentence. In its final recommendation of sentence the prosecution stated that there was sufficient evidence to convict the defendant under Article 422 of the Indonesian Penal Code which carries a maximum sentence of four years imprisonment because the defendant admitted all of the evidence and the witness MF and the victim also provided testimony that corresponded with the charge.

The prosecution stated that based on the aforementioned evidence the defendant carried out the criminal act on his own free will and violated the law, namely Article 422 of the Indonesian Penal Code. Therefore the prosecution recommended that the defendant be given a sentence in proportion to the act committed. The defence made a final plea and asked the court to carefully consider all factors to ensure that justice prevails.

For further information please contact: Roberto da Costa Pacheco Coordinator of legal research, JSMP E-mail: bebeto@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: 3323883

Image: Baucau Mercado: A Portuguese period structure.
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East Timor Law Journal Bulletin

02 February 2009

East Timor Legal News 2 February 2009

Fretilin threatens to walk out of Parliament Timor Post 2 February 2009 - Fretilin has threatened to walk out of the Parliament if President Jose Ramos Horta officially promulgates the general state budget for the financial year of 2009 which was approved on Friday (30/1) by the Parliament.

Minister Pires calls on Fretilin to support the AMP Government Timor Post 2 February 2009 - The Minister for Planning and Finance, Emilia Pires, said she wanted Fretilin to support the Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP) Government for moving forward with the country's development.

Parliament will amend the law on judicial magistrates *Timor Post 2 February 2009 - MP Aderito Hugo da Costa from the National Congress of Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) said it would be best for the Parliament to amend the judicial magistrates law so that it could provide a broad opportunity to the Timorese judges for implementing the country's justice sector.

2000 Timorese youths have finished filling out military recruitment forms Timor Post 2 February 2009 - State Secretary for Defense Julio Tomas Pinto said more than 2000 Timorese youths from 13 districts had filled out the recruitment forms provided by the defence force and now they were waiting for the next process of selection.

Japan facilitates five PNTL officers to participate in training Timor Post 2 February 2009 - The Japanese Government through its embassy in Timor-Leste with JICA supports the National Police of Timor Leste by sending five police officers to participate in training in Japan.

Parliament authorizes Government to expend the 2009 state budget Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 2 February 2009 - Parliamentary President Fernando Lasama Araujo on behalf of the Timorese people has officially authorised the Government to spend the general state budget for the financial year of 2009 for its program implementation.

Horta will not replace the appellate court president Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 2 February 2009 - President Jose Ramos Horta said he would not replace the Court of Appeal President Claudio Ximenes with other people because the law did not allow him to do that.

* as amended by Law No 11 of 2004.

Image: The National Parliament in Dili.
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East Timor Law Journal Blog

01 February 2009

Indonesian Company wins East Timor ID Card Project

ETLJB 1 February 2008 SYDNEY - A letter from the Director of the Procurement Service in the East Timor Department of Planning and Finance dated 30 May 2008 has been leaked showing that an Indonesian company, PT Global Teknologi Enterprindo, has been awarded a lucrative East Timor government contract for the national identity card project.

The contract is worth US$536,000. Click on the image on the left to see the full text of the letter.

East Timor Government Decree-Law on Subsidies for Justice Sector Professionals and the National University of Timor Leste

ETLJ 01 February 2009 SYDNEY The English translation of East Timor Government Decree-Law No 1 of 2009 on Subsidies for Justice Sector Professionals and the National University of Timor Leste has now been published on the East Timor Law Journal. This Decree-Law was promulagated on 18 Deember 2008 and published on 15 January 2009

The Ministries of Justice and Education consider an additional remunerative system to be indispensable for improving the use of available human resources and the effective pursuit of public interest in the two sectors.

The establishment of a pay supplement for judges, prosecutors and public defenders, as well as for the rector, deputy rector, dean, deputy dean, heads of department, and lecturers at the National University of Timor-Leste, as well as a leadership allowance is the means by which the
aforementioned aims may be reached. Such measures represents an attempt at making the salary levels of these professionals match the degree of responsibility and the practical demands on their jobs. They are also aimed at promoting an improved assistance and economic
performance and a higher level of satisfaction from those who seek the services of the Justice sector or the National University of Timor-Leste.

Thus, pursuant to article 116(d) of the Constitution of the Republic, and to article 67(2) of Law No. 8/2004 of 16 June, the Government enacts the following to have the force of law:

Article 1
The present statute regulates the criteria and conditions by which financial incentives shall be allocated to professionals in the Justice and Education sectors who fall under the scope of the present statute.

Article 2
The present statute is extensive to judges, prosecutors and public defenders, as well as to the rector, deputy rector, dean, deputy dean, heads of department, and lecturers of the National University of Timor-Leste.

Read the full English text of this Government Decree-Law on East Timor Law Journal (pdf file).

East Timor - Images of Suffering















1. Violation.
2. Santa Cruz Massacre 1991.
3. Detention.
4. Imprisoned.
5. Footage of the 1991 Santa Cruz Massacre.

Artwork by students of the Arte Moris Art School in Dili, Timor-Leste.

