19 August 2013

Baucau District Court hears cases of domestic violence, assault, theft, arson, threats, unlawful electoral canvassing and attempted rape

Baucau District (Inage:wikimedia commons)
ETLJB 19 August 2013 - The Judicial System Monitoring Program has released the English translation of its report on monitoirng proceedings in the Baucau District Court for the month of June 2013. The text of the translation follows.

JSMP Case Summary June 2013 Summary of the trial process in Baucau District Court

Introduction

In June 2013 JSMP noted that 14 cases were tried at the Baucau District Court. These 14 cases comprised 6 cases of domestic violence, 2 cases involving simple offences against physical integrity, 1 case involving a serious offence against physical integrity, 1 case of aggravated theft, 1 case of arson, 1 case of making threats, 1 case regarding unlawful electoral canvassing and 1 case of attempted rape.

7 of these cases have been decided by the court, 5 cases are still ongoing and 2 cases have been adjourned because the parties did not respond to the summons issued by the court. In the 7 cases that were completed the court handed down a prison sentence however the execution of the sentence was suspended, and in only one case a defendant was sent to prison for 3 years 6 months for committing the crime of a serious offence against physical integrity, whilst fines were handed down in the other two cases.

From the aforementioned hearings JSMP was concerned about once particular case and wishes to take issue with the case involving a simple offence against physical integrity which was tried as Case No.157/Crm.S/2012/TDB.

The indictment of the public prosecutor stated that the defendant did not only commit assault against the victim, but he also used a knife to wound the victim in the head. JSMP is very concerned because if the defendant used a weapon/instrument that could potentially harm or threaten the life of the victim then the charge should not be ordinary maltreatment. A knife is an instrument that has the power/capacity to take the life of the victim. However, the public prosecutor only charged the victim with ordinary maltreatment. The public prosecutor also alleged that the defendant had assaulted the victim on numerous occasions, however the public prosecutor did not charge the defendant with serious maltreatment against a spouse, and preferred the charge of ordinary maltreatment.

JSMP hopes that in the future the public prosecutor and the court will carefully and thoroughly examine the elements of the crime relating to an offence committed by a defendant.

The information below outlines the hearings conducted:



1.      Crime of simple offence against physical integrity, Case No.176/Crm.S/2012/TDB

Composition of judges                        : Single

Judge                                                   : José Gonçalves

Public Prosecutor                                : Pascasio de Rosa Alves

Public Defender                                  : Sérgio Paulo Dias Quintas

Conclusion                                          : Amicable settlement (conciliation) was validated

On 11 June 2013 the Baucau District Court attempted conciliation in a case of a simple offence against physical integrity involving the defendant José de Araújo and the victim Beatris Amaral. This case allegedly occurred on 1 October 2012 in Viqueque District.

During the trial the court validated an agreement reached by the parties because previously the defendant and the victim had reconciled and resolved the matter through a traditional settlement. After validating the agreement the court dismissed the case and acquitted the defendant from the charges.

2.      Crime of simple offence against physical integrity – Case No.197/Crm.S/2012/TDB

Composition of judges                        : Single

Judge                                                   : José Gonçalves

Public Prosecutor                                : Pascasio de Rosa Alves

Public Defender                                  : Sérgio Paulo Dias Quintas

Conclusion                                          : Sentenced to 5 months jail, suspended for 1 year

On 11 June 2013 the Baucau District Court tried the defendant in a case of ordinary maltreatment characterized as domestic violence involving the defendant DA and his wife CC. The incident allegedly occurred on 18 March 2011 in Baucau.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 18 March 2011 the defendant and the victim argued about the election and the defendant became angry and took a piece of wood and hit the victim on her side, choked her, kicked her twice in the back, pulled her arm and pushed her to the ground. These acts caused the victim to suffer injuries to her head, to suffer swelling and pain to her neck, side and back.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code regarding ordinary offences against physical integrity as well as Article 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence.

During the trial the defendant completely accepted all of the evidence, regretted his actions and stated that he would not reoffend against his wife or against another person in the future.

