30 April 2009

East Timor Government: Quadrilateral Meeting in Dili, 22 May 2009

East Timor Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Division of Public Relations


Dili, 28 April, 2009

Quadrilateral Meeting in Dili, 22 May 2009

The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste will host the Quadrilateral Meeting (QLM) between the Heads of State and Heads of Government of Australia, Indonesia, Portugal and Timor-Leste on May 22, 2009 in Dili.

This is the first time this event has been hosted by Timor-Leste's Government.

The QLM-Media Unit cordially invites the journalists of the national and international media to cover the event.

The Organizing Commission will distribute a program to interested media soon.

The QLM will be held in the Conference Hall, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more information, about the meeting and Media accreditation please contact the Foreign Affairs Media Unit:

Maria-Gabriela Carrascalão + 670 7304231 or 723 5288
(Media Advisor for the Minister & Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Fausto de Sousa + 670 7230058
OIC Public Relation Divison

Almerio Vieira + 670 7321318
Media officer Public Relation Divison

29 April 2009

Anniversary of the East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program: Progress and Challenges April 2001 - April 2009

JSMP DILI 19 April 2009 - JSMP is a national NGO that was established in Timor Leste and has been in operation since 2001 with the main aim of promoting the rule of law and democracy and upholding international human rights standards through court monitoring, analysis of court decisions, research, commentary and recommendations on thematic justice issues identified within the formal justice sector.

In order to achieve this objective JSMP established four units, namely the Legal Research Unit, the Women’s Justice Unit, the Public Outreach Unit and the Victim Support Service (VSS). These units are provided with administrative support and supervision by the management team of JSMP. These four units conduct activities in specific areas, such as: monitoring all of the district courts and the Court of Appeal, as well as the National Parliament, analysing legislation, information dissemination programs (radio and television programs), training programs for women’s groups and journalists in the districts, training to police, Village Councils and members of the community about the Timor Leste judicial system as well as providing legal aid to victims of gender based violence. The aim of these activities is to support and develop a judicial system that is strong, adequate, transparent and accessible to all.

JSMP publishes the results of these activities through press releases, justice updates and thematic and annual reports. The publication of thematic reports is a routine and periodic activity whereby JSMP prepares information related to the judicial system that is disseminated to interested members of both the national community and the international community. Therefore, on this occasion of the eighth anniversary of JSMP, we are launching a report about provisions on Abortion as contained in the Timor Leste Penal Code, with a discussion on constitutionality and compliance with international laws that have been ratified by the state of Timor Leste. This analysis makes reference to and reflects on practices existing in other member states of the international conventions that relate to the protection of human rights. This report is entitled “Abortion Issue Still Needs to be Addressed: Article 141 of the Timor Leste Penal Code needs to Comply with the Constitution and International Law” which can be found on the JSMP website.

During its eight years of operation JSMP has observed many impediments that have influenced the functioning of the judicial system in Timor Leste, however JSMP also recognises progress that has been made in some areas. These impediments include language issues, limited human resources in the justice sector, pending cases, infrastructure, inadequate legislation/laws and other types of logistic support that are required to ensure the effective functioning of the judicial system. These impediments have had an impact on the ability of the justice system to respect fundamental human rights and provide affordable, timely and equal justice, including respect for other basic principles that are set out in the Constitution.

Progress has been made in some areas such as the renovation of the Dili District Court and other district courts, an increase in the number of judicial officials in the Public Prosecution Service, ongoing training programs for jurists, the construction of accommodation for prosecutors and public defenders in the districts, the provision of transport for some judges etc.

JSMP would like to use this opportunity to appeal to all components of the state, especially those components that have a decision making capacity in this respectable judicial system of Timor Leste, because JSMP believes that the only solution available to fix the current situation is to guarantee the provision of justice to all people.

JSMP also appeals to other entities, individuals, collectives, academics, donors and representatives of civil society to come together and help each other to complement, strengthen and revive the judicial sector with proper regard to the spirit of the Constitution, the rule of law and human rights across Timor Leste.

