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17 September 2008

Legal Reports National Media 16 September 2008

East Timor no longer needs International Stabilisation Force-United Nations Police - Suara Timor Lorosae 16 September 2008
The Prime Minister of East Timor, Xanana Gusmao said on Monday (15/9/08) that the presence of the International Stabilisation Force (ISF) and the United Nations Police (UNPol)is no lonber needed because they create difficulties for the country's Defence Force and its National Police in executing their functions.

"Timor should not accustom itself to getting into a situation where the people disturb each other, the solution has to come from foreign forces and in order to deal with arguments we have to ask for help from foreign police and then after that they start to accuse each other," Xanana explained.

Xanana added, "We see ISF wandering around East Timor though our force only stays in their headquarters; we see the United Nations Police wanting our police to ask permission from them should they want to deal with a problem, only complicating the problem."

CNRT Party Bench Leader in the National Parliament Eduardo Barreto "Dusae" said that Timor-Leste does not need the presence of the ISF here as the situation gets back to normal.

However, Fretilin MP Estanislau Aleixo da Silva said, the work of the PNTL is extremely challenging so there it needs continued capacity development and support. He also suggested the government choose a particular country to have comparative study for the officials of the PNTL.

Meanwhile, the UNPol Acting Commissioner Juan Carlos Arevalo believed that the PNTL is capable of taking the security responsibility. However, he added, UNPOL will keep monitoring the development of the PNTL in maintaining law and order here.

Government to cancel the purchase of two patrol boats – Timor Post 16 September 2008
Minister for Defense and Security Xanana Gusmao said on Monday (15/9) that he had ordered Secretary of State for Security Francisco Guterres to cancel the agreement of buying two patrol boats from China. The reason for the cancellation of the patrol boats purchasing is due to the increase in its original price.

"I have asked the Secretary of State for Security to cancel the agreement made with China in relation to the purchase of two boats and to request the return of money already paid" said Gusmao. Xanana also explained that during his recent visit to Australia he was frequently asked why Timor-Leste only want to buy boats from China.

"Australia nation questioned me why we always want to buy boats only from China however I told the Australian that we in Timor-Leste would like to buy two boats for maritime police but since China keeps increasing the price we then decided to cancel it," he added.

11 February ballistic examination to arrive in the next week says Attorney-General Monteiro – Timor Post 16 September 2008
East Timor's Attorney General Longuinhos Monteiro informed Monday (15/6) that next week the results of the ballistic examination into the events of 11 February which had been done by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) would arrive in Dili, paving the way for the justice process in the court.

Longuinhos visited Australia last week to closely monitor the investigation process where he found out that the investigators had establsihed several things, including the type of weapon used to shoot the President of the Republic.

He said that the user of the weapon has also been identified but due to existing law he could not tell the public while the investigation is underway. However, he added that once the results of the ballistic examination arrive, he would present them to the court.

66 newly recruited PNTL undergo basic training – Televizaun Timor-Leste 16 September 2008
At least 66 newly recruited members of the East Timor National Police underwent a basic training course in Dili recently in order to improve their knowledge and capacity to better serve the people and the country. The Director of the PNTL Academy Police Carlos Jeronimo said that the training was designed for 250 new members of the PNTL who could not complete their training due to 2006 crises.

He added that similar training would be given to 3,196 members of the active PNTL in the immediate future. Jeronimo stressed that those who did not take part in the training would have lost their rights to be members of the PNTL. Though the training itself is not easy, the participants were happy to take part in it as it would help them to improve their capacity in the future.

"I am happy because though the training is hard it is designed to improve our capacity, to have confidence building and to listen to each other and to respect each other in serving and protecting the people and the country," said Teodolindo Alves Correia.

Four of the participants are women and the training itself was carried out by the members of the PNTL.

IDPs in Watulari demanded Government's attention for their plight - Radio Timor-Leste 15 September 2008
Around 180 families of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Matahoi village in Uatulari demanded the attention of the state for their plight as they have been IDPs for more than two years but there is no humanitarian assistance provided to ease their suffering.

A spokesperson of IDP groups, Augusto da Silva, said Monday (15/9) that they have been IDPs since the 2007 post election political crises. However, he added, no state institutions had helped them out.He explained that there were lot promises, including from the President of the Republic, to help the group but to date those promises are still kept unfulfilled.

Traditional laws to be upheld? Radio Timor-Leste 15 September 2008
The head of Tulatakeu village in Remexio, Aileu said Monday (15/9) the village would apply traditional laws to regulate criminal acts such as homicide; stealing and destruction of environment should these things happen in the village.

Adolfo Mendonça said that based on the traditional laws there are two categories of penalties to be imposed.

He explained, for a serious offense, the perpetrator would be given penalties which include payment of a water buffalo, cash of US$50, a box of alcohol and a box of cigarettes.

However, for petty crimes, a perpetrator is demanded to pay a goat, a pig, a sack of rice, and US$25 cash.

He said that such penalties are agreed upon to restore law and order and respect for the environment in the village. The adoption of the local traditional law was also witnessed by the Secretary of State for Environmental issues, Abilio de Jesus Lima.

TL loses $36 M due to illegal foreign fishing - Radio Timor-Leste 15 September 2008
East Timor is estimated to lose more than US$35 million every year due to illegal fishing in its national territory by foreign ships.

National Director for the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Lourenco dos Reis Amaral, made the statement Monday (15/9) in relation to the loss on the Timor side due to illegal fish catching in the Timor Sea areas belonging to Timor-Leste. The figure is made based on the number of ships illegally fishing in the territory of Timor-Leste.

East Timor Law Journal - Towards the rule of law in Timor-Leste.

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