03 July 2014

Gender-Based Violence in Dili and Baucau District Courts January 2014



ETLJB  03/07/2014 JSMP's monitoring of gender based violence cases in the Dili and Baucau District Courts during January 2014 -  In January 2014 the Women’s Justice Unit of JSMP continued its observation of cases involving gender based violence at the Dili District and Baucau District Courts.

This edition will summarize the trials of 7 cases. 3 of these cases weretried at the Dili District Court and the other 4 cases were tried at the Baucau District Court.

From these 7 cases, 6 were categorized as simple offences against physical integrity and the other case involved a joinder of crimes.From the aforementioned cases, 2 resulted in prison sentences with suspended execution, and in 5 cases the parties have provided their final recommendations, and in the case involving a joinder of crimes evidence is still being examined.

The information below summarizes each case:

1.     Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as Domestic Violence, Case No.266/2013/TDD

Judge                            : Duarte Tilman Soares
Public Prosecutor         : Jaçinto Babo
Public Defender            : Sergio Paulo Dias Quintas (public defender)
Conclusion                    : Ongoing

On 23 January 2014 the Dili District Court conducted a hearing in a case against the defendant RG who allegedly committed the crime of simple offences against the physical integrity of his wife, characterized as domestic violence.This case allegedly occured di Dili District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 6 June 2013 the defendant choked the victim, held both of the victim’s hands and pushed her to the ground.These acts caused the victim to suffer injuries to her knees and toes.

The incident occured because the victim had an argument and hit a woman who she suspected of having an affair with the defendant, at the workplace of the defendant.

In relation to this incident the public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code on simple offences against physical integrity in conjunction with Article 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence.

During the trial the defendant admitted to the court that all of the charges of the public prosecutor were true.In addition, the defendant regretted his actions and stated that after the incident they reconciled.When the court sought confirmation with the the victim, she also said that they had reconciled.

In his recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to a fine because the defendant committed the crime in public and injured the victim.

In his final statement the lawyer for the defendant stated that the defendant had cooperated with the court to find the truth, regretted his actions, has reconciled with the victim and is responsible for his family, therefore he requested for the court to apply a fair and appropriate punishment against the defendant.

After hearing the recommendations of the public prosecutor and the lawyer for the defendant, the court adjourned the trial until 30 January 2014 at 9.00 am.

2.     Joinder of Crimes, Case No. 148/Crm.C/2013/TDB

Judges                           : Afonso Carmona, António Fonseca Monteiro, José Gonçalves
Public defender             : Aderito Tilman
Public Defender            : Grigorio de Lima (Public Defender)
Conclusion                    : Ongoing

On 28 January 2014 the Baucau District Court held a trial against 3 defendants (JCX, CMX no MRA) who allegedly committed a joinder of crimes involving the crime of trespass, the crime of simple offences against the physical integrity of the victim MMG, and the crime of theft.In addition to these three crimes, the defendant MRA allegeded raped the wife of MMG.This case allegedly occured in Baucau District on 10 January 2011.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 10 January 2011 the defendants entered the victim’s home and were carrying  a knife and a machete.The defendant JCX stabbed the victim MMG with the knife above his left eye causing an injury.The defendant CMX kicked the victim and caused him to fall to the ground and then tied the victim to a pole.

In addition, the defendant MRA dragged the victim outside of the house and tied her to a tree, the defendant removed the sarong of the victim and used force to have sexual intercourse with the victim and threatened to kill the victim.

The defendants went into the home of the victim, took $800, two traditional objects (belak), 1 traditional necklace (morten talin), 5 women’s sarongs and 5 men's sarongs and 2 cassettes.The total value of the goods was estimated to be $ 2,609.

The public prosecutor charged the defendants for committing the crime of robbery (Article 253 of the Penal Code), the crime of trespass (Article 185 of the Penal Code), the crime of simple offences against physical integrity (Article 145 of the Penal Code) and the crime of rape (Article 172 of the Penal Code).

During the trial, the defendants denied all of the facts alleged by the public prosecutor against them and stated that at the time of the incidenteach one of them was with their family in their respective homes.

After hearing the testimony of the defendants the court adjourned the trial until 6 February 2014 at 10.00 am to hear testimony from the victims and the witnesses.

3.     Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as Domestic Violence, Case No.237/Crm.S/2013/TDB

Judge                            : António Fonseca Monteiro
Public Prosecutor         : Aderito Tilman
Public Defender            : Grigorio de Lima (Public Defender)
Conclusion                    : A prison sentence of 4 months was imposed; however it was  suspended for 6 months

On 29 January 2014 the Baucau District Court conducted a hearing against the defendant AJM for allegedly committing the crime of simple offences against the physical integrity of her husband.This case allegedly occurred in Baucau District.

The public prosecutor alleged  that on 11 January 2013 the defendant and the victim were arguing about their children and then for a reason that remains unclear the defendant hit the victim with a piece of wood on his left side and struck his left and right legs causing an injury to his waist and bruising to his legs.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code on simple offences against physical integrity in conjunction with Article 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence.

During the trial the defendant stated that all of the facts alleged by the prosecutor were true, regretted her actions and stated that the defendant has tried to reconcile however the victim refused, so currently they are separated.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 3 months jail, suspended for 6 months because the defendant admitted all of the facts, regretted her actions and tried to reconcile with the victim, however the victim refused.

In his final recommendation the public defender stated that the defendant cooperated with the court to find the truth, regretted her actions, and tried to reconcile with the victim, however the victim refused, so therefore he requested for the court to issue an appropriate penalty against the defendant.

After the examination of evidence and final recommendations of the parties the court examined all of the facts revealed during the trial and considered the mitigating and aggravating circumstances in this case, and the court sentenced the defendant to four months jail, suspended for 6 months.

