01 November 2014

Summary of the trial process at the Oecusse District Court May 2014

ETLJB 01/11/2014 From the East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program 14 August 2014 - Introduction

In May 2014 JSMP continued to conduct monitoring of trials at the Oecusse District Court. During this period JSMP observed 7 cases from a total of 21 cases that were tried at the Oecusse District Court.

6 of these 7 cases involved simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence and the other case involved simple offences against physical integrity. From these seven cases, 1 case of domestic violence resulted in a penalty of 1 year in prison, and in 4 cases the court issued a fine. The other two cases are still ongoing.

JSMP observed that the Oecusse District Court continues to make positive steps forward in its handling of cases involving domestic violence. The court sentenced a defendant to 1 year in prison for committing the crime of domestic violence against his wife while the defendant was serving a suspended sentence. This decision is a positive step forward in implementing the Law Against Domestic Violence. JSMP believes that this decision can have a deterrent effect on the defendant and for the community in general.

Nevertheless, JSMP notes that the court continues to issue fines in cases of domestic violence which has been a concern for some time. JSMP believes that a fine is not the appropriate penalty in cases of domestic violence because it will place a financial burden on the family.

The information below outlines the cases observed:

1.      Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence - Case No. 63/crime/2014/TDO

Composition of judges                        : Single judge

Judge                                                   : João Ribeiro

Public Prosecutor                                : Alfonso Lopez

Public Defender                                  : Afonso Gomes Fatima

Conclusion                                          : Sentenced to 1 year in prison

On 1 May 2014 the Oecusse District Court tried AQ for committing the crime of simple offences against physical integrity against two victims, being his wife and child. This case occurred on 28 August 2013 in Oecusse District.

In this case the public prosecutor alleged that on 28 August 2013, at approximately 1am, the defendant punched his wife in the forehead and choked her and slapped his child once. This case allegedly occurred because the victims were asleep and did not prepare food for the defendant. In addition to the violence committed against the victims, the defendant also verbally abused the victims.



The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code together with the Law Against Domestic Violence.



During the trial the defendant testified that he regretted the acts he committed against the victims.



In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested the court to sentence the defendant to a minimum of 30 days and maximum of 3 years in prison because the defendant committed the crime of while he was serving a suspended sentence.



On the other hand, the public defender requested the court to provide justice for the defendant because he confessed and regretted his actions.



This case was decided on 6 May 2014, and the court sentenced the defendant to 1 year in prison because he was found guilty of committing the crime of simple offences against physical integrity against his wife and child.



Previously, on 9 April 2013, the court had sentenced the defendant to a suspended sentence of 9 months for committing simple offences against physical integrity against his wife.



2.   Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence – Case No. 68/crime/2014/TDO

Composition of judges                        : Single

Judge                                                   : João Ribeiro

Public Prosecutor                                : Alfonso Lopez

Public Defender                                  : Afonso de Fatima

Conclusion                                          : Ordered to pay a fine of $60.



On 6 May 2014 the Oecusse District Court conducted a hearing and proceeded to announce its decision against the defendant AMO and ordered him to pay a fine of US$60.

The court found that the defendant committed the crime of simple offences against the physical integrity of his wife (JdRM). The defendant used a piece of wood to hit the victim once on her left side and once on her right arm causing the victim to suffer swelling and injuries. This case occurred on 23 September 2013 in Oecusse District.

The court concluded this matter based on the testimony of the defendant who admitted all of the facts during the examination phase of the trial.

In this case the Public Prosecutor alleged that on 23 September 2013 the defendant used a piece of wood to hit the victim once on her left side and once on her right arm causing the victim to suffer swelling and injuries. This case occurred because the victim was unhappy when the defendant came home drunk.

During the examination process the defendant admitted the facts alleged by the public prosecutor and the defendant told the court that he regretted his actions.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested the court to issue an appropriate and fair fine against defendant because the defendant had been proven guilty of committing violence against the victim.

On the other hand, the public defender requested the court to issue an appropriate fine against the defendant because the defendant had cooperated well with the court and was willing to pay a fine in accordance with his actions. The public defender concluded his defence and requested the court to consider the mitigating circumstances, for example the fact that the defendant and the victim reconciled after the incident.