1999 East Timor Crimes Against Humanity
- Accounts of human rights abuses in East Timor in 1999.

An analysis of the social problem of Forest Preservation in East Timor

ETLJ 01 February 2009 SYDNEY - The ninth in the series of reports on the analysis of social problems in East Timor entitled "Forest Preservation" has been published in the East Timor Law Journal in English, Indonesian and Portuguese. Excerpt follows:

The forest is the main source of economic support in the lives of farmer families in Timor Lorosa’e. It is also the source of firewood, non-wood forest products, logs and beams. Many valuable wood beams come from Timor Lorosa’e such as teak, red wood and mahogany.

The collection of firewood is the main factor in deforestation (forest damage). The demand for firewood for cooking grew fast when the subsidy for kerosene, the cooking fuel, was stopped. Based on a JICA estimation, the demand for firewood ranges between 377,000 – 1.5 million m³ annually. Then, NGO’s indicated that around 94 – 100% houses use firewood for cooking and around 80% of it is taken from the forest. In addition, the report by the Joint Agriculture Donors Year 2002 stated that the demand for firewood supply and the cut-and-burn agricultural method have reduced forest areas and worsened erosion in the highlands. Besides threatening the preservation of downstream irrigation systems and the main infrastructures like roads and bridges, it also increases sedimentation in the river and coastal areas, particularly in coral zone, creating another environmental problem.

The effect of these exploitation activities – collecting firewood and forestry, and the shifting agriculture, etc. is the risk of forest damage. This problem will create social and economic problems in the forms of decreasing forest cover, reducing farmer income, environmental damages that may lead to natural disasters such as floods, erosion and lack of water that is highly needed by the people.

So far, there has not been a Law on Forestry, although there is UNTAET Regulation Year 2000/19 aimed to protect many natural areas, and UNTAET Regulation 2000/17 that stipulates restrictions on forest felling and wood export. However, the implementation of these regulations is not effective. One of the obstacles is that Timor Lorosa’e is a newly-founded country. Certainly, its government management system, mainly concerning many technical institutions like the Forestry Unit, still needs a lot of improvement.

The suggested solution to change those social behaviors is the stipulation of a Law on Forestry concerning forest preservation, particularly the procedures of tree felling to reduce the prolonged impacts of forest damage.

The information sources needed to accomplish this report were taken from some bibliography and experience from some of the group members. The materials were analyzed on a qualitative basis by using the ROCCIPI approach to describe a logical framework towards alternative solutions suggested in legislative drafting and regulations in accordance with the identified social problems as well as the causes of problematic behavior of both the Role Occupant (RO) and the Implementing Agency (IA).

Read the full report in English, Indonesian or Portuguese.

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

Freedom of speech fighter

WA Today 31 January 2009 - A crusading journalist intent on exposing official corruption faces the prospect of being sent back to the prison where he was brutalised by his country's Indonesian occupiers, writes Tom Hyland.

JOSE Antonio Belo knows a lot about prison walls, inside and out. All up, he's spent about three years imprisoned behind them. One time he was thrown onto the back of a police truck and thrashed and stomped. The beating was so violent that a witness said the truck rocked wildly, like a washing machine.

He's been shackled, hung upside down, bashed, electrocuted and burnt. Tortured.

Belo won't say much about what happened to him in jail, except this: "If you enter these places, and you get a mirror and see your face, you're not going to recognise yourself. But I am lucky. I am alive."

These days Belo is a journalist, founder and director of an East Timorese newspaper known for hard-hitting investigative reporting, the kind of reporting that now risks sending him back to jail — to the same prison, in fact, where he was once tormented.

Belo's story, like that of his homeland, is one of tragic twists and triumphant turns. It's also one of curious ironies.

What's landed him in trouble is an article published by his paper, alleging ministerial corruption in granting government tenders. One of the tenders was to rebuild the walls of Belo's former prison. Another was to provide uniforms for prison guards.

In response, he has been hit with a government-initiated charge of criminal defamation, which could lead to a jail term of up to six years.

To compound the irony, he has been prosecuted under the laws of Indonesia, the former occupiers who once persecuted Belo and his compatriots. East Timor's own penal code — which will abolish the offence of criminal defamation — has yet to be enacted.

If Belo's story mirrors East Timor's recent past, it also highlights key issues confronted by its efforts to build a democracy from the ashes of occupation. It involves corruption, press freedom and a struggling judicial system.

Image: Jose Antonio Belo Photo: Pat Scala

Read the full article...

31 January 2009

An analysis of the problem of Diplomacy, Defence and National Security in East Timor

ETLJ 31 January 2009 SYDNEY - The seventh report in the series of analyses of social problems in East Timor entitled Diplomacy, Defence and National Security has been published in the East Timor Law Journal in English, Indonesian and Portuguese. Excerpt follows:

Defence and security are crucial elements in the implementation of governance, including in the State of RDTL. Disruptions to the issue of defence and security can impact upon and influence national stability, the community's sense of security, investment systems and the development process. In other words, disruption of defence and security will also disrupt the implementation of governance. Consequently, consideration of defence and security must be prioritised by the government and those agencies related to defence and security.

Although the participation of all components of society is required in relation to defence and security, it is the government as the executor of governance and those agencies responsible for defence that are responsible for and the front guard in creating a strong system of defence and security.

