04 November 2008

East Timor Legal News 14 October 2008

AMP MPs met three days in Dare to discuss 2009 State Budget - Ofelino can be in prison for 5 years for negligence - Foreign minister welcomes ISF commander - Parliament decides to invite International Transparency - Carrascalao is possible to be appointed for deputy PM - Belo denies an attempted attack to him - President Horta questions continuation of investigation into 1999 human right violations

AMP MPs met three days in Dare to discuss 2009 State Budget - Suara Timor Lorosae 14 October
2008 - President of the National Council of the Majority Parliamentary Alliance (AMP) Fernando 'La Sama' de Araujo said Monday that the AMP had three days meeting in Dare where they discussed among others the issues of 2009’s state budget and cabinet reshuffle.

Lasama said the meeting is a normal process because the government was formed by the Parliament and therefore it is reasonable to know the programs of the government for 2009. He added that during the meeting many AMP MPs called upon the cabinet reshuffle to be done soon by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.

MP Estanislau Aleixo da Silva of Fretilin said that the government had failed to fulfill its promise to the people to do reform in many public sectors. He said that the government is not serious in dealing with allegations of corruption mushrooming in many government’s departments.

He said that now the Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Industry does not work properly as he is becoming a walking ministry for businessmen, buyers and vendors. He also added that up to date there is no proposal yet from the government about next year’s budget to be discussed though the proposal has to be submitted three months before the entry of the new fiscal year.

Ofelino can be in prison for 5 years for negligence - Suara Timor Lorosae 14 October 2008 - Dili District PNTL Commander Inspector Pedro Belo said Monday that according to Indonesian penal code article 359, Agent Ofelino Filomeno can be charged for negligence and the maximum sentence could be up to five years behind bars.

“That's what the law says but it depends highly on the investigation process,” said Belo. He said that Ofelino will be disciplined as well for taking pistol with him when he is off-duty, according to the PNTL's Law No. 13/2004.

Meanwhile, PNTL's Acting Commander Inspector Afonso de Jesus said the PNTL will launch an investigation into the negligence of Ofelino Filomeno. On returning from Saturday night’s patrol, Ofelino left his pistol on a family’s table where his six-year old son Leo grabbed the pistol and then shot his younger brother Alasco Lucky, a six-month old baby on Sunday morning.

De Jesus commented that the sanction to be imposed will be based on the investigation into the incident. “In regard to what sanction to be imposed to Agent Ofelino, it will be dependent upon investigation,” he explained.

Foreign minister welcomes ISF commander - Timor Post 14 October 2008 - Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Zacarias da Costa and International Stabilization Forces (ISF) Commander, Brigadier Mark Holmes has discussed about cooperation between the International Stabilization Forces (ISF) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the

Minister da Costa said during the meeting they were talking on the air-cross way by helicopters flying into the Indonesian border zone, as Indonesia had urged to abide by. Da Costa said the country's people when traveling to Oecuse should be flying away from the distance of 12 miles from the border before entering into the enclave region of Oecuse.

He added during the meeting the ISF Commander, Brigadier Holmes also conveying about the replacement of the ISF soldiers in the country with engineering infantry to help support the country’s reconstruction.

Parliament decides to invite International Transparency - Timor Post 14 October 2008 - The Parliament through parliamentary chief of benches has decided to invite International Transparency Organization regarding its report findings that Timor-Leste places highest ranking of corruption.

Parliamentary President Fernanda 'Lasama' de Araujo said during the meeting with the parliamentary chief of benches, they had made decision of inviting the International Transparency for explaining method used to gain the findings.

“This is very important to respond speculations and ovoid current rumors mongering that the AMP Government is engaged in corruption practices,” Lasama said.

Lasama stressed the Parliament should officially request the International Transparency coming to explain its report findings, in a way that the Government could make a self-improvement for the sake of nation building.