Based on the examination of evidence, the court concluded this process and ordered the defendant to pay a fine of US$60 to be paid in daily instalments of US$1.00 for 60 days. In addition, the court stipulated an alternative punishment of 60 days jail. The court also stipulated an alternative punishment of 40 days jail if the defendant does not pay the fine.

3.      Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence - Case No. 65/crime/2014/TDO

Composition of judges                        : Single

Judge                                                   : João Ribeiro

Public Prosecutor                                : Alfonso Lopez

Public Defender                                  : Calisto Tout

Conclusion                                          : Ordered to pay a fine of US$ 60.

  

On 6 May 2014 the Oecusse District Court conducted a hearing and ordered the defendant JE to pay a fine of US$60.

The court found the defendant guilty of committing simple offences against the physical integrity of his wife as stated in the indictment of the public prosecutor. This case occurred on 26 November 2013 in Oecusse District. This decision was based on the testimony of the defendant that he did in fact commit the crime against his wife.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 26 November 2013 the defendant choked the victim twice, pulled the victim’s hair with great force and put his fingers into the victim’s mouth and ripped the mouth of the victim.

These acts caused the victim to experience difficulties in swallowing and the inside of her mouth was painful. This case allegedly occurred because the victim did not prepare food for the defendant and the defendant became angry and verbally abused the victim and ordered the victim to sleep with another man. These words caused them to have an argument and the defendant committed violence against the victim.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested the court to hand down a fair penalty befitting the actions of the defendant.

On the other hand, the public defender requested the court to apply an appropriate and fair fine because the defendant cooperated well with the court, the defendant and the victim have reconciled, and therefore he requested for the court to provide justice.

Based on the facts established during the trial and the final recommendations of the parties the court found the defendant guilty of committing the crime. Therefore, the court ordered the defendant to pay a fine of US$ 60 to be paid in daily instalments US$ 1.00 for 60 days. The court also stipulated an alternative punishment of 40 days jail if the defendant does not pay the fine.

4.      Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence - Case No.  61/crime/2014/TDO

Composition of judges                        : Single

Judge                                                   : João Ribeiro

Public Prosecutor                                : Alfonso Lopez

Public Defender                                  : Afonso de Fatima

Conclusion                                          : Ordered to pay a fine of US$ 60.



On 7 May 2014 the Oecusse District Court conducted a hearing and ordered the defendant RdC to pay a fine of US$60. The court found the defendant guilty of committing the crime of simple offences against physical integrity against his wife on 27 November 2014 in Pante Makasar, Oecusse District.

This evidence was based on the testimony of the defendant who admitted the alleged facts and regretted his actions.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 27 November 2013 the defendant became angry and threw a plate of rice at the victim’s chest. The victim did not accept the defendant’s actions and threw the plate of rice back at the chest of the defendant. This case allegedly occurred because the victim tipped out some Chinese alcohol that was given by a Chinese friend.

During the trial the defendant admitted the facts and told the court that he regretted his actions.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested the court to issue an appropriate and fair fine against defendant because the defendant had been proven guilty of committing violence against the victim.

The public defender requested the court to order the defendant to pay a fine because the defendant cooperated with the court and was willing to pay a fine proportional to the actions that he committed.

In addition, the public defender also considered the good intentions of the defendant to reconcile with the victim at the time of the incident. Therefore, the public defender concluded his defence by requesting for the court to uphold justice.

After examining all of the facts relating to this case the court concluded the matter and ordered the defendant to pay a fine of US$60 in daily instalments of US$1.00 for 60 days. The court also stipulated an alternative punishment of 40 days jail if the defendant does not pay the fine.

5.      Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence - Case No. 64/crime/2014/TDO

Composition of judges            : Single

Judge                                      : João Ribeiro

Public Prosecutor                    : Alfonso Lopez

Public Defender                      : Calisto Tout

Conclusion                              : Ordered to pay a fine of US$ 60.



On 7 May 2014 the Oecusse District Court conducted a hearing and ordered the defendant CT to pay a fine of US$60. This case alleged occurred on 12 October 2013 in Oecusse District.