The Constitution of RDTL stipulates that the Police Force of East Timor has a duty to defend the legality of democracy and guarantee internal security for all citizens and shall be strictly impartial (Article 147 of the Constitution of RDTL), whilst the Defence Force of East Timor has the responsibility to guarantee national independence, territorial integrity and the freedom and security of the population from any form of external attack or threat, whilst respecting Constitutional order (article 146 section 2, Constitution of RDTL). The Government, as the executor of governance in RDTL, must always strive to maintain stability in the execution of government so that it can be implemented in accordance with the stipulated objectives, namely to provide a sense of security in all aspects to the community in order to establish prosperity.

In relation to the above, attempts must be made to ensure that defence and the security of the State, nation and people are upheld and not disturbed from within or outside the area of state jurisdiction. One initiative to create a national defence and security system is through the provision of diplomatic means in order to resolve issues if there are disturbances to the national defence and security system, particularly in relation to conflicts which may arise in areas around national borders, on both land and sea. Read the full report in English, Indonesian or Portuguese...

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

Image - Coat of Arms of the East Timor Defence Force (F-FDTL)

Voting in the East Timor National Parliament on the 2009 Budget Law

IV Constiutional Government Office of the Prime Mnister Department of Social Communications Dili, 30 January 2009 - Information on the final approval of the 2009 General State Budget in the National Parliament:

40 Votes in Favour 20 Votes Against 4 Abstentions Total: 64

There are 65 Members of the National Parliament. However, Deputy Manual Tilman from the Democratic Alliance (KOTA/PPT) was not in attendance.

Deputies in favour of the 2009 General State Budget:

Deputies from the AMP Block: 39

Deputy from PPT (Jacob Xavier)

Total: 40

Deputies who voted against: 20

Total Deputies from the Fretilin Bench: 21, (1 Fretilin Deputy abstained).

Deputies who abstained: 4 (3 from the National Unity Party and Fretilin Deputy Cipriana Pereira).
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All about East Timor

Timor-Leste Studies Association New Web Site

The Timor-Leste Studies Association has changed its web site address. The new address is http://www.tlstudies.org/

The Timor-Leste Studies Association was established in June 2005 (following the "Cooperating with Timor-Leste" Conference at Victoria University) to connect researchers with information, other researchers and research on Timor-Leste.

If you have a thirst to know more about Timor-Leste this website can link you to people and websites which may be useful if you are planning your first or your 50th field trip to Timor.

The Timor-Leste Studies Association is now affiliated with the Asian Studies Association of Australia.

ETAN response to Adm Dennis Blair's Statements to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) response to Admiral Dennis Blair's Statements to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence - ETAN fully supports Senator Ron Wyden's (D-OR) call for the cables and reports of Adm. Dennis C. Blair's contacts with the Indonesian military (TNI) to be turned over to the committee and publicly released. In a written response to a committee question, Adm. Blair wrote "Documents of these events, which occurred almost a decade ago, are not now available to me." Seeing those documents will certainly help clarify his actions at the time. As it is, his responses on this matter do not fit with what is publicly known.

The Box

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), quoting former Secretary of Defense Perry, described Adm. Blair as someone who is "one of those who could think outside of the box." However, his actions in 1999 and early 2000 reflected a pattern of official thinking that turned a blind eye to or even enabled the horrendous human rights violations committed by the TNI in East Timor. The conventional thinking for decades was to value a good relationship with the TNI above any other goal - including human rights accountability. Blair's actions at the time showed how deeply embedded he was in the engagement "box," even as U.S. policy was changing. His actions prior to East Timor's August 30, 1999 referendum certainly failed to temper the Indonesian military's behavior. This was not surprising given the long history of U.S. military engagement enabling Indonesia's worst human rights violations.

Blair's troubling record on Indonesia and East Timor shows a mind set that places maintaining a relationship with the worst human rights violators over justice and accountability. This sets a poor precedent for his future role in supervising U.S. intelligence agencies. Partnering with foreign militaries and intelligence agencies that systematically violate human rights has been a regular part of the "war on terrorism." This needs to change.

April 1999

Adm. Blair, responding to a question from Senator Wyden (D-OR), said that accusations concerning his actions during 1999 in relation to Indonesia did not come up until "after I left active duty in 2002." However, the most comprehensive media reports on Adm. Blair's actions were published in September 1999 and September 2000. These reports describe Adm. Blair's approach to the Indonesian military in the spring 1999 as all carrot and little or no stick. Contrary to his statements to the committee, he did not at that time emphasize "that if their [Indonesia's] troops behaved irresponsibly, they risked negative consequences, but if they behaved responsibly, the U.S. was prepared to respond positively." Nor had his "conversations specifically included strong opposition to violence against civilians."

Allan Nairn published an article in the September 27, 1999 issue of The Nation describing Adm. Blair’s actions during the previous spring. Based on official reports of his meetings, Nairn wrote that Adm. "Blair, rather than telling Wiranto to shut the militias down, instead offered him a series of promises of new US assistance." [ http://etan.org/et99b/september/26-30/27nairn.htm]

Dana Priest's profile of Admiral Blair appeared in the Washington Post almost exactly a year later on Sept. 20, 2000 [ http://etan.org/news/2000a/01wpblair.htm]. She reported that Blair "told Wiranto that he 'looks forward to the time Indonesia will resume its proper role as a leader in the region,’ according to U.S. officials who reviewed a cable written about the trip. He invited Wiranto to a seminar in Hawaii and promised to train troops in crowd control. Blair also said he would work to reinstate the IMET program and was hopeful Congress would back it. Wiranto maintained that the military was being 'unfairly blamed' for supporting anti-independence militias."

