08 March 2009

New Prosecution Office inaugurated and four national Prosecutors sworn in in East Timor

UNDP Dili On 5 March the new Prosecutor-General’s Office building in Colmera, Dili was inaugurated in a ceremony held at the new location.

Over one hundred guests attended the inauguration including the President of the Republic, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta; Prosecutor-General of the Republic, Dr. Longuinhos Monteiro; acting President of the Court of Appeal, Dra. Natercia Gusmao; UNDP Country Director, Mr. Akbar Usmani; and members of the government and the international community. The opening of this new building was preceded by the full reconstruction and refurbishment of the district Prosecution Offices in Suai, Baucau and Oecusse.

In his opening speech, Dr. Ivo Valente, the Deputy Prosecutor-General noted that “This new building will accommodate all national prosecutors and clerks. We now have an organized space, with separate offices, interrogation rooms, and safe rooms in which to store case files and we hope that this facility will provide a better service to the people demanding justice.”

In addition to the inauguration of the new office space, the ceremony also included the swearing in of the four new probationary prosecutors by the Prosecutor General, Dr. Longuinhos Monteiro.

“Many achievements have been made in the justice sector and today it is a very special occasion because we are celebrating two things: the opening of this new building, which has been equipped to fulfill the demands of the prosecution services, and we are also welcoming four new magistrates who are joining this institution”, said Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, in his remarks.

These four magistrates are graduates of the theoretical phase of the course conducted by the Legal Training Centre (LTC) in March 2008. For one year they have been working as probation prosecutors while also continuing to attend Portuguese and Law classes at the LTC. These new prosecutors, who are joining nine colleagues already working in the Prosecution Service, will assist greatly in reducing the backlog of pending cases facing the justice system. They will be assigned to district prosecutor’s offices in Dili, Suai, Baucau and Oecusse.

“I feel pleased to be part of this new group of prosecutors; for us this is a professional achievement and I personally expect to bring what I learned in these two years to this brand new working place,” commented Remizia de Fatima da Silva, one of the prosecutors sworn in today.

A ceremony to swear in two new judges and four public defenders, who were also trained at the LTC, is scheduled to take place before the end of March. After the official swearing in, the number of magistrates and public defenders working in judiciary institutions will be significantly increased to ten.

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