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03 March 2009

Angelita Pires charged over Ramos Horta assassination bid

EXCLUSIVE: Paul Toohey | March 03, 2009 Article from: The Australian ANGELITA Pires has been accused of being an indirect author of last year's shooting of East Timor President Jose Ramos Horta and has been charged with 19 counts of attempted homicide.

Ms Pires, 42, the lover of rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, who was shot dead inside the President's Dili compound on February 11 last year, remained free yesterday, having earlier been required to surrender her passport and not leave the country.

The prosecution lodged a document with the Dili District Court on Friday which details charges against Ms Pires and all of the surviving 27 rebels who attacked the President's compound and simultaneously staged an ambush on Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao's motorcade.

All 27 have been charged with attempted murder.

Ms Pires has been told she will be jailed immediately if she discusses the case with the media.

Most of the prosecution case centres on the alleged influence Ms Pires had over Major Reinado.

The document, from East Timor's Prosecutor-General, Longhuinos Monteiro, alleges Ms Pires urged Major Reinado to go to Dili and kill both the President and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.

It is alleged Ms Pires had given Major Reinado a single marijuana joint in the days before the attacks on Dili and suggested this was part of her attempt to get into Reinado's mind.

Ms Pires is deeply distressed at the charges. A joint Australian-Timorese citizen, she has been prevented from leaving East Timor since early last year. She is defending the charges.

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