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07 October 2013

Suai District Court hears assault, homicide, rape, aggravated theft, negligent homicide, domestic violence and currency fraud cases

ETLJB 7 October 2013 - The East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program has released the English translation of its report on monitoring proceedings in the Suai District Court diring the first half of June 2013. The text of the translation follows.

Introduction

During the first and second weeks of June 2013 JSMP observed 17 cases at the Suai District Court (SDC).

These cases comprised 3 cases involving simple offences against physical integrity, 2 cases of homicide, 4 cases of rape, 2 cases of aggravated theft, 2 cases of negligent homicide, 2 cases of domestic violence, 1 case of circulating false currency and 1 case of maltreatment against a spouse.

Most of these cases have already been decided. Several of the cases resulted in prison sentences, namely the cases involving the crime of sexual violence and homicide and in several other cases the court issued fines and suspended prison sentences. In addition, defendants in several cases were acquitted because there was a lack of strong evidence. These cases included one involving the charge of sexual violence and another case was dismissed because the parties reconciled before the matter was heard by the court.  Also several other cases were adjourned because the parties did not appear, and the remaining cases are still being processed. 

The information below outlines the hearings conducted:



1. Crime of simple offences against physical integrity, Case No. 120/pen/2012/TDS

Composition of judges: Single
Judge: Pedro Raposo de Figueirera                     
Public Prosecutor: Benvinda da Costa Rosario
Public Defender: João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion: Acquitted

On 10 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case involving simple offences against physical integrity. This case involved the defendant PSBS who allegedly committed the offence against the victim LV on 2 March 2012 in Bobonaro District.

The public prosecutor alleged that the defendant took a rock and threw it at the victim who had just returned from the market. These acts caused the victim to suffer an injury to the cheek.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code regarding simple offences against physical integrity.

The defendant stated that it was true that he threw a rock at the victim causing the victim to suffer a cheek injury. However they reconciled one day after the event and they had no problems before the incident and no problems after.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to acquit the defendant because the defendant admitted all of the facts and because the parties have reconciled. The public defender agreed with the request of the prosecutor to acquit the defendant in this case.

After hearing the final recommendations from the public defender and the two parties, the court concluded the matter and decided to acquit the defendant from the charges.

2. Crime of aggravated rape, Case No. 164/pen/2012/TDS

Composition of judges : Panel
Judge Pedro : Raposo de Figueirera, Florencia Freitas, Costâncio B. Basmery                     
Public Prosecutor: Felismino Garcia Cardoso
Public Defender: João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion: Sentenced to 8 years imprisonment, ordered to pay compensation of $ 1,000 and to pay court costs of $ 300

On 11 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case involving aggravated rape involving the defendant JB who allegedly committed the offence against the victim PM who was underage (14 years old). This case allegedly occurred on 15 March 2012 in Ainaro District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 15 March 2012 at approximately 12pm the defendant went to the victim’s house. The defendant went into the home, shut the door and raped the underage victim.

These acts caused the victim to receive treatment at the Maubisse Referral hospital.

The victim feels too afraid, ashamed and traumatized to interact with other people including her family and school friends. The victim is still living in a temporary shelter in Dili.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant with violating Articles 172 and 173 (d) of the Penal Code that carry a sentence of 5 - 15 years imprisonment as well as Article 173 (d) of the Penal Code.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 12 years imprisonment. This recommendation was based on the evidence presented that shows that the defendant had committed the crime charged by the public prosecutor.

The court concluded this case on 20 June 2013 at 9am and sentenced the defendant to 8 years imprisonment and ordered him to pay compensation to the victim of $1,000. The court also sentenced the defendant to pay court costs of $300.


3. Crime of rape, Case No. 13/pen/2013/TDS
Composition of judges: Panel
Judges: Pedro Raposo de Figueirera, Florencia Freitas,  Costâncio B. Basmery                     
Public Prosecutor: Benvinda da Costa Rosario
Public Defender: João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion: Acquitted

On 11 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of sexual violence involving the defendant DS who allegedly committed the offence against the victim BML. This case allegedly occurred on 22 June 2012 in Bobonaro District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 22 June 2012, at approximately 12 midnight the victim was sound asleep in her room and the defendant grabbed the victim and the victim was shocked and grabbed hold of the defendant’s arm. The victim saw the defendant standing naked in front of her and then the defendant raped the victim.