Priest goes on to write that "over the next week" Blair learned of the brutal massacre in Liquica. This massacre took place two days before Blair's April 8 meeting with Wiranto. Initial reports of the attack appeared quickly in the press. [See a sampling of media reports at http://etan.org/et99/april/default.htm]. East Timorese Bishop Belo, a Nobel peace laureate, held a press conference to decry the massacre on Wed., April 7, the day before Blair met with Wiranto [ http://etan.org/et99/april/3-10/7bishop.htm]. The UN, International Committee of the Red Cross, the Portuguese government and imprisoned East Timorese leader Xanana Gusmao all quickly addressed the violence.

If the goal of Blair's April meeting with Wiranto was to urge an end to the violence of his security forces and their militia proxies, it would be very surprising if Blair had not been informed of the attack beforehand. If the meeting was meant to make nice with the TNI commander, his failure to pay attention to the most recent events on the ground might be more understandable.

Officials at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta were so upset with Blair that they complained to Washington. According to Nairn, "When word got back to the State Department that Blair had said these things in a meeting, an ’eyes only’ cable was dispatched from the State Department to Ambassador Stapleton Roy at the embassy in Jakarta. The thrust of this cable was that what Blair had done was unacceptable and that it must be reversed." A phone call was then arranged between General Wiranto and Admiral Blair. That call took place on April 18 (the day after a massacre by militia of refugees from the Liquicia massacre who had sought shelter in East Timor’s capital, Dili). Nairn writes that "once again Blair failed to tell Wiranto to shut the militias down."

September 1999 and Beyond

Adm. Blair did raise the blatant behavior of security forces in September 1999. By then the U.S. was moving to suspend all military assistance. This cut-off was crucial to ending the violence and to the Indonesian military's eventual acceptance of the result of the referendum. In a response to the committee, Blair writes "I do remember well that the reports of the atrocities themselves were quickly available, both through intelligence reports and in the international press....I was the senior officer in PACOM, and was requesting and receiving information both on the atrocities themselves and on senior TNI complicity in ordering them...."

He describes the atrocities after the August 1999 referendum as "so widespread and well planned that it was clear that the entire TNI command in East Timor was involved. At this point it did not matter whether General Wiranto had ordered them or not, they were his responsibility." If Blair had delivered a clear message of respect for human rights and the need for the TNI to call off its militia prior to the vote, much of the post vote violence could have been prevented.

Blair told the committee that U.S. policy "worked... and East Timor is now an independent country." But by the following year, he was falling back on a pro-engagement mindset and arguing for re-engagement, even though the TNI was still denying its role in the atrocities and actively trying to block efforts to try TNI officers for their crimes. According to Dana Priest, in 2000 Adm. Blair was again forcefully arguing for re-engagement, despite what then U.S. Ambassador Gelbard called "virtually zero progress. In fact, they've [the TNI] gone backwards."

The new administration has a number of officials who have repeatedly spoken out against human rights crimes in different parts of the world. The question for them is will they work to bring to justice those responsible for the war crimes and crimes against humanity in East Timor in 1999 and before.

Finally, we commend the committee for the timely release of Adm. Blair's responses to committee questions. We hope it will do the same with the any documents it receives concerning Adm. Blair's actions concerning Indonesia and East Timor.

[The text of Adm. Blair's responses can be found at http://etan.org/news/2009/01blair2.htm ]

Contact: John M. Miller, National Coordinator, ETAN +1-718-596-7668, +1-917-690-4391

Ed McWilliams (former political counselor, US Embassy, Jakarta) +1-703-899-5285

Image added by ETLJB - Cold-blooded murder by Indonesian state agents on the streets of Dili during the illegal occupation.
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1999 East Timor Crimes Against Humanity

East Timor appoints new abassadors to Indonesia and Singapore

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Division of Public Relations Media Release 28 of January 2009 New T-L ambassador named for Indonesia and Singapore

Two new Timor-Leste Ambassadors have been named. Eng. Manuel Serrano has been selected to be the Ambassador to Indonesia and Dr Roberto Soares will add to his portfolio as the Ambassador to Singapore.

The appointments were announced today by the Minister for Foreign Affairs,H.E. Dr Zacarias Albano da Costa.

The two new Ambassadors will be sworn in at 3pm today (29th February) by the President of the Republic, Dr José Ramos Horta. The ceremony will be at the Presidential Office.

Eng. Serrano will leave for Jakarta to take up his post on a date still to be confirmed and Dr Soares will fulfill his role from Dili.

Eng. Serrano is currently Timor-Leste’s Consul-General in Bali. Among other official roles, he served as Chief of Staff for the Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Ramos Horta, in 2005/6.

“A good and productive relationship with Indonesia is of vital importance to Timor-Leste. Eng. Serrano has demonstrated his ability with the contribution he made while working under Dr Ramos Horta in the previous government and since then, representing Timor-Leste in Bali.

“As Ambassador, he carries heavy responsibility, but he knows he goes into the position with our full confidence in his ability and with our full support,” the Minister said.