Based on the evidence and the mitigating circumstances, on 18 June 2013 the court decided to hand down a sentence of 5 months imprisonment. However the sentence was suspended for 1 year.

1.      Crime of simple offence against physical integrity – Case No.157/Crm.S/2012/TDB

Composition of judges                        :Single

Judge                                                   :José Gonçalves

Public Prosecutor                                :Pascasio de Rosa Alves

Public Defender                                  :Rui Manuel Guterres

Conclusion                                          :7 months prison, suspended for 1 year 6 months

On 11 June 2013 the Baucau District Court conducted a hearing in a case of ordinary maltreatment characterized as domestic violence involving the defendant VS and the victim FE (his wife).This incident allegedly occurred on 10 April 2012 in Venilale, Baucau District.

The hearing commenced with the reading out of the charges. The public prosecutor alleged that on 10 April 2012 the defendant and the victim argued about feeding their children. However suddenly the defendant took a piece of wood and hit the victim in the head, struck her many times on the body and hit her in the eye. Out of fear the victim fled and stayed at her parent’s house, however the defendant continued to follow her and took a knife and stabbed her in the back of the head injuring the victim and causing her to suffer bruising and pain in the eye and over her entire body.

The public prosecutor also testified that the defendant had regularly committed these types of crimes against the victim but the victim did not report them.

During the trial the defendant admitted all of the evidence presented by the public prosecutor. However the defendant expressed regret and stated that they have reconciled through a traditional settlement.

After hearing testimony from the defendant, the court proceeded to hear final recommendations.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to hand down a prison sentence of 1 year and 6 months, to be suspended for 1 year and 6 months. This recommendation took into account the mitigating circumstances, namely that the defendant admitted all of the evidence, regretted his actions, has reconciled, and the defendant is the breadwinner of the family.

The public defender requested for the court consider the mitigating circumstance and to hand down a lenient sentence against the defendant.

This case was decided on 18 June 2018, and the court sentenced the defendant to 7 month’s jail to be suspended for 1 year 6 months.

2.      Crime of simple offence against physical integrity – Case No.39/Crm.C/2011/TDB.

Composition of judges                        : Panel

Judges                                                 : Ângela Faria Belo, Afonso Carmona and José Gonçalves

Public Prosecutors                               : Aderito Tilman and Pasasio de Rosa Alves

Public Defender                                  : Marito da Costa Saldanha (private lawyer)

Conclusion                                          : Sentenced to 3 years 6 months jail, ordered to pay a fine

On 11 June 2013 the Baucau District Court continued the trial to hear the final recommendations of the parties in a case involving serious maltreatment. This case involved the defendant Pedro dos Santos and the victim Ângela da Silva and allegedly occurred on 1 January 2011 in Com, Lautem.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 5 years 6 months imprisonment because all of the evidence presented had been proven.

One other hand the public defender requested for the court to acquit the defendant because he had committed the aforementioned acts in self-defense and to protect his younger siblings.

After hearing the final recommendations the court adjourned the trial until 26 June 2013 to announce its final decision.

The court then decided this case on 26 June 2013 and sentenced the defendant to sentence 3 years 6 months imprisonment and ordered him to pay a fine to the victim of $ 500.

3.      Crime of Attempted rape, Case No. 160/Crm.C/2012/TDB

Composition of judges                        : Panel

Judges                                                 : Ângela Faria Belo, José Gonçalves and Afonso Carmona

Public Prosecutor                                : Baltazar Ramos

Public Defender                                  : Rui Manuel Guterres

Conclusion                                          :Adjourned until 28 June 2013 to hear the final decision

On 12 June 2013 the Baucau District Court conducted a hearing in a case of attempted rape involving the defendant AC and the victim NCB. This case allegedly occurred on 18 July 2011 in Baucau District.

The hearing was scheduled to hear testimony from the defendant, the victim and witnesses. As this case involved charges of a sexual nature the trial was closed to the public and JSMP was not allowed to observe proceedings in this case.