The public prosecutor charged the defendant pursuant to Article 172 of the Penal Code on rape that carries a sentence of between 5 - 15 years imprisonment.
The defendant stated that he did not rape the victim. The defendant stated that the victim intended to make a big fuss to damage his public image.


In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to acquit the defendant because there was no evidence that the defendant had committed rape against the victim.

The public defender agreed with the public prosecutor’s request to acquit the defendant in this case.

The court concluded this process and decided to acquit the defendant because there was insufficient evidence for a conviction.

4. Crime of aggravated theft, Case No. 01/pen/2013/TDS
Composition of judges: Panel
Judges: Costâncio B.Basmery, Pedro Raposo de Figueireido and Florencia Freitas.                     
Public Prosecutor: Benvinda da Costa Rosario
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : Ongoing

On 12 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of aggravated theft. This case involved the defendants JA, AM and AA who allegedly committed the offence against the State on 8 October 2012 in Ainaro District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 8 October 2013 at approximately 10pm the three defendants stole three long steel poles that were used by the State as electricity poles. The defendants hid them in a coffee plantation.

The public prosecutor charged the defendants for violating Article 252 of the Penal Code on aggravated theft that carries a sentence of between 2 - 8 years imprisonment.

The defendants stated that it was true that they had stolen the steel poles at night time. However the following day they gave them back to the Village Chief.

In her final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to acquit the defendants, because the defendants had admitted all of the facts. The public defender agreed with the public prosecutor’s request to acquit the defendants in this case.

The decision will be announced on 10 July 2013 at 9am.



5. Crime of rape, Case No. 102/pen/2012/TDS
Composition of judges          : Panel
Judges                                     : Costâncio B. Basmery, Pedro Raposo de Figueireido and Florencia Freitas.                     
Public Prosecutor                 : Benvinda da Costa Rosario
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : Sentenced to 8 years imprisonment and ordered to pay court costs of $ 25.

On 13 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of rape involving the defendant CP who allegedly committed the offence against the victim JM. This case allegedly occurred on 24 July 2011 in Bobonaro District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on the evening of 24 July 2011 at approximately 3am the victim together with the defendant left Bloi carrying some rice wine to be sold in Atabae.

During the journey the defendant threatened the victim with a knife and stated that he would kill the victim and dispose of her body in the jungle if the victim didn’t have sexual intercourse with him. After that the defendant removed the victim’s clothing and raped the victim. After committing the rape the defendant also continued to threaten the victim “not to tell her parents”.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant with violating Article 172 and Article 173 (d) of the Penal Code on rape and aggravation.

In her final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to convict the defendant for committing the crime of which he was charged.

The public defender requested for the court to hand down a fair decision against the victim because the defendant admitted all of the facts alleged against him.


After hearing the final recommendations from the public prosecutor and public defender, the court concluded this case and sentenced the defendant to 8 years imprisonment and ordered him to pay court costs of $ 25.

6. Crime of simple offences against physical integrity – Case No. 19/pen/2012/TDS
Composition of judges          : Single
Judge                                      : Pedro Raposo de Figueirera                     
Public Prosecutor                 : Felismino G. Cardoso
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : Ordered to pay a fine of $100 and court costs of US$ 20.

On 10 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case involving simple offences against physical integrity involving the defendant UM who allegedly committed the offence against the victim EAC. This case allegedly occurred on 28 June 2012 in Bobonaro District.


The public prosecutor alleged that on 28 June 2012 at approximately 9am in the Maliana Police Station the victim and the wife of the defendant LR had an argument about a schedule in the office. During the argument the defendant approached the victim and struck her once on each cheek. As a result of these actions the victim suffered bleeding from the mouth and nose and fell to the ground.
The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code regarding simple offences against physical integrity.

