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21 September 2008

Free Angelita Pires

East Timor Legal News 21/09/2008 2200 hrs AEST - The Australia-based family of Ms. Angelita Pires, Australian citizen and former partner of deceased East Timor rebel leader, Major Alfredo Reinado Alves, has called on the Australian government to demand that the East Timor government bring legally admissible charges against her, or return her Australian Passport.

The family, through her brother, Mr. Antonio Pires, has asked that all foreign aid to East Timor be suspended until the East Timor government complies with such a demand.

"The incompetence and corruption of East Timor’s government is only matched by the cowardice and gutless inhumanity of Kevin Rudd’s government," said Mr. Pires.

"We, the family of Angelita Pires, have appealed to the Australian government to extradite Angelita Pires to Australia on humanitarian grounds on an undertaking that her passport would be held by authorities to guarantee her return to East Timor to face any legally admissible charges."

Ms. Pires has been the subject of scathing accusations by the President of East Timor, Jose Ramos-Horta, as a participant in a conspiracy to assissinate him on 11 February 2008 when Major Alfredo was, according to an autopsy report, shot at close range in the grounds of the President's residence in Dili.

Ms. Pires' passport has been confiscated by the East Timorese authorities and she is unable to leave East Timor even though no charges have been laid against her by the Prosecutor-General, Longinhos Monteiro, with whom Ms. Pires worked in the United Nations Serious Crimes Unit in East Timor.

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