The court found the defendant guilty of committing simple offences against physical integrity against the victim RSA (his wife) in accordance with the facts stated in the indictment of the public prosecutor.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 12 October 2013 the defendant slapped the victim once on her right ear, kicked the left armpit of the victim causing the victim to fall to the ground and continued to step on the victim’s elbow.

These actions caused the victim to suffer pain to her elbow, armpit and swelling to her ear. This case allegedly occurred because the defendant borrowed US$ 20 and did not tell the victim and in the end this made the victim angry so they argued.

During the examination of evidence the defendant admitted these facts and told the court that he regretted his actions and promised not to reoffend in the future.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested the court to issue an appropriate and fair fine against the defendant because the defendant had been proven guilty of committing violence against the victim.

The public defender requested for the court to issue a fair and appropriate fine against the defendant because the defendant and the victim have reconciled, the defendant cooperated with the court and was willing to pay a fine proportional to the actions that he committed.

After evaluating the facts established during the trial as well as the final recommendations of the parties, the court concluded this matter and ordered the defendant to pay a fine of US$60 in daily instalments of US$1 for 60 days. The court also stipulated an alternative punishment of 40 days jail if the defendant does not pay the fine.

6.      Crime of simple offences against physical integrity characterized as domestic violence - Case No. 78/crime/2014/TDO

Composition of judges            : Single

Judge                                       : João Ribeiro

Public Prosecutor                    : Alfonso Lopez

Public Defender                      : Calisto Tout, Jhon Ndun

Conclusion                              : Ongoing



On 26 May 2014 the Oecusse District Court tried the defendant FT for committing the crime of simple offences against physical integrity against the victim MM (his wife) on 30 August 2013 in Oecusse District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 30 August 2013 the defendant slapped the victim twice on her left ear causing the victim to fall to the ground and she suffered pain, redness and swelling to her cheek. This case allegedly occurred because the victim took a motorcycle taxi to fetch a saucepan from another location without the knowledge of the defendant. Therefore, the defendant became angry and struck the victim.

During the examination process the defendant admitted all of the facts alleged by the public prosecutor and the defendant testified that he regretted his actions.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested the court to issue an appropriate and fair fine against the defendant.

On the other hand, the public defender requested the court to issue an appropriate and lenient fine against the defendant because the defendant had cooperated well with the court and was willing to pay a fine in accordance with his actions. The public defender also requested the court to consider the mitigating circumstances such as the fact that the defendant has reconciled with the victim, and therefore requested the court to acquit the defendant from the charges.

After hearing the final recommendations of the parties, the court adjourned the trial to announce its decision on 9 June 2014, at 11am.

7. Crime of simple offences against physical integrity - Case No. 77/crime/2014/TDO

Composition of judges            : Single

Judge                                       : João Ribeiro

Public Prosecutor                    : Alfonso Lopez

Public Defender                      : Calisto Tout, Jhon Ndun

Conclusion                              : Ongoing



On 27 May 2014 the Oecusse District Court conducted a hearing in a case of simple offences against physical integrity involving the defendant AVdA against the victim ADCN, on 10 January 2014, on the main road of Padiamu, in Oecusse District.

The public prosecutor alleged that on 10 January 2014, at approximately 5pm, the defendant was riding a motorcycle and struck the victim who was walking on the edge of the road causing the victim to suffer swelling and pain.

The public prosecutor charged the defendant for violating Article 145 of the Penal Code regarding simple offences against physical integrity. However, after the examination of evidence the public prosecutor also charged the defendant with Article 207 for driving without a license.

During the trial the defendant admitted that he did not have a license, however the defendant denied the facts contained in the indictment of the public prosecutor regarding Article 145 of the Penal Code.

In his final recommendations the public prosecutor requested the court to hand down an appropriate penalty against the defendant pursuant to Article 145 of the Penal Code.

Meanwhile the public defender requested the court to acquit the defendant from the charge of simple offences against physical integrity and requested the court to issue a fine in relation to the crime of driving without a license.

After hearing the final recommendations of the parties, the court adjourned the trial to announce its decision on 9 June 2014, at 11am.
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