Through an effective justice system we will be able to exercise and enjoy our fundamental rights as guaranteed in the Constitution and international conventions that have been ratified by the State.

For further information please contact: Luis de Oliveira Sampaio Executive Director of JSMP Email: luis@jsmp.minihub.org

Tinan Wula JSMP: Entre Progresu no Dezafiu Abril 2001-Abril 2009 Abril 2009

JSMP nudar ONG nasional ne’ebe estabelese iha juridisaun TL iha 2001 to’o ohin loron existe nafatin ho objetivu fundamental atu promove Estadu de Direitu Demokratiku no tane a’as padraun direitus humanus internasional sira liu husi monitorizaun iha tribunal, analiza ba desizaun tribunal sira, halao pesquiza no fornese komentariu no rekomendasaun tuir isu justisa tematik ne’ebe identifika iha area/setor justisa formal nia laran.

Atu atinji objetivu hirak ne’e, JSMP estabelese unidades 4 hanesan Unidade Peskiza Legal, Unidade Justisa ba Feto, Unidade Informasaun Publiku/outreach nomos Unidade Suporta ba Vitima/VSS. Unidade hirak ne’e funsiona ho apoiu administrativu no supervizaun husi Equipa Manejementu JSMP. Unidade hat (4) ne’ebe refere halao aktividade iha area espesifiku hanesan; halao monitorizasaun iha tribunal distrital tomak no Tribunal Rekursu inklui Uma Fukun Parlamentu Nasional, analiza legislasaun, programa desiminasaun informasaun (programa radio no televizaun), programa treinamentu ba grupu feto no jornalista sira iha distritu, treinementu ba polisia, Konselho de Suco no komunidade kona ba sistema judisiariu TL nomos fornese asistensia legal ba vitima violensia bazea ba jeneru. Objetivu husi atividade sira ne’e atu suporta no dezenvolve sistema judisiariu ne’ebe forte, adekuadu, transparante no asesivel ba ema hotu.

Rezultadu husi aktividades hirak ne’e, JSMP publika sai ba ema hotu liu husi komunikadu emprensa, aktualizasaun justisa no relatoriu tematiku no anual. Publikasaun relatoriu tematiku nudar aktividade rutina no periodikal ne’ebe JSMP produz hodi disemina informasaun ne’ebe iha relasaun ho sistema judisiariu tantu ba komunidade nasional no internacional ne’ebe iha interese atu asesu. Tanba nune’e, ohin aproveita ho loron aniversariu JSMP ba dala walu, JSMP lansa relatorio ida kona-ba asuntu abortu iha Kodigu Penal Timor Leste husi perpespetiva Konstitusional no Lei Internasional sira ne’ebe Estadu Timor Leste ratifika. Analiza ne’e mos kaer ba referensia no refleta ba pratika sira ne’ebe eziste iha nasaun sira seluk nudar Estadu Parte ba konvensaun internasional sira iha relasaun protesaun ba direitu umano. Relatoriu ne’e ho titlu “ Asuntu Abortu Sei Persiza Hadia: Artigu 141 Kodigu Penal Timor Leste Tenke Kumpri Tuir Konstituisaun no Lei Internasional” nomos “Website JSMP nian.

Durante tinan walu halao nia k’nar, JSMP observa obstaklus barak ne’ebe fo impaktu ba lalaok sistema judicial iha TL, maibe rekuiñese mos progresu iha parte balun. Bele dehan katak obstaklus hirak ne’e mak hanesan factor linguazen, limitasun rekursu humanus autor judicial, kazus pendentes, infrastrutura, lejislasaun/lei ne’ebe seidauk adequadu no apoiu lojistiku sira seluk ne’ebe lolos tenke eziste duni atu garante funsionamentu sistema judisiariu ne’ebe efetivu. Konsekuensia husi obstaklu hirak ne’e lori implikasaun ba realizasaun direitu baziku fundamental justisa ne’ebe bratu, lalais no justu ba ema hotu, inklui mos prinsipiu baziku sira seluk ne’ebe estipula iha Konstituisaun da Republika.