Based on information that JSMP received from a court clerk, the court adjourned the trial until 28 June 2013 at approximately 2pm to announce its final decision.

4.      Crime of simple offence against physical integrity, Case No.59/Crm.S/2012/TDB

Composition of judges                        : Single

Judge                                                   : José Gonçalves

Public Prosecutor                                : Pascasio de Rosa Alves

Public Defender                                  : Rui Manuel Guterres

Conclusion                                          : Ordered to pay a fine of US$ 90

On 12 June 2013 the Baucau District Court read out its decision against the defendant EM in a case involving ordinary maltreatment characterized as domestic violence against  the victim TS (his wife). This case allegedly occurred on 3 August 2011 in Viqueque.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code regarding ordinary offences against physical integrity as well as Article 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence.

During the trial the court found the defendant guilty of committed the crime of which he was charged.

The court concluded this case by ordering the defendant to pay a fine of $ 90 to be paid within 90 days.

The court also issued an alternative punishment of 60 days imprisonment if the defendant fails to pay the aforementioned fine.

5.      Crime of aggravated theft and aggravated acceptance of stolen goods - Case No.202/Crm.C/2012/TDB

Composition of judges            : Panel

Judges                                     : José Gonçalves, Afonso Carmona and  Ângela F. Belo

Public Prosecutor                    : Baltazar Ramos

Public Defenders                    : Câncio Xavier, Sergio P. D. Quintas, Rui M. Guterres,  Gregório de Lima, Pedro Aparicio and Wilson Correia (Team of lawyers from the Office of the Public Defender and private lawyers)  

Conclusion                              :Trial proceeding to witness testimony and final recommendations

On 13 June 2013 the Baucau District Court continued the trial to hear testimony from 3 witnesses in a case of aggravated theft and aggravated receipt of stolen goods involving the defendant AAG and 14 others against the BNU Bank in Baucau.

The witnesses GX, AO and AAP testified that they did not witness the incident however on 3 January 2012 when they entered the new office they found out/heard that money was missing from the BNU coffers.

On 20 June 2013 the court proceeded to hear testimony from the other four witnesses. According to the witness DF and JJ they did not know about the theft of money at BNU, but they heard about the incident later on (after the incident took place).

According to testimony that the witness MS gave to the court, he did not witness or have knowledge about the incident. However the witness explained that he had a business relationship with the defendant EMQC in a joint project they were conducting in Baucau. However, the funding from the project has been cancelled by BNU and until now the money has not been transferred into their bank account.

The witness BXCB testified that the defendant AAG borrowed money from Caritas Baucau totaling US$ 5,000; however the money was returned on 3 January 2012 via a transfer to the bank account of Caritas Baucau.

After hearing testimony from the aforementioned witnesses the court adjourned the trial until 27 June 2013 to hear more testimony from witnesses and to hear the final recommendations of the parties.

6.      Crime of simple offence against physical integrity, Case No.193/Crm.S/2012/TDB

Composition of judges                        : Single

Judge                                                   : José Gonçalves

Public Prosecutor                                : Pascasio de Rosa Alves

Public Defender                                  : Rui Manuel Guterres

Conclusion                                          : Sentenced to pay a fine of US$ 45

On 17 June 2013 the Baucau District Court conducted a hearing in a case involving the crime of ordinary offence against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence. This case involved the defendant JM and the victim LP (his wife) that occurred on 7 August 2012 in Viqueque District.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code regarding ordinary offences against physical integrity as well as Article 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence.

During the trial the defendant chose to use his right to remain silent in accordance with Article 60 of the Criminal Procedure Code, however the victim testified that the he hit the victim twice in the chest. The defendant then tried to hit the victim in the head but missed. The victim also testified that the defendant did not make threats and that they have reconciled after the incident.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 5 months imprisonment, to be suspended for 1 year. The recommendation took into consideration that the defendant and the victim have reconciled, the defendant is a first time offender and is the breadwinner of the family.