In her final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to issue a fine and order the defendant to pay court costs, because the defendant had been proven guilty of assaulting the victim.

On 13 June 2013 the court concluded this case and ordered the defendant to pay a fine of US$100 and court costs of US$20.


7. Crime of homicide - Case No. 27/pen/2013/TDS.
Composition of judges          : Panel
Judges                                     : Pedro Raposo de Figueireido, Costâncio Barros Basmery         
Public Prosecutor                 : Felismino G. Cardoso
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : The defendant OB was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment, and the defendants ALM and FDS were acquitted.

On 11 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of homicide which was registered as Case No. 27/pen/2013/TDS. This case involved the defendants OB, ALM and FDS who allegedly committed the offence against the victim MA. It is alleged that the homicide took place in 2011 in Bobonaro District.

The public prosecutor alleged that the three defendants hit the victim until he fell to the ground then tied the victim’s hands and neck so that the victim could not move or resist. This case allegedly occurred because the defendants and the victim were arguing about land.

The defendant OB stated that he stabbed the victim with a knife two times in the back and once under the armpit which caused the victim to die instantly at the scene of the crime. After killing the victim, the defendant surrendered himself to the Maliana Police Station.


The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 138 of the Penal Code on homicide that carries a sentence of 8 - 20 years imprisonment.
In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the three defendants to 18 year’s imprisonment. The public defender requested for the court to grant justice for the defendants because they had honestly admitted the facts of which they were charged.

On 26 June 2013 the court concluded the case and sentenced the defendant OB to 16 years imprisonment and decided to acquit ALM and FDS.

8. Domestic Violence, Case No. 12/pen/2013/TDS

Composition of judges          : Single
Judge                                      : Costâncio Barros Basmery.
Public Prosecutor                 : Benvinda da Costa Rosario
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : This trial was adjourned because the defendant was absent.

On 18 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of domestic violence involving the defendant JN who allegedly committed the offence against his wife. This case allegedly occurred on 20 April 2013 in Covalima District.


However the hearing could not take place because the defendant did not appear in court even though he had been summoned by the court. Therefore, the trial was adjourned without setting a new date for the continuation of the trial.

9. Crime of circulating false currency, Case No. 94/pen/2013/TDS
Composition of judges          : Panel
Judges                                     : Pedro Raposo de Figueireido, Costâncio Barros Basmery
Public Prosecutor                 : Felismino G. Cardoso
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : This trial was adjourned because the defendant was absent.

On 19 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of circulating false currency involving the defendant JMR who allegedly committed the crime against the victim AVF on 14 July 2011 in Bobonaro District.


However the hearing could not take place because the defendant did not appear in court even though he had been summoned by the court. For this reason the court adjourned the trial without setting a date for the continuation of the trial.

10. Domestic Violence, Case No. 71/pen/2012/TDS
Composition of judges          : Single
Judge                                      : Pedro Raposo de Figueirera                     
Public Prosecutor                 : Felismino G. Cardoso
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : Trial adjourned because the victim was absent.

On 18 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of domestic violence involving the defendant FS who allegedly committed the offence against his wife. . This case allegedly occurred on 11 January 2012 in Bobonaro District.


However the trial of this matter could not take place because the victim was absent. The court did not set a date for the continuation of the trial.

11. Crime of homicide - Case No. 34/pen/2007/TDS
Composition of judges          : Panel
Judges                                     : Pedro Raposo de Figueireido,  Costâncio  Barros Basmery
Public Prosecutor                 : Felismino G. Cardoso
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : Ongoing

On 18 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of homicide involving the defendants JL, CLR, AAB and JDA who allegedly committed the crime against the victim JA. This case allegedly occurred on 19 November 2006 in Ainaro District.

The public prosecutor charged the four defendants for attacking the victim when he was returning from mass.

The defendant CLR stated that he stabbed the victim with a knife two times in the back, once under the armpit and caused the victim to die instantly at the scene.