AMP to keep responding people's needs: Lasama - Televizaun Timor Leste 14 October 2008 - Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP) Council President Fernando “Lasama” de Araujo, said the AMP Government would continue developing its plans and programs for responding the people’s needs.

Lasama made the comments yesterday in connection with the result of the AMP Council’s recent meeting. Lasama stressed the AMP kept making evaluation to the works of the ministries and seeking for mechanism to respond the country’s real situation.

“We did not specifically talk on the reforms, but it was only small part of the discussion. We more focused on the Government’s programs and the state budget of 2009,” Lasama added.

Carrascalao is possible to be appointed for deputy PM - Timor Post 14 October 2008 - Presidential Council for the Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP) has held a two-day- discussion on how to reshuffle the current cabinet. The council might makes decision to appoint Social Democratic President Mario Viegas Carrascalao to be the second deputy prime minister of the country.

The AMP Council President Fernando 'Lasama' de Araujo said they had held meeting for the AMP leaders on how to reform the structure of the Government. Lasama said there were so many concerns over the current cabinet and that needed to reform, yet the power was in the hands of the prime minister. “Reforms were also another part to be discussed in the meeting, but we more focused on the state budget of 2009,” Lasama said.

Meanwhile, PSD President Carrascalao said he knew about the nomination of him to be the second prime minister, but he might reject the post.

Belo denies an attempted attack to him - Televizaun Timor Leste 13 October 2008 - Dili District Police Commander, Inspector Pedro Belo has denied news publicized today by some newspapers that an identified armed group attempted to attack him.

The commander was responding to news published today (13/10) that an armed group attempted to attack his residence. “I am here in good health and nothing happened to me. Do not trust in the false rumors,” Belo said. Belo called on the residents in the Capital Dili to not be influenced with such rumors, as it would only make people panic.

- Televizaun Timor Leste 13 October 2008 - President Jose Ramos Horta has questioned continuation investigation into the human rights violations in 1999 by the UN Serious Crime Unit.

Horta said he did not authorize to continue the investigation into the case, because it ignored the state’s position about sovereignty. “I do not know the reason why the US and other donors want to spend much money to continue investigating into the case,” Horta said.

Horta added the country had gone through a mechanism with Indonesia known as Joint Commission of Truth and Friendship (CVA) and the outcomes were acceptable to the people.

President agrees with the delay of the F-FDTL recruitment - Radio Timor Leste 13 October 2008 - President Jose Ramos Horta said Monday he agrees with the decision of the F-FDTL Command to adjourn the recruitment of more than 200 officers into the Defense Force.

“I agree with the decision of the F-FDTL Command to delay the recruitment,” Horta said. According to the President, the adjournment is important to give more chances to the Ministry of Defense to correct certain concepts in the basic military law presented to the Parliament recently.

Horta explained that in the law there are two different concepts of obligatory military service and obligatory military registration that create confusion. The recruitment is scheduled to take place next year after the slight change is made in the military law.

PNTL disagrees with suspension against Baukau PNTL Commander - Radio Timor Leste 13 October 2008 - East Timor's Acting Police Commander Inspector Afonso de Jesus said Monday (13/10) PNTL does not agree with the suspension of the Baukau District PNTL Commander Inspector Adérito Neto by the United Nations Police (UNPOL).

He argued that there should be a profound investigation into the case and that the result of the investigation should be made to the Timorese public before the UNPOL disciplined the PNTL officer.

De Jesus also expressed his dissatisfaction with the supplementary agreement between the state of Timor-Leste and the United Nations where UNPOL has more powers while the PNTL has less power. Accordingly, he added, the PNTL is debilitated by the supplementary agreement to defend its members and officers in case of suspensions carried out by UNPOL.

He explained that UNPOL had also made several suspensions against him though he does not agree with the decision and therefore that issue had to involve the Secretary of State for Security. “I was suspended several times by as I did not agree with these suspensions, the matter had to be settled by the Secretary of State for Security,” he said.

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