The public defender requested for the court to hand down a lenient sentence against the defendant because the defendant had reconciled with the victim and is responsible for his family.

After hearing these final recommendations the court adjourned the trial until 25 June 2013 to read out its final decision.

On 25 June 2013 the court decided this case and sentenced the defendant to a fine of $45, to be paid within 90 days. The fine is to be paid in installments of 50 cents per day.

The court also ordered the defendant to pay court costs of US$ 10 and set an alternative punishment of 60 days jail if the defendant fails to pay the aforementioned fine.

7.      Crime of illegal electoral canvassing, Case No.140/Crm.S/2012/TDB

Composition of judges                        : Single

Judge                                                   : Ângela Faria Belo

Public Prosecutor                                : Pascasio de Rosa Alves

Public Defender                                  : Rui Manuel Guterres

Conclusion                                          : Trial adjourned

On 17 June 2013 the Baucau District Court adjourned a trial in a case of illegal electoral canvassing. This case allegedly occurred on 06 March 2012 in Viqueque District.

The trial was adjourned because the defendant and witnesses summoned did not appear in court to attend the trial.

8.      Crime of minor property damage, Case No. 186/Crm.S/2012/TDB

Composition of judges                        :Single

Judge                                                   :José Gonçalves

Public Prosecutor                                : Pascasio de Rosa Alves

Public Defender                                  : Rui Manuel Guterres

Conclusion                                          : Examination of testimony from the defendant, the victim and witnesses

On 18 June 2013 the Baucau District Court conducted a hearing in a case of minor property damage involving 3 defendants, namely AS, SS and JMS and the victim OS. This case allegedly occurred on 18 April 2012 in Viqueque.

The public prosecutor alleged that the defendants that on 18 April 2012 at approximately 5pm the defendants threw rocks at two houses that were made from corrugated iron, damaged some plastic plates, 2 pots, 1 saucepan, 2 buckets and 2 plastic chairs.

This case allegedly occurred because a buffalo belonging to the victim entered a rice field and damaged the defendants’ crops.

The defendants AS and JMS rejected the charges of the public prosecutor and testified that they were not involved in the aforementioned incident.AS and JMS stated that they arrived at the scene after the incident took place.

The defendant SS testified that he was the one who threw twice stoned the home of the victim, because the victim’s buffalo got into his rice field, but the police also arrested his older brother.

The victim stated that he saw the three defendants together with several other people running from the front of the victim’s house when the victim returned from where he had tied up his horse.

The victim also testified that the reason that the incident occurred was because the victim and his family had chosen Taur Matan Ruak as the Presidential candidate.

In their testimony the witnesses AdS and OdS told the court that the defendant SS had twice stoned the house and the defendant JMS had kicked a chair belonging to the victim and damaged it. However the witness did not know about the involvement of the defendant AS.

After hearing from all of the parties and the testimony of the witnesses, the court adjourned the trial until 25 June 2013.

During the hearing on 25 June 2013 the court proceeded to hear testimony from the witness SPP. In his testimony SPP stated that the defendant SS had stoned the home of the victim twice.SPP also testified that he had tried to stop the defendant from throwing any more stones. However the witness testified that he did not see the involvement of the defendants AS and JMS in this case.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to hand down a fine against the defendants SS and JMS,  and to acquit the defendant AS because during the trial not one fact had proven that they were involved.

The public defender requested for the court to apply a lenient sentence against the defendants SS and JMS because the defendants were first time offenders and were students. However he requested for the court to acquit the defendant AS because there was no proof showing that he was involved in this case.

After hearing the final recommendations the court adjourned the trial until 9 July 2013 at 9am to read out its final decision.

9.      Crime of arson, Case No.159/Crm.C/2012/TDB

Composition of judges                        : Panel

Judges                                                 : Afonso Carmona, José Goncalves and Ângela Faria Belo

Public Prosecutor                                : Baltazar Ramos

Public Defender                                  : Gregório de Lima.