Dr Soares will add the role of Ambassador to Singapore to his responsibilities as Director General for Cooperation and Regional Integration and Head of the ASEAN National Secretariat being launched tomorrow.

“Dr Soares is a pioneer of Timor-Leste’s diplomatic service and Foreign Affairs Ministry. He is carrying very heavy responsibilities already, but I have every confidence that he will be able to fulfill with distinction this additional role of safeguarding a very important relationship,” Dr Da Costa said.

For more information please contact MNE Media Relation Division on the following numbers: Fausto de Sousa - 670–7230058 0r Maria-Gabriela 670-730 4231
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East Timor Law Journal Blog - Articles on the laws of East Timor in English.

UNMIT: SRSG Congratulates Dr Marcelino Correia

29 January 2009, DILI - As the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Timor-Leste, I would personally like to congratulate Dr Marcelino Correia on his graduation as the first Timorese Ophthalmologist. This is a remarkable achievement and represents a concrete step forward in the development of this young nation.

Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine which deals with the diseases and surgery of the eye. In Timor-Leste, such skills are vital as eye-related problems are common and include cataracts, cornea legions, eye infections and the every growing need for the use of corrective spectacles.

For the past five years, Dr Correia has studied in Australia and been mentored in Timor-Leste by visiting medical teams from Australia in ophthalmology. He has also partaken in several clinical assessments in both Australia and Nepal. Today's graduation marks the completion of his Masters of Medicine in Ophthalmology Degree from the University of Sydney. Prior to this, he completed a Graduate Diploma in International Ophthalmology at the same University. He completed his original Medical Degree from the University of Makassar in Indonesia

Dr Correia's degree is part of specialized medical training funded by the East Timor Eye Program under the auspices of the Ministry of Health. The East Timor Eye Program, together with the AusAID-funded Royal Australian College of Surgeons, have funded several such specialised medical training. The funding for such training represents a great example of public-private partnerships aimed at building the capacity of Timorese professionals.

Such achievements give me hope that the people of Timor-Leste can through their hard efforts raise the quality of life for their children and together create a future for this nation marked with prosperity and hope.

This is a statement by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Timor-Leste Mr Atul Khare.

For further information, please contact Ivo dos Santos on 7311782.

UN Security Council February 2009 Forecast Report on East Timor

Expected Council Action
The Council is expected to hold an open debate on Timor-Leste in February and renew the mandate of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) before it expires on 26 February. Major changes to the mandate seem unlikely.

The Secretary-General’s progress report is expected in early February. Council members are likely to be interested in the medium-term strategy and benchmarks for tracking progress, which it had asked the Secretary-General to develop in consultation with Timor-Leste in resolution 1802 in February 2008.

These strategy and benchmarks are likely to focus on these areas:

- review and reform of the security sector;
- strengthening the rule of law;
- economic and social development; and
- promotion of a culture of democratic governance and efforts to enhance dialogue and reconciliation.

Key Recent Developments
Since the February 2008 attacks on President José Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão by a group led by former military officer, Alfredo Reinado, the security situation has remained relatively calm.

A press report on 23 December stirred up controversy when it quoted a purported UN security report as stating that Timor-Leste remained on the brink of anarchy. UNMIT’s acting special representative, Finn Reske-Nielsen, on 24 December said that UNMIT felt good about the progress made in Timor-Leste in 2008. He also praised the resiliency of the Timorese people given the difficult start to the year. The Timor-Leste government questioned the authenticity of the report.

Progress continued to be made in resolving the problems of the internally displaced persons (IDPs). Some 55,000 IDPs have been relocated either to their original places of residence or to another residence. Most of the IDP camps in Dili are closed, and the remaining nine camps are expected to be disbanded in February.

The National Police Force of Timor-Leste (PNTL) has begun taking over responsibility for policing from UNMIT following two years of certification and training.

The UNMIT Serious Crimes Investigations Team (SCIT) started its investigations last February after UNMIT and the Timorese government signed an agreement to allow investigators access to files of the former UN Serious Crimes Unit. SCIT was created in January 2007 following the adoption of resolution 1704 of 25 August 2006. The Council decided that UNMIT would assist the Office of the Prosecutor-General of Timor-Leste, through a team of investigators, to investigate cases that had not been covered by the former Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) and to address the outstanding cases of serious human rights violations committed in the country in 1999.

The former SCU had been established by the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor following resolution 1272. It was responsible for conducting investigations and preparing indictments to bring to justice those responsible for crimes against humanity and other serious crimes committed in East Timor in 1999. The mandate of the SCU was not renewed in May 2005. The new SCIT is limited to investigation tasks. Unlike the SCU it does not have the power to indict. Prosecution lies in the hands of the Timor-Leste Office of the Prosecutor. The SCIT has 396 cases to investigate over the next three years. It has so far conducted 36 investigations.

On 11-12 December, the Timorese government, with support from the UN, hosted a seminar on security sector reform and development. A diverse range of national and international actors attended and discussed topics including national security legislation and policy.

On 19 August, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNMIT, Atul Khare, briefed the Council during an open debate. Following the debate the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2008/29) which commended the Timorese leaders and institutions for the “rapid, firm and responsible manner” in which they responded to the events of 11 February. It also reaffirmed the importance of the review and reform of the security sector and the need for sustained support from the international community in helping Timor-Leste develop its institutions and justice sector.