Aspeitu balun ne’ebe konsidera nudar progresu mak hanesan renovasaun fiziku ba tribunal iha Dili no distritu, numeru majistradu sira iha Ministeriu Publiku aumenta, kontinuasaun program formasaun ba jurista sira, konstrusaun ba akomodasaun/hela fatin ba prokuradores no defensoria publiku iha distritu, fornese ona fasilidade transporte ba Juizes balun no sel-selu tan.

Aproveita oportunidade ne’e JSMP kontinua bolu atensaun ba komponente estadu tomak liu-liu ba sira ne’ebe iha kbit atu hola desizaun ba distinu sistema judisiariu Timor Leste nian.

Tanba JSMP fiar katak solusaun ba situasaun sira ne’e deit mak uniku dalan atu garante no fornese justisa ba ema hotu.

JSMP mos konvida entidades sira seluk, indivisu ka grupu koletivu, akademiku sira, doadores no sosiedade sivil atu hamutuk fo liman ba malu hodi kompleta reforsa, no hamoris funsionamentu sistema judisiariu ne’ebe refleta duni esperitu Konstitusional, Estadu de Direitu no Direitu Umanus iha Timor Leste laran tomak.

Tanba ho sistema justisa ne’ebe diak mak ita bele ezerse no goja ita nia direitu fundamental sira seluk ne’ebe garantiu iha Konstituisaun no Konvensaun Internasional ratifikadu sira.

Atu hetan informasaun kle'an favor kontaktu: Luis de Oliveira Sampaio Diretor Eksekutivu JSMP Diresaun Email: luis@jsmp.minihub.org http://www.jsmp.minihub.org

East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin congratulates JSMP on its anniversary.

JSMP is the most crucial civil society organisation focused on the law and justice sector in East Timor.

ETLJB applauds the most excellent work of JSMP in monitoring and reporting on the judicial system in East Timor and urges international law and justice donors to support JSMP.

Image added by ETLJB: Artwork by Arte Moris artist.

28 April 2009

FRETILIN Media Release: East Timor PM Gusmao Must Sack "corrupt" Justice Minister following latest allegations


Gusmao must sack ‘corrupt’ Justice Minister following latest allegations

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao must heed calls from his own Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP) members and sack his allegedly corrupt Justice Minister, Lucia Lobato, FRETILIN MP and party Vice President Arsenio Bano said today.

“Mr Gusmao’s own MPs from the Social Democratic Party, Democratic Party and CNRT party all agreed with FRETILIN’s call for the PM to dismiss Ms Lobato during yesterday’s parliamentary sittings. Everyone who spoke supported our call in the parliament,” Bano said.

“Mr Gusmao is now the only person protecting Ms Lobato. He has put his own credibility on the line by ignoring these serious allegations against her,” Bano said.

FRETILIN called for Ms Lobato’s sacking after Timor’s weekly newspaper Tempo Semanal published in October 2008 articles based on SMS texts retrieved from Ms Lobato’s lost mobile telephone. The articles alleged that Ms Lobato colluded with business friends to award lucrative contracts from her own ministry.

“The allegations were very precise and very grave. SMS texts indicated that Ms Lobato organized the purchase of uniforms and equipment for prison officers in her ministry, involving herself in every detail. This included the Indonesian business person with whom she was dealing providing her with prices and the bank account in Indonesia into which money should be deposited.

“Last week, on Monday 20 April 2009, Tempo Semanal published interviews with three people who alleged they were paid ten percent of the project value in return for conspiring with the minister and her husband to use a front company to buy the goods.”

Bano said separate allegations concerning Ms Lobato’s dealings with State-owned land and property also indicated a lack of transparency and probity.