Conclusion                                          :Examination of testimony from the defendants, the victim and witnesses

On 25 June 2013 the Baucau District Court conducted a hearing in a case of arson involving the defendant FMV and the victims JCV and MCV. This case allegedly occurred on 5 August 2011 in Vemasse Sub-District, Baucau District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 5 August 2011 at approximately 8pm the defendant took a lighter and burned the victim’s house. This incident caused two houses and their contents to be burned and caused damage of approximately US$ 5,000.

During the trial the defendant rejected all of the charges of the public prosecutor and testified that the charges were not true. The defendant testified that at the time of the incident he was working in Dili. The defendant also testified that he was accused because the defendant was a member of PSHT and the problem occurred when there was a confrontation between Persaudaraan Setia Hati Terate (PSHT) and Ikatan Kera Sakti (IKS).

In their testimony the victim MCV and the witness JCF testified that they did not know who burned their house, but they testified that they saw a group of people burning the house at the time of the incident who were wearing PSHT uniforms/gear.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to acquit the defendant from this case because during the trial no evidence had been established to convict the defendant.

The public defender also agreed with the public prosecutor because during the trial there was no evidence to convict the defendants.

After hearing the final recommendations the court adjourned the trial until 9 July 2013 at 10am to announce its final decision.

10.  Crime of simple offence against physical integrity, Case No. 143/Crm.S/2012/TDB

Composition of judges            : Single

Judge                                       : José Gonçalves

Public Prosecutor                    : Pascasio de Rosa Alves

Public Defender                      : Gregório de Lima.

Conclusion                              : Trial adjourned

On 15 June 2013 the Baucau District Court adjourned a trial in a case of ordinary maltreatment characterized as domestic violence that was scheduled to be heard on the aforementioned date.

Although the trial was adjourned the court has not set a date to continue the trial because they have not identified the current residence of the defendant.

11.  Crime of simple offence against physical integrity – Case No. 199/Crm.S/2012/TDB

Composition of judges            : Single

Judge                                       :  José Gonçalves

Public Prosecutor                    :  Baltazar Ramos

Public Defender                      :  Gregório de Lima.

Conclusion                              : Adjourned until 9 July 2013 to announce the final decision

On 25 June 2013 the Baucau District Court conducted a hearing in a case involving simple offence against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence. This case involved the defendant JBX and the victim JX (his wife).This case allegedly occurred on 12 November 2012 in Baucau District.

The public prosecutor in his indictment testified that on 12 November 2012 the defendant slapped the victim twice on the cheek and kicked her once in the stomach. The incident occurred because the defendant suspected his wife of having a relationship with another man.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code regarding ordinary offences against physical integrity as well as Article 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence.

During the trial the defendant admitted all of the evidence presented by the public prosecutor and stated that it was all correct.

After hearing testimony from the defendant, the court proceeded to hear final recommendations.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 3 months jail to be suspended for 1 year because the defendant admitted all of the evidence, regretted his actions and was responsible for his family.

The public defender asked the court to acquit his client because the defendant had confessed, expressed regret and had reconciled with the victim, and is also responsible for his family.

After hearing the final recommendations the court adjourned the trial until 9 July 2013 at 9am to announce its final decision.

12.  Threats, Case No.196/Crm.S/2012/TDB

Composition of judges            : Single

Judge                                       : José Gonçalves

Public Prosecutor                    : Baltazar Ramos

Public Defender                      : Gregório de Lima.

Conclusion                              : Amicable settlement (conciliation) was validated

On 25 June 2013 the Baucau District Court attempted conciliation in a case of threats involving the defendant Felisberto Ximenes and the victims Epifania Sarmento and Francisco Simões. This case allegedly occurred on 1 November 2011 in Baucau District.

During the hearing to attempt conciliation the victims were willing to forgive the defendant for his actions, however they requested for the defendant to not repeat such actions in the future. The defendant also agreed with the request of the victims and their conditions.

Considering that the parties had reached a conciliation the court decided to acquit the defendant in this case. Source: JSMP Press Release 19/08/2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright
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