Options
Options for the Council include a resolution renewing UNMIT and:

- acknowledging progress made in the overall security situation while cautioning that the political, security, social and humanitarian situation remains fragile;
- reiterating its commitment to long-term stability in Timor-Leste;
- welcoming the Secretary-General’s medium-term strategy and benchmarks to measure and track progress of key areas;
- stressing the importance of the reform of the security sector in Timor-Leste;
- addressing the urgency of managing the economy and addressing socioeconomic problems; and
- emphasising the importance of continued support from the international community.

Other possibilities include:

- adjusting UNMIT’s mandate to include greater attention to peacebuilding issues, particularly security sector reform and training;
- asking the Secretary-General to produce an assessment of when the PNTL will be ready to assume full policing responsibility in order to set clear transfer deadlines and benchmarks;
- setting benchmarks that show clear progress in key areas which need to be met during the period of the new mandate;
- considering a review of the justice sector by the government and UNMIT;
- reiterating the need for a comprehensive review of the future role and needs of the security sector called for in resolution 1802; and
- highlighting the importance of continued efforts to reach accountability and justice and the promotion and protection of human rights.

Key Issues
A key issue is ensuring that the security situation remains stable. Recently, crimes have been assault, public disorder and domestic disputes. However, the underlying tensions between key political actors and groups continue to simmer. There has also been some discord over UNMIT mentoring among members of the PNTL, and issues remain over when the PNTL would be ready to take over full policing functions.

Another important issue is how to move the priority from maintaining security to peacebuilding and achieving durable peace and stability, keeping in mind the importance of national ownership.

There are several issues related to the national police. First, the mistrust between the Timor-Leste Defence Force and the PNTL continues. A second issue is how to close the remaining capacity and operational gaps so that the PNTL can take over from the UN Police. UNMIT has said that PNTL still has to meet several criteria before it can assume full responsibility. This includes the PNTL being able to respond appropriately to the security environment, final certification of at least 80 percent of eligible officers, availability of initial operational logistical requirements, institutional stability and mutual respect between military and the national police. Finally, there is the issue of whether a robust UN police presence is needed beyond UNMIT and if so, how to provide this.

A question related to the larger strategic issue is how best to use the benchmarks provided by the Secretary-General for the four priority areas (security sector, rule of law, economic and social development, and democratic governance) in renewing UNMIT’s mandate and eventually drawing down the mission. In this sense the discussion in February can be seen as an initial practical example of the challenges raised in the Council debate on peacekeeping and effective oversight on 23 January.

In this regard an example of a potential ongoing issue is how to monitor the relocated IDPs in the receiving communities so that there is early warning of any potential reemergence of security problems.

A significant issue is what extra capacity will be needed for the UN to assist with elections for village (suco) and sub-village (aldeia) chiefs and councils which will be held country wide in the second half of 2009. (UNMIT has already received requests from the government for assistance.) The February mandate renewal may need to reflect resources needed for this.

Human rights and justice issues include:

- the need to strengthen UN support in the justice sector to address issues like the backlog of cases; and
- continuing impunity for crimes committed during the 2006 crisis, as well as during the 1999 UN sponsored referendum on independence. (In May 2008 President Horta issued a decree granting full and partial pardons to 94 prisoners.)
- Economic issues include falling oil prices and its effect on the Timorese economy, and the ability to create sustainable, long-term economic growth in the non-oil sector based on job creation and expanding the public investment programme.

Council and Wider Dynamics
At the moment Timor-Leste is not at the top of Council priorities. Most members are awaiting the Secretary-General’s report before deciding on their positions. At the last public debate no Council members chose to speak and the floor was dominated by members of the core group such as Australia, Portugal, Malaysia and New Zealand. In January, Japan became the lead country in the Council on this issue and it is likely to give it some priority.

There is unlikely to be opposition to renewing UNMIT’s mandate as there appears to be consensus over a continuing UNMIT presence in Timor-Leste. The dangers of a premature withdrawal have not been forgotten. There is also some agreement that it is not the right time to reduce the UNMIT police and that even after the transfer of police authority from UNMIT police to Timorese police, substantial numbers of UNMIT police will be needed in a mentoring and support role.

Some members may wish to have clearer benchmarks in the new mandate so that adjustments to UNMIT’s mandate and strength can be made in the future. They may wish to discuss ways benchmarks could be used.

Underlying Problems
Although most IDPs have been moved out of the camps, the government is now struggling to provide essential services in communities where there has been a large influx of former IDPs. Other problems involving IDPs include disputed land ownership issues and a lack of employment opportunities.

Source: http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/site/c.glKWLeMTIsG/b.4916593/k.1B38/February_2009brTimorLeste.htm

30 January 2009

Defendant fails to appear in assault case in Suai District Court

JSMP: Hearing Adjourned Due To Non - Attendance Of Defendant January 2009 - In accordance with the schedule of hearings for the Suai District Court, two cases involving the less serious offence of maltreatment were supposed to be tried on the 20th and 21st January. The defendants in these cases were charged with Articles 351 and 352 of the Indonesian Penal Code which carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. The most prevalent type of crime is assault, committed by one individual against another, or by members of opposing groups against each other.