Bano said FRETILIN would hold Mr Gusmao legally and politically responsible for any financial losses incurred by the government since he had refused to act on revelations of Ms Lobato’s dealings since last November.

Bano said that FRETILIN was gravely concerned that the work of Timor-Leste’s justice sector was under a cloud of mistrust and diminishing confidence while Ms Lobato remained in control of a key ministry responsible for the functioning of the courts, the prison system, the notary public, witness protection and land law reform, as well as business registration.

For information contact Arsenio Bano MP on +61417883114

Image added by ETLJB: East Timor Justice Minister Lucia Lobato

East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin

27 April 2009

Baucau District Court Decision in Case of Murder and Attempted Murder

The East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program Press Release 21 April 2009 - On Monday 13th April the Baucau District Court announced its decision in a case of fighting between rival martial arts groups PSHT and 77 that occurred on 24 April 2008 in Baucau resulting in the deaths of the victims N and B. Based on court monitoring conducted by JSMP, the defendants were handcuffed when they were led into the court room to hear the announcement of the decision.

The decision was lenient on 8 of the defendants; however the defendant JL was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Each of the defendants was charged with attempted murder and damaging property. Of the aforementioned 8 defendants, four defendants (JD, TT, JX and DD) were acquitted as their guilt was not proven in the aforementioned case.

The motive for the murder arose after the defendant JL and JB were wrestling and threw each other to the ground landing on some dog feces. After that incident JB sought the help of his friends to beat up JL. This ignited a fight between the two groups (PSHT and 77) which resulted in the deaths of victims N and B.

After examining the circumstances surrounding this case, the court ordered defendants JB, BD, JD and PM to pay court costs. Defendants BD and JX were each sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, with a reduction of one year for time spent in detention, for attempted murder and damage to property. Defendants PM and JB were respectively sentenced to 11 months and 17 days, with a reduction for time spent in detention. In addition to sentences of imprisonment, the court also ordered the defendants PM and JX to compensate the material loss of the victim T, amounting to $112.00.

The defendant JL was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Baucau District Court because, according to the Prosecutor’s indictment, he was the main perpetrator and mastermind of the fight that took place between PSHT and 77 which resulted in the deaths of the victims N and B and damage to the property of the victim T.

For further information please contact: Luis de Oliveira Sampaio Executive Director JSMP Email : luis@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: 3323883

East Timor Justice Ministry Strategic Planning

East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program DILI 27 April 2009 - The Ministry of Justice conducted a two day workshop focused on Strategy Planning (SP) on the 16th and 17th April 2009, in the meeting room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to identify crucial issues relating to the formal justice system and to outline a 10 year vision for the aforementioned sector. The strategic planning workshop produced a number of important points that hopefully will provide the basis for establishing a strong judicial system that can be accessed by all sectors of the community, especially the majority of justice seekers who live in rural areas.

Thematic issues identified in this process covered major obstacles and technical issues. These included insufficient legal instruments to respond to the needs of the community, ambiguity about the politics of law in Timor Leste, limited number of human resources, limited legal infrastructure to enable community access to the formal justice system, the welfare of legal actors and the composition and involvement of national and international actors in the creation of an improved legal system. Technical issues continue to be a national concern including the use of Portuguese as the language of interaction in the judicial system, the management of judicial administration, limited planning on how to maximize and allocate available human resources and other logistic support to establish uniform practice in the provision of necessary legal services.

Although this process had both strengths and weaknesses, it should be highlighted that this was a positive and productive step forward to allow all of the components within the nation to contribute to the creation of an ideal format and legal framework to be applied in Timor Leste.

Therefore, JSMP welcomes this effort and congratulates the Ministry of Justice for organizing the drafting of this strategic plan, especially because of their efforts to seek the input and suggestions from all components working in the judicial sector.

