06 September 2012

East Timor Legal News 5 September 2012



Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro
Police Commissioner to dismiss officers absent without leave - The National Police (PNTL) Commander, Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro, has said that several officers would be dismissed from the force because they had been absent without leave from their duties and that some of them had committed crimes, according to reports today by Diario Nacional and Jornal Independente today. 

Commander Monteiro confirmed that he would shortly to announce the dismissal of seven officers; five male and two female police officers. Two of these officers had committed crimes.

"I myself will shortly sack the seven  police officers who have been absent from their heir work," he said.

"I will first make a recommendation to the ministry of defence and security to make a final decision," he said.


In a further development, the police command, through its Superior Council will hold a meeting to decide the fate of the police officer who recently lost his weapon at a brothel in Dili. Timor Post reports that Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro told journalists that the Inspector General that the investigation into this case was nearing completion and would be submitted to the internal disciplinary processes within the police force.

Mr. Monteiro added that PNTL Justice Department would do all the process, after they completed the investigation process, recommendation and its suspension then he could sign it.

In relation to the recent new weapons procurement for the police force, Commissioner Monteiro was reported by Diario Nacional that the new gun is the PM2-V1. The serial numbers for the guns are from 000001 to 0000075.

"It will be the first time this gun has been used by police anywhere in the world",  he said.

There has been controversy and criticism from civil society over the purchase of these guns and other means of state violence from an Indonesian arms supplier because initial tests showed them to be of poor quality and because there had been no transparency or publicity from the government informing the community of such state assets.

Two NGO's, namely, Yayasan HAK (The Human Rights Foundation) and Luta Hamutuk have in fact accused the government of using the state budget dishonestly and imprudently in relation to the expenditure of considerable funds on such weapons and defence machinery, reported Diario Nacional yesterday.

"The Timor-Leste government uses the General Budget of the State imprudently, without good faith and dishonestly as well as engaging in corruption, collusion and cronyism in other projects which have failed to deliver the desired results, " said Mericio Akara from Luta Hamutuk.

He added that the procurement of the PM2 V1 weapons that were bought for the Close Personal Security (CPS) Unit had become unusable just after being test fired. With regard to this Mericio Akara said that when one sets out to buy weapons, one must be aware of the condition and quality of the weapons so that the peoples' money is used to buy good quality weapons and not not to buy weapons that are counterfeit or second hand.

The Director of the NGO Luta Hamutuk also suggested that the National Parliament summon the Secretary of State for Security and the Commandant General of the Timor -Leste National Police (PNTL) Longuinhos Monteiro to clarify why it is that the peoples' money was used to buy weapons of poor quality.

The Exceutive Director of Yayasan HAK, Rogerio Viegas Vicente, also said that the government did not have a sound plan for the procurement and management of weapons.

"The weapons bought by our government were only test fired once and they broke.  This shows that there was no preparation and management.  By the same token, one should not just think to buy weapons from Indonesia but then after they arrive things become like we experienced in 2006, whereby they show off buying the weapons then in the end they are lost like during the 2006 crisis and we are unable to find them afterwards," Rogerio Vicente questioned.

Rogerio also challenged the government to properly assess the advantages and disadvantages of buying weapons from Indonesia so that there is no negative impact on Timor-Leste in the future.
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Prime Minister sets 3 days for all ministries to justify public servant recruitment -  Radio Televizaun de Timor-Leste has reported a statement by the Minister for Finance Emilia Pires that Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao had set three days for all ministries to justify the process recruitment of public civil servants which had not yet been realised but which had included in the general state budget for 2012.

Ms. Pires said PM Gusmao had identified weaknesses in the government officials that had requeste larger budgets and so that needed to be justified. She added that all ministers should provide reasons for the larger recruitments.
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Australian judges to visit Timor-Leste - The President of the Court of Appeal, Claudio Ximenes, said that judges from Northern Australia would visit Timor-Leste shortly.

The objective of the visit is to share working experiences between the courts of the two countries.

"On September 6 or 7 this year, the Court of Appeal will meet with the Judges from Northern Territory Supreme Court to observe the East Timor court system', the Chief Judge said.

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