16 February 2009

Timor-Leste: the curious case of the fake policemen

2009 ETLJ 2 Timor-Leste: the curious case of the fake policemen Bu V. E. Wilson 13 February 2009

In less than a week the Security Council in New York will be debating the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) mandate which is due to expire on 26 February. Although everyday security in Timor is greatly improved since the unraveling of law, order and the security institutions in 2006, the Timorese police (PNTL) are weak, unaccountable and factionalised and there is little doubt that the current mandate will be renewed with few amendments. The current UNMIT mandate gives responsibility to the UN to, among other things, assist with the further training, institutional development and strengthening of the PNTL and the Ministry of Interior; as well as to assist the Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) to conduct a comprehensive review of the security sector including the army (the F-FDTL), the PNTL, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defence.

There is, however, an elephant in the room. On 9 December 2008, in a little publicised Court of Appeal decision in Timor-Leste , a finding against defendant Adérito da Costa Ximenes Neto, Interim PNTL Commander Baucau was overturned. Neto had been convicted, on 14 October 2008, of committing a false identity crime punishable pursuant to article 228 of the Penal Code. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for a period of 12 months.

Read the full article...
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East Timor Law Journal - Towards the rule of law in Timor-Leste!

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