JSMP hopes that the openness displayed by the Ministry of Justice and willingness to work with all segments of society, especially civil society, should be continued so that the vision of the justice system that was formulated during the strategic planning workshop can reflect reality, practical experience and the spirit of Timorese society itself.

In addition, JSMP hopes that the emergent Strategic Plan will be revised every year to examine the degree to which the plan has met its intended objectives.

For more information please contact: Luis de Oliveira Sampaio Executive Director of JSMP Email: luis@jsmp.minihub.org Landline: 3323883

26 April 2009

Deputy PM Mario Carrascalao: Every East Timor Ministry has Corruption, Collusion and Nepotism

(Translation from tetun) Jornal Diario Nacional Dili, 20 April 2009 - Deputy Prime Minister Mario Carrascalao says that nearly all every ministry is in the red, or is affected by KKN. (Translator's note: "KKN" is the Indonesian acronym for “corruption, collusion and nepotism”)

“Nearly every ministry is in the red, though at differing levels. It is true that some are worse than others. Some ministers do not even know that it is going on, and I think in these ministries it involves lower level civil servants misapplying state assets, not doing the right thing with it,” added Deputy Prime Minister Mario Carrascalao to journalist some days ago, after having attended a meeting at the office the President of the Republic (PR), Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta at Farol, Dili, where he discussed this issue with him.

PR Horta said he does not want this nation’s name to be sullied in the international community. He said that when there is corruption, it is the poor who lose out because funds do not make their way down to them, but go to a small group who take it all.

“I want to see an investigation,” PR Horta affirmed. Despite this, PR Horta said that he is satisfied hearing that Deputy PM Carrascalao has already sent some cases to the PGR (Prosecutor General of the Republic) to continue with investigations and take cases to court.

“I am also happy with the PGR Ana Pessoa. I know cases will now not just sit and gather dust when they get to her but will be investigated,” PR Horta assured journalists. PR Horta also said that, as the Head of State, he had 100% confidence and fully supported Deputy PM Carrascalao as he delves into the biggest concern in the life of the nation.

“I am appealing to him as a Timorese who loves the nation, who also fought for 24 years for the independence and freedom of the country, that I do not want to see our nation’s name sullied in the eyes of other nations. I give full support to the Deputy PM Mario to oversee good governance, the fight against corruption and ensure our ministries become stronger,” PR Horta said in expectation.

Deputy PM Carrascalao said in response to this concern that from May onwards he would undertake routine annual inspections to all government ministries.

“Whenever I come across some criminal activity or misapplication of state funds, I will be handing it over to the inspector general to investigate and take to the PGR. There will not memo from me involved,” affirmed the former PSD MP in the National Parliament. (ends)

Image added by ETLJB: Deputy Prime Minister Mario Carrascalao, former Governor of the Province of Timor Timur during the Indonesian occupation.

East Timorese go begging as foreign advisers rake it in

Paul Toohey 25 April 2009 Article from The Australian - INES Almeida is a media flak for East Timor's Ministry of Finance. This year, she will earn a lot more than her Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, who has a base salary of $US1000 a month with a $US500 allowance.

Ms Almeida, a joint Australian-Timorese citizen who lives mostly in Timor, is treated as an outsider, paid in US dollars out of World Bank funds and grant money from individual nations. In her 2008-09 package, she earns a base of $US182,400 and picks up a further $US41,365 in travel expenses and living allowances, taking the package to $US219,765. When converted to Australian dollars, that comes to about $300,000. Kevin Rudd earns about $330,000.

The Weekend Australian has obtained a number of current individual consultancy contracts for foreign advisers in East Timor's Ministry of Finance. Ms Almeida's pay is at the lower end.

Former foreign minister Alexander Downer says the consultancy fees are "obscene", given that East Timor is the poorest country in Asia, where more than 50 per cent of the people earn about $US1 a day.

Rodney Lewis is a former Liberal candidate who works in and out of East Timor. This year, he will earn $341,623 for providing 271 days' work as senior legal adviser to the Ministry of Finance.