Several days before the trials of these two cases were scheduled to take place the administration section of the court issued notifications to the defendants through the prosecution unit and the police. However on the day of the trial the defendant in one of the cases of maltreatment did not appear and thus could not participate in the trial.

Due to the non-attendance of the defendant the presiding judge decided to adjourn the trial. The judge issued this decision pursuant to the applicable law, namely Article 256 of the Criminal Procedure Code, that states that if the defendant is absent then the trial must be adjourned.

JSMP received information that the notification issued by the court was not delivered to the defendant by the police because the defendant had moved and was currently staying in Dili to continue his studies. JSMP believes that the court can take action pursuant to Article 259.2 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

For more information please contact: Roberto da Costa Pacheco Coordinator of Legal Research, JSMP E-mail: bebeto@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: 3323883

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Julgamentu Adia Tanba Arguidu la Marka Prezensa

Janeiru 2009

Iha loron 20-21 Janeiru, tuir orariu Tribunal Distrital Suai sei prosesa julgamentu kazu krime simples 2 (ofensas corporal). Baze legal nudar bazea ba akuzasaun no alegasaun ba kazu krime simples refere mak artigu 351, 352 KUHP ho pena abstrata menus husi tinan lima. Tipu krime ne’ebe mosu mak hanesan asaltu entre individual nomos entre grupus.

Loron hira antes halao prosesu julgamentu ba kazu rua refere, seksaun administrasaun/official justica tribunal hato’o ona notifikasaun atraves husi ministeriu publiku no polisia maibe to’o loron atu julgamentu arguidu husi kazu ofensas corporal ida la marka prezensa hodi tuir julgamanetu.

Tanba arguidu la marka prezensa, portantu juiz ne’ebe lidera julgamentu deside atu adia julgamentu ba loron 10 Fevereiru 2009.. Desizaun ne’e bazea ba lei aplikavel artigu 256 kodigu prosesu penal katak karik arguidu la marka prezensa iha audiensia julgamentu entaun julgamentu bele adia.

JSMP hetan informasaun katak notifikasaun ne’ebe tribunal hasai polisia la konsege hato’o ba arguidu tanba arguidu rasik muda ona nia pardeiru/hela fatin no agora dadauk hela iha Dili hodi kontinua nia estudu. JSMP hanoin katak tribunal bele foti medidas hodi responde situasaun ne’e bazea ba artigu 259.2 kodigu prosesu penal.

Untuk informasi lebih lanjut: Roberto da Costa Pacheco Koordinator Peneliti Hukum Alamat e-mail: bebeto@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: 3323883

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Sidang Ditunda Karena Ketidakhadiran Terdakwa Januari 2009
Pada Tgl 20-21 Januari, sesuai jadwal Pengadilan Distrik Suai akan menggelar persidangan atas 2 kasus pidana ringan (penganiayaan). Dasar hukum yang dijadikan sebagai dasar dakwaan dan tuntutan untuk kasus pidana ringan tersebut adalah pasal 351, 352 KUHP dengan ancaman hukuman kurang dari lima tahun. Tipe/jenis kejahatan yang paling nampak adalah penyerangan baik antar individu maupun antar kelompok serta individu dengan kelompok.

Beberapa hari sebelum dimulainya persidangan terhadap kedua kasus tersebut, bagian administrasi pengadilan telah menotifikasi para terdakwa melalui pihak kejaksaan dan kepolisiaan namun sampai pada hari H persidangan terdakwa dalam salah satu kasus penganiayaan tidak dapat hadir untuk mengikuti persidangan.

Karena ketidak-hadiran terdakwa, maka hakim yang mempimpin persidangan menyatakan untuk menunda persidangan. Tindakan ini berdasarkan pada hukum yang berlaku yakni pasal 256 Hukum Acara Pidana bahwa jikalau terdakwa tidak hadir maka persidangan harus atau dapat ditunda.

JSMP memperoleh informasi bahwa surat notifikasi yang dikeluarkan pihak pengadilan tidak sempat disampaikan pihak kepolisian kepada terdakwa karena terdakwa sendiri telah berpindah tempat dan saat ini berada di Dili untuk melanjutkan studinya. JSMP berpendapat bahwa pengadilan dapat mengmbil tindakan berdasarkan pasal 259.2 Hukum Acara Pidana.

Untuk informasi lebih lanjut hubungi: Roberto da Costa Pacheco Koordinator Peneliti Hukum, JSMP Alamat e-mail: bebeto@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: 3323883

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Image added by ETLJB - The unfinished cathedral in Suai, East Timor.

East Timor Law Journal - Articles, laws in English, court reports in English.

Women in East Timor endure unsafe abortions

Women in Timor 'have unsafe abortions' Tara Ravens 30 January 2009 - 6:19PM Women in East Timor are forced into potentially fatal abortions because they cannot legally terminate a pregnancy even for medical reasons, according to a Darwin researcher.

Restrictive laws in the mainly Catholic country mean women cannot request elective abortion for any reason, including to preserve their health or save their lives.

Charles Darwin University (CDU) researcher Dr Suzanne Belton said although there were no figures on the number of unsafe abortions carried out in the fledgling nation, they remain the leading cause of death for pregnant women worldwide.

Completing the first study on unwanted pregnancy in East Timor, Dr Belton - a research associate with CDU's Graduate School for Health Practice - said maternal deaths in East Timor continued to be very high.

