15 May 2013

Objections to perceived government interference in judicial process in Timor-Leste

ETLJB 15 May 2013 - Objections have been publicly raised about perceived government interference in the judicial process in Timor-Leste regarding the killing of a man by police in Hera on  July 16, 2012 during the post-election outbreaks of violence.

Timor Post reported today that the President of the Timor-Leste Parliamentary Women’s Group (Tetum acronym GMPTL),  Josefa Pereira Soares MP, has urged the government not to interfere politically with the trial process in the Hera homicide case because it can further undermine the Timor-Leste judiciary.

“This is not just a threat to democracy but also a threat to the justice system because state institutions each have their own function and people should not stick their hands where they are not meant to,” said the President of GMPTL to Timor Post at the National Parliament, Tuesday 14 April last, after a plenary session of the parliament.

The GMPTL president said that she laments greatly the government taking the position of interfering with the Hera homicide trial because it will impede the work of others in reaching a fair decision.

“I think all us Timorese must be ready to submit ourselves to justice according to law, if a wrong has been committed, as individuals who commit crimes must answer before the courts and submit to the decision of the court.  There should not be any interference from any politician because that is simply wrong, and contrary to our constitution and laws,” lamented  Deputy Josefa.

Timor Post also reported on May 14, 2013 that the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao’s had requested the President of the Republic Taur Matan Ruak (TMR) to interven in the Hera homocide case in which certain police officers are suspected of being engaged in the case.

In the meantime, the Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) expressed the hope that the President of the Republic, Taur Matan Ruak, will not intervene in the Hera trial process which is currently proceeding in the court.

JSMP Director Luis de Oliveira Sampaio said that if the Head of State does intervene then the rule of law in Timor-Leste will be put at grave risk.

Even if the Hera incident occurred for political reasons, because human life was prejudiced then those responsible must answer before the courts.

“We await that the President of the Republic will not in fact act in any way to cut across the judicial process underway, because we can only imagine that if he does, then the rule of law in Timor-Leste will be manifestly under grave threat,” he told the Timor Post recently in his office. Source: Timor Post 15 May 2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright 

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Interfering Hera case, democratic state threatened
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Director for Judicial System Monitoring (JSMP), Luis Oliveira Sampaio hoped that, President TMR would not interfere the Hera case which left a young man was shot dead in 2012 after CNRT party’s national conference.

“We are strongly hoping that, President of the Republic will not interfere the Hera case in the process of trial,” he said.

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