Mr Lewis gets a further $49,824 for reimbursible costs and contingencies, taking his 2008-09 contract package up to $391,447.

Ms Almeida and Mr Lewis are not the issue. It is the World Bank, in conjunction with East Timor's Finance Minister, Emilia Pires, which has approved the extraordinary consultancies. Ms Pires signs off on the contracts, which then go to the World Bank for final approval.

The World Bank's stated aim is to provide "financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world".

Mr Downer says the UN never paid this sort of money when it was in East Timor, and still doesn't.

"It is obscene," he says. "These are aid programs; that's how the money gets there. I'm absolutely astonished. I know about these sorts of salaries and I know how much the UN pays.

"To earn $US250,000 in a year in the UN, you'd have to be very close to the top of the UN system. In a year, an under secretary-general of the UN would be paid a bit over $US300,000. I'm talking about the heads of the department of political affairs in the UN, or heads of peacekeeping missions, not media flaks or financial advisers."

Mr Downer says the UN caused a lot of resentment in the lead-up to East Timor's independence when its officials drove "comfortable cars" and lived on a luxury boat. Now the adviser pay situation had created an "enormous scandal".

"The amounts they're paying now are incredible," he says. "This sort of money is far more than East Timor's government ministers would earn and very few people in East Timor would be paid even $US20,000 a year. This is the sort of thing that becomes a bloody big problem for a country in this stage in its development. It's pretty sad."

Another Australian, Graham Daniel, is on a 12-month contract as a senior management adviser to the Finance Minister. For his 180 days' work through 2008-09, he is being paid $US236,160, plus $US60,361 in reimbursible expenses and contingencies, bringing his package to $US296,521.

Asked if he thinks the East Timorese would be shocked at how much he earned if they were aware of it, Mr Daniel says: "They shouldn't be made aware of it. I wouldn't be the most highly paid person in Timor. It's consistent with what I've been paid in other countries. My contract is certainly fairly high, but others are getting a lot more."

As a World Bank member country, the Australian Government makes a notional capital financial commitment to the bank, which may or may not be called in. In real terms, it transfers large amounts every year. In 2007-08, for example, it contributed $388.8 million to the World Bank's International Development Association.

Australia also makes one-off World Bank donations through AusAid. It gave $13 million to East Timor's five-year Public Finance and Management Capacity Building Program, out of which the consultants are being paid.

Mr Daniel says the money is not "granted to Timor" but to the project. "It can't be spent by Timor-Leste the way they want to spend it. It's tied under very stringent conditions. What I'm getting is no different to any other adviser in any other developing country and I've worked in many."

The East Timor Government says Mr Daniel has been humiliated in parliament by Opposition parties for allegedly mistreating a staff member. The incident is the subject of a ministerial inquiry.

"This is a vendetta against me because of highly corrupt people," he says. He declines to say who is behind it.

A US citizen, Francis Ssekandi, is another senior adviser to the Finance Minister. His 2008-09 package, including remuneration and travel expenses, is $US424,427 for 272 days' work.

"I earn $US700 a month," Ms Pires says.

"I personally think the money (advisers are paid) is too high ... Some of my advisers have been working in Afghanistan and Iraq and I had to compete to get them over here. It is way out of my control; we go by market standards.

"The contracts for the advisers we employ go through a rigorous public tender process. This process is very much following World Bank guidelines.

"From the time I've been minister (from 2006), we inherited (from the former Fretilin government) a dysfunctional Ministry of Finance. Thanks to these guys we have rebuilt the system. We have needed people with these skills -- and, hopefully, we won't need them for much longer.

"In post-conflict countries it is a complex job. Timorese people have not had the opportunity and education to do this. We need expertise. I am very much aware that technical assistance comes at a high price." Asked if she thinks the ordinary East Timorese people would understand the high pay packages, Ms Pires says: "I'm trying to explain to them. This is the world we live in. We all want to change the world, but I'm realistic."