The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 138 of the Penal Code on homicide that carries a sentence of 8 - 20 years imprisonment.
In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the three defendants to 16 year’s imprisonment. The public defender requested for the court to grant justice to the defendants because they had honestly confessed the facts relating to what they had done.

After hearing the final recommendations from the parties the court adjourned the trial to announce its decision on 18 July 2018 at 9am.


12. Crime of simple offences against physical integrity – Case No. 82/pen/2011/TDS
Composition of judges          : Single
Judge                                      : Costâncio Barros Basmery.
Public Prosecutor                 : Benvinda da Costa Rosario
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : Acquitted

On 10 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case involving simple offences against physical integrity involving the defendant JJA who allegedly committed the offence against the victim DT. This case allegedly occurred in 2011 in Same District.


The public prosecutor alleged that the defendant kicked the victim twice in the forehead and caused the victim to fall to the ground. After falling to the ground the defendant then hit the victim twice in the mouth and chest.
The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code regarding simple offences against physical integrity.

In her final recommendations the public prosecutor stated that the defendant was guilty of committing the crime charged by the public prosecutor. However considering that the defendant and the victim have reconciled and the defendant regretted his actions, the public prosecutor requested for the court to acquit the defendant from the charges.  The public defender agreed to this request.


This case was settled on 21 June 2013 and the court decided to acquit the defendant from the crime of which he was charged.

13. Crime of negligent homicide - Case No. 80/pen/2013/TDS
Composition of judges          : Single
Judge                                      : Costâncio Barros Basmery.
Public Prosecutor                 : Benvinda da Costa Rosario
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : Sentenced to 2 years 4 months jail, suspended for 5 years

On 21 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of negligent homicide which was registered as Case No. 80/pen/2013/TDS. This case involved the defendant MS who allegedly committed the offence against the victim FNS on 19 March 2012 in Bobonaro District.


The public prosecutor alleged that on 19 March 2012, at approximately 8am the defendant was driving a pick-up vehicle and carrying a lot of passengers and their goods. The defendant was driving at high speed and could not reduce his speed when he was travelling downhill on a steep road.  For this reason the pick-up vehicle overturned and caused the victim to die instantly at the scene and 7 other passengers suffered serious injuries and some suffered minor injuries.

Because of his negligence the public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 140 of the Penal Code on negligent homicide which carries a sentence of 4 years imprisonment or a fine.

The defendant stated that he had already paid two buffalo, one goat, one gold hairpiece, as well as US$500 to the family of the deceased for the funeral.
In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 3 year’s imprisonment, to be suspended for 4 years.

The public defender requested for the court to hand down a lenient suspended sentence against the defendant because he had admitted all of the facts in accordance with what he had done.

This matter was then decided on 27 June 2013 and the court sentenced the defendant to 2 years 4 months imprisonment, suspended for 5 years.


14. Negligent Homicide, Case No. 109/pen/2013/TDS
Composition of judges          : Single
Judge                                      : Costâncio Barros Basmery.
Public Prosecutor                 : Benvinda da Costa Rosario
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : Acquitted

On 21 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of negligent homicide involving the defendant MR who allegedly committed the offence against the victim FR. This case allegedly occurred in December 2012 in Maliana, Bobonaro District.


The public prosecutor alleged that on 14 December 2012 at approximately 7am, the defendant was driving a public bus towards Dili. When the defendant was driving the vehicle the victim jumped out of the vehicle because the victim had left some things behind.

As a result of this accident the victim suffered a serious injury to his head and heavy bleeding. The victim then lost consciousness. The defendant took the victim to the Maliana Referral Hospital for treatment however because of the serious injury the victim could not be saved and he passed away at the hospital.

The defendant stated that he had given US$ 4,200 to the family of the victim.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 140 of the Penal Code on negligent homicide which carries a sentence of 4 years imprisonment or a fine.
In her final recommendations the public prosecutor fully trusted the court to use its discretion to decide this case.

This matter was then decided on 27 June 2013 and the court acquitted the defendant from the charges.