"Key findings (of the study) included that induced abortion continued to be performed in secret," she said.

"Forty per cent of all emergency obstetric care was managing and treating complications from early pregnancy losses, and doctors and midwives continued to be reluctant to speak with women about induced abortion."

The study, Maternal Mortality, Unplanned Pregnancy and Unsafe Abortion in Timor-Leste: A Situational Analysis, found medical professionals were reluctant to talk to their patients about abortions.

Dr Belton presented her findings as part of East Timor's first congress on health sciences in Dili in December.

"A huge problem is that there has been no research conducted on unsafe abortion since Timor-Leste's independence from Indonesia in 2002," Dr Belton said.

"This study describes the context of unplanned and unwanted pregnancy and fertility management, as well as investigating and canvassing a way forward."

The study - funded and commissioned by The United Nations Population Fund - also recommended strategies to assist the reduction of morbidity and mortality associated with unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion.

Dr Belton said the law regulating termination of pregnancy in Timor-Leste was highly restrictive.

"The legal situation is complex and confusing for health professionals, given views on abortion are influenced by the Catholic context of the country," she said.

"Access to family planning information, education and supplies is limited and in three of the four health facilities investigated, evidence-based protocols in the provision of post-abortion care were not used."

Dr Belton's research methods included analysing data from a maternal death audit, monitoring service provisions, studying reproductive health indicators, and face-to-face interviews with doctors, midwives and women recovering from early pregnancy losses.

Image added by ETLJB - Traditional East Timorese women.

East Timor Women - Raising awareness of the plight of women in Timor-Leste.

East Timor Chairs The Asian Group of Nations

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Public Relations Division Media Release 30/01/2009 The Permanent Mission of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to the United Nations this month chaired the Asian Group of nations for the first time ever.

The Chairmanship of the Group rotates monthly among its 53 member states.

Tasks for the Mission included taking responsibility for all communication within the Group and between the Group and the other regional Groups (Africa, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Latin America), organizing and chairing the monthly Group meeting and updating the candidature chart.

H E Ambassador Nelson dos Santos personally chaired the Group's January meeting on the 26th, providing effective leadership. Delegates expressed their satisfaction with the manner in which the chairmanship was conducted at the end of the meeting.

Timor-Leste successfully led the Group in endorsing several of its members as candidates for various committees and commissions within the UN system.

Despite the relative newness of the Mission to the UN system, it handled the extra responsibilities well and has set the foundation for taking on chairmanships and other projects in future.

For more information please contact: Ms Josefina Tilman: email: jtilman@timor-leste.un.org or
finatilman@yahoo.com

East Timor Legal News 28-29 January 2009

East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program Urges Government to translate all laws into Tetum Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 29 January 2009 - The Acting Director of the East Timor Judicial System Monitoring (JSMP), Casmiro dos Santos, has urged the Timorese Government to translate all of the laws of East Timr into Tetun because all of the legislation was only published in the Portuguese language which the vast majority of the population can not understand.

Legal process slow in 2008, says JSMP Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 29 January 2009 - The Acting Director of the East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP), Casimiru dos Santos, said that based on the findings of a report prepared by JSMP, the legal processes in 2008 in East Timor were too slow due to a lack of human resources in the courts.

Good bye judge Ivo Rosa Suara Timor Lorosae 29 January 2009 - The Timorese Council of Magistrates has made a decision to not prolong the contract for international Judge Ivo Rosa Baptista from Portugal.

East Timor receives US$37 million from donors Timor Post 29 January 2009 - Minister for Infrastructures, Pedro Lay, said his ministry had received a huge amount of money from donors to help resolve infrastructure problems being faced by the country.

World Vision and Youth Peace Club hold training on conflict transformation Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 29 January 2009 - Training facilitator, Nelson Correira, has called on youth and community members to participate in the country's national development by avoiding bad behaviors that have occurred in the country.

East Timor Electricity Authority Chief of power production denies allegation of power sabotage Timor Post 29 January 2009 - EDTL Chief of Power production, Antonio Soares, has denied allegations made by State Secretary for Electricity, Januario Pereira, that EDTL technicians had deliberately wanted to sabotage power during the debate of the general state budget in the Parliament.

Deploying F-FDTL soldiers in border zone is positive: political analyst Suara Timor Lorosae 29 January 2009 - The Government's plan to deploy the Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) soldiers along the border zone is good to strengthen relationship between the F-FDTL solders and Indonesian armed forces (TNI) soldiers, says Timorese Military and Political Analyst, Franquelino Freitas. Freitas said the deployment of the soldiers in the border was not a threat to neighboring countries, yet as a democratic country, East Timor needed to keep maintaining security.

LABEH urges Govt to take necessary action to former director for Timor Sea Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 28 January 2009 - Director for LABEH, a national antic-corruption NGO, Christopher Henry Samson, has urged the Government, mainly the state secretary for mineral and natural resource, Alfredo Pires, to take a necessary action against the former director of the Timor Sea Authority and its financial manager, as they were suspected of being involved in corruption.

Youth Parliament representatives meet with Prime Minister Gusmao Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 28 January 2009 - The Timorese Youth Parliament has presented Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao with a report on the plan to set up district assemblies and for holding the first district congress at the Palace of the Government.
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