Fretilin MP and party vice-president Arsenio Bano says they would not understand. "A lot of Timorese often cannot even get $1 a day," he says. "Fifty cents a day is a big thing. Even in a month some of them cannot get $5.

"The country is very poor and they (consultants) are paid too much. $US200,000 is more than the money that is invested in roads in the district of Oecussi this year. It's more than some of the school-feeding projects for 4000 students in one district of Ermera.

"It's amazing. I think there's a lack of responsibility here. The money is coming from development partners and from taxpayers ... They do not want to assist one person to earn $200,000; they want to assist one million people."

Nigel Roberts, the World Bank's country director for East Timor, New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, says he accepts that the issue is important.

"I agree the optics here may look incongruous but addressing the pressing needs of the country at this stage in its development requires help from outside, given the very small number of experienced and qualified Timorese staff available."

He says Timor is notionally rich because of oil, but there has been "a disconnect between the national income and personal incomes".

He says that while Timor's oil revenues have risen steeply, not all of that money is available for immediate expenditure because of laws which oblige the Government to put the bulk into a trust fund. Money is not being spent at the rates required and the foreign consultants are working to unblock that process.

"The Government had to be built from the ground up after independence, and this is taking time," Mr Roberts says.

He adds that last year's 12 per cent GDP growth rate relieved poverty and says that improvement has come as a result of the work of the consultants.

Mr Roberts says such fees are not unusual. "Timor-Leste needs to pay these rates if it is to attract first-rate talent, which I believe it is entitled to and needs in order to make the transition out of poverty," he says.

"Using cheaper expertise isn't going to help develop the country. In an ideal world, this type of expertise would be provided on a voluntary basis, but unfortunately no employment market anywhere in the world works on this principle, and people don't discount their services when they work in places like Dili or Moresby or Honiara."

President Jose Ramos Horta and Mr. Gusmao were not available to comment yesterday but in March the President observed that "since independence about $3 billion has been spent on Timor but not in Timor".

25 April 2009

Homosexuality in East Timor

ETLJB 25 April 2009 SYDNEY - The rights of the homosexual citizens of East Timor have proven to be a fertile ground for virulent anti-gay vilification by some of East Timor's political leaders. Discussion of the issue in the public domain has also provided an opportunity for the persecution of gay men and women in East Timor through the hysterical anti-human and anti-Christian condemnations of the Roman Catholic Church.

There is a significant gay dimension to East Timorese society. But a proposed constitutional guarantee of the rights of homosexuals in East Timor was, under pressure from the Church and with the approval of homophobic members of East Timor's national parliament, excised from an early draft of the Constitution leaving the gay community susceptible to marginalisation, discrimination and hate-motivated violence. It was on that occasion that a prominent politician denied that there were any gay people in East Timor and declared homosexuality a disease.

The Church's influence in East Timor has actually contributed to the promotion of homosexuality, principally among East Timorese men. Strict compliance with bans on pre-marital sex and an oppressive social regime that seeks to control Timorese women's sexuality in East Timor have most certainly restricted the opportunities for young East Timorese men. But primal human compulsions, in the end, so to speak, find a way of being expressed.

The protection of the rights of gay people in East Timor should not be a matter left outside the mainstream concerns of the justice system. And yet not a single cent of the millions upon millions of dollars of donor money has been dedicated to this.

Gay civil rights movements in advanced secular democracies agitated and achieved unprecedented legal recognition of equality before the law and impartial access to the protections afforded by the law to straight citizens. These achievements did not come about without a long and injurious campaign to refute the prejudices of the conservative Church and to drag the State to entrench secular anti-discrimination and anti-vilification laws and to delete a wide range of laws and policies that discriminated against homosexual people.

If East Timor is to be credibly received as a state based on the rule of law and international laws and standards as its Constitution mandates, both clear policies and legislation must be presented by the Government to the Parliament for enactment to ensure the protection of equal rights to all citizens.