4.     Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as Domestic Violence,Case No. 173/Crm.S/2012/TDB

Judge                                      : José Gonçalves
Public Prosecutor                   : Aderito Tilman
Public Defender                     : Grigorio de Lima (Public Defender)
Conclusion                              : Ongoing

On 30 January 2014 the Baucau District Court tried the defendant AXH who allegedly committed the crime of ordinary maltreatment against his wife in Baucau District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 9 September 2011 at 7pm the victim was watching television at a neighbor’s home and the defendant followed her and dragged her out of the home, slapped her twice in the mouth, once on her left cheek, strangled her and kicked her in the stomach and hit the victim twice on her back.

These acts caused the victim to suffer an injury to her mouth, suffer pain to her cheek, throat, stomach and back.

The public prosecutor alleged that the defendant violated Article 145 of the Penal Code on simple offences against physical integrity in conjunction with Article 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence.

The defendant stated that all of the facts alleged by the public prosecutor were true.The defendant regretted his actions and said that they have reconciled.

After hearing the testimony of the defendant, the public prosecutor told the court that it was not necessary to hear witness testimony because the defendant had already confessed.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor concluded that the defendant regretted his actions and has reconciled with the victim, therefore he requested for the court to consider the mitigating circumstances and requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 4 months jail, suspended for 7 months.

In his final recommendation the public defender concluded that the defendant had cooperated with the court to find the truth, regretted his actions, has reconciled with the victim and is responsible for their family and therefore he requested for the court to issue an appropriate penalty.

After hearing the recommendations of the parties the court adjourned the trial to announce its decision on 11 February 2014 at 09.00 am.

5.     Crime of simple offences against physical integrity,Case No.244/Crm.S/2013/TDB

Judge                            : Afonso Carmona
Public Prosecutor         : Aderito Tilman
Public Defender            : Juvinál Yanes Freitas (public defender)
Conclusion                    : Ongoing

On 30 January 2014 the Baucau District Court conducted a hearing in a case involving simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence involving the defendant CJF who allegedly committed the offence against his wife.This case allegedly occurred in Baucau District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 8 September 2012 the defendant and the victim had an argument about traditional law (fetosaan no umane).Because the defendant was unhappy about this issue he took a crowbar and hit the victim on her left calf, pulled her hair and threw her on the ground and punched her once in the mouth, causing her pain and injury.

During the trial, the defendant admitted all of the facts alleged by the public prosecutor, however he expressed his regret and has reconciled with the victim.Considering the confession of the defendant, the prosecutor requested for the court not to hear the testimony of the victim and to proceed to the final recommendations.

The public prosecutor alleged that the defendant violated Article 145 of the Penal Code on simple offences against physical integrity in conjunction with Article 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence.

In his final recommendations, the public prosecutor requested for the court to sentence the defendant to 3 months jail, suspended for 6 months, because the defendant cooperated with the court to find the truth.

The public defender concluded that the defendant had confessed and regretted his actions, has reconciled with the victim and is responsible for their family.Based on these circumstances the public defender requested for the court to issue an admonishment in order to avoid limiting the freedom of the defendant.

After hearing the final recommendations of the prosecutor and the public defender, the court adjourned the trial until 13 February 2014, at 2pm to read out its decision.

6.     Crime of simple offences against physical integrity,Case No.442/2013/TDD

Judge                            : Jacinta Correia da Costa 
Public Prosecutor         : Ivonia Maria Guterres
Public Defender            : Marçal Masçarenhas (public defender)
Conclusion                    : Sentenced to 5 months jail, suspended for 1 year.

On 3 February 2014 the Dili District Court conducted a hearing in a case involving simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence allegedly committed by the defendant AdFS against his wife in Liquica District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 26 June 2013 at 1pm the defendant hit the victim once on the head and slapped her on the arm twice causing her to suffer pain to her head and forearm.

This case allegedly occurred because the defendant told their children to eat some biscuits, but the children did not want to eat, so the defendant hit them and then the victim intervened, so the defendant became angry and this led to an argument and finally resulted in the defendant assaulting the victim.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code on simple offences against physical integrity in conjunction with Article 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence.

During the trial, the defendant admitted all of the facts alleged against him, expressed his regret, has reconciled with the victim and promised not to reoffend in the future.The victim also told the court that all of the charges were true.

In her final recommendation the public prosecutor requested for the court to suspend a prison sentence of one month for 3 years, whilst the public defender requested for the court to issue a fair punishment against the defendant.

After evaluating all of the facts the court decided to sentence the defendant to 5 months jail, suspended for 1 year.

7.     Crime of simple offences against physical integrity, characterized as Domestic Violence.Case No.128/2013/TDD.

Judge                            : Antonino Gonçalves
Public Prosecutor         : Jose Ello (trainee prosecutor)
Public Defender            : Rui Manuel Guterres (public defender)
Conclusion                    : Ongoing

On 27 January 2014 the Dili District Court conducted a hearing in a case involving simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence involving the defendant KO who allegedly committed the offence against his wife, in Liquica District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 15 February 2012, at approximately 9am the defendant hit the victim twice on the head and kicked her twice on her waist, then threw a helmet at the victim which knocked her to the ground.The incident occurred because the defendant was not happy because the victim accused him of sleeping with his mistress and that is why he did not come home.

The public prosecutor alleged that the defendant violated Article 145 of the Penal Code on simple offences against physical integrity in conjunction with Article 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence.

During the trial, the defendant confirmed the alleged facts and expressed regret and promised not to reoffend in the future.In addition, the court sought confirmation from the victim and the victim stated that the defendant did in fact commit the aforementioned acts.

After hearing the final recommendations of the parties, the court adjourned the trial until 11 January 2014, at 4pm to announce its decision. Source: JSMP Press Release 25 March 2014

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