15. Crime of aggravated theft, Case No. 127/pen/2012/TDS
Composition of judges          : Panel
Judges                                     : Costâncio B. Basmery,  Pedro Raposo de  Figueireido and Hugo da Cruz Pui                    
Public Prosecutor                 : Benvinda da Costa Rosario
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : Sentenced to 2 years, 6 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 3 years

On 26 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of aggravated theft involving the defendant AG who allegedly committed the offence against the State. This case allegedly occurred on 14 April 2012 in Bobonaro District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 14 April 2012 at 7pm the defendant cut a cable and a yellow colored steel cable used for electrical installations and then stored the goods at his house.

The public prosecutor charged the defendants for violating Article 252 of the Penal Code on aggravated theft that carries a sentence of between 2 - 8 years imprisonment.

The defendant stated that he cut the cable however the following morning he immediately handed it over to the local Village Chief.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 3 year’s imprisonment, to be suspended for 2 years.

The public defender requested for the court to hand down a lenient punishment against the defendant because the defendant admitted all of the facts alleged against him.


The court settled the matter and sentenced the defendant to 2 years 6 months imprisonment, to be suspended for 3 years.

16. Crime of maltreatment of a spouse - Case No. 95/pen/2012/TDS
Composition of judges          : Panel
Judges                                     : Pedro Raposo de  Figueireido,  Hugo da Cruz Pui,  Costâncio Barros Basmery.                   
Public Prosecutor                 : Benvinda da Costa Rosario
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : Ongoing

On 27 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of maltreatment against a spouse. This case involved the defendant JB who allegedly committed the offence against his wife. This case allegedly occurred on 6 January 2012 in Bobonaro District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 6 January 2012 at approximately 9am the defendant argued with the victim about some money to buy some sand. The victim accused the defendant of taking sand and dumping it on the side of the road, however the defendant said that he wasn’t the one who took the sand.

However the victim did not believe the defendant and the defendant became angry and threw a tin of biscuits at the victim and struck her in the mouth causing an injury and bleeding.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 154 of the Penal Code on maltreatment of a spouse that carries a sentence of between 2 - 6 years imprisonment.

The defendant stated that he threw the biscuit tin at the victim, however they have reconciled and there are no longer any problems. The defendant promised not to reoffend in the future.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 2 year’s imprisonment, to be suspended for 4 years.

The public defender requested for the court to hand down a fair punishment against the defendant because the defendant admitted all of the facts alleged against him.

After hearing the recommendations of the two parties, the court adjourned the trial to announce its decision on 12 July 2013, at 2:30 pm.


17. Crime of rape, Case No. 12/pen/2013/TDS
Composition of judges          : Panel
Judges                                     : Pedro Raposo de Figueireido,   Costâncio Barros Basmery,  Hugo  da Cruz  Pui.                     
Public Prosecutor                 : Benvinda da Costa Rosario
Public Defender                    : João Henrique de Carvalho
Conclusion                             : Ongoing

On 26 June 2013 the Suai District Court conducted a hearing in a case of rape involving the defendant AL who allegedly committed the offence against the victim VDS. This case allegedly occurred on 25 September 2012 in Bobonaro District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 25 September 2012 at approximately 12 midnight the defendant went to the home of the victim then turned off the electricity and went into the bedroom of the victim.

When the victim was shocked to see the defendant standing in front of her the defendant told the victim ‘don’t be afraid because you asked me to come here”. However the victim stated that the defendant was talking nonsense. However, the defendant then raped the victim.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 172 of the Penal Code on rape that carries a sentence of between 5 - 15 years imprisonment.


The defendant stated that he had sexual intercourse with the victim on that night because they both consented, and he did not force the victim to have sexual intercourse.

In her final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 8 year’s imprisonment because the defendant had been proven guilty of committing the crime.

After hearing the recommendations of the public prosecutor the court decided to adjourn the case until 12 July 2013 at 10 am to read out its decision. Source: JSMP Press Release 19 September 2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

Related post: Summary of the trial process at the Oecusse District Court during the third week of June 2013

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