Such efforts will also create a suitable legal and social environment for managing HIV-AIDS infections in East Timor. Unfortunately, as the whole world knows, the spiritually-unstable leaders of the Roman Catholic Church continue to ban the use of condoms as a protective measure to avoid infection. In East Timor, this immoral doctrine will result in the avoidable deaths of men and women.

Intrusions of religious doctrines into the formulation of social policies and legislation in East Timor is a grave error - morally, jurisprudentially and constitutionally.

See also Blog for Timorese Gay Guys

Corruption and Nepotism in East Timor

24 April 2009 DILI - Donor funds designed to prevent corruption actually help it - Recently the FRETILIN Parliamentary bench made allegations of Nepotism in the recruitment of advisers, some of whom are Australian citizens, to work in the Office of the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Finance responded by denying the allegations through a press release, Tempo Semanal has made an investigation into this case.

As Agusto X. DC. Costa a university Student in Dili comment on Tempo Semanal's finding regarding to the issue as said, “Since 2000 public finance institutions have been full of international advisers from various nationalities whose salary is paid by donors. These advisers are here to assist in building these institutions as well as to peform line functions in making sure the government's budget is executed carefully.”

“However as a new nation in this new Millenium TL receives a lot of support from donors especially Australia. Australia wants to help limit and eradicate corruption in Timor-Leste, but Australian tax payers money is actually assisting to increase corruption in Timor-Leste.”

“According to the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) report Timor-Leste has a “red: record with regards to corruption.”

A Portuguese citizen named Joao Saldanha an Adviser to the MCC and now in the Minister Finance Office, together with some other Timorese, Australians and other foriegners are paid huge salaries through donors to be transparent, develop good governance and safeguard Timor-Leste's public finances. “It would seem the opposite it true. They are promoting corruption by remaining quiet when they see it in the Ministry because they do not want to speak out and lose their huge salaries.”

He then questioning futher, “ The Australian government, the Worldbank and the international community know all about the corruption because their advisers are facilitiating it, and yet they remain silent. What would Australian taxpayers think of this fraud?”

Note: Please see the below to find out how much Australian and other taxpayers are paying to help the Government of Timor-Leste hide, at best, and promote at worst, a corrupt administration of Timor-Leste finances.

More details on Tempo Semanal Edisaun 136 27 April 2009.


24 April 2009

The forgotten hero - Doc Dunkley and the miracles he performed in Timor

Re: The West Australian (Perth)

April 24, 2009 Friday
First Edition

The forgotten hero

Thanks to the West Australian for acknowledging the heroes of the World War Two Timor Campaign, especially for recognition of Doc Dunkley.

I have been researching this subject for many years and would like to hear from anyone who knows what happened to Alan Hollow after the war.

Just a couple of niggles:

Article states: The main Allied forces were quickly overwhelmed by the Japanese landings but most of the 2/2nd - "Sparrow Force" - got away.

This is not correct.

In February, 1941, the 2/40th Battalion known officially as Sparrow Force and the 2/2nd. Independent Company sailed from Darwin for Dutch Timor. While the 2/40th established head-quarters near Koepang, five hundred 2/2nd I. C. re-embarked for Dili, the capital of Portuguese Timor.

The Japanese rushed wave after wave of well equipped, elite combat troops to repel the landings in Dutch Timor. Australian Headquarters were hastily established on flat, open land - a mistake for which the 2/40th paid dearly as the area was infested with mosquitoes and afforded poor cover. Many troops were already ill with malaria when they left Darwin. They contracted dysentery and some became so gravely ill that they had to be evacuated. By the time replacements were rushed in everyone was infected; it was just a matter of time before the replacements were too sick to fight.

The campaign was a debacle, Australian troops were hunted with light tanks and their retreat was cut off by a numerically superior force of paratroopers. The Japanese paid