22 August 2012

Court of Appeal must study former Justice Minister's appeal

Chief Judge Claudio Ximenes
East Timor Legal News 22/08/2012 East Timor's chief judge, Claudio Ximenes, who is the President of the country's highest court, the Court of Appeals, has said that the Court needs time to consider the appeal made by the former Justice Minister, Lucia Lobato, from her conviction in the Dili District Court for abuse of power and unlawful conduct in the process of a procurement contract for the Justice Ministry.

Ms Lobato was the Justice Minister under the Parliamentary Majority Alliance IV Constitional Government and was sentenced to 5 years in prison by the Dili District Court earlier this year but lodged an appeal to have the lower court's decision reviewed by the Court of Appeal.

Diaro Nacional reported yesterday that the Chief Judge Ximenes stressed that the appeal process is complex and the court can not make decisions recklessly.

He said that the Court needs sufficient time to review the case before handing down its verdict.

Ms Lobato is a relative of the former Minister for the Interior under the first Fretilin government, Rogerio Lobato, who was also convicted of criminal conduct in the illegal distribution of weapons to civilians during the 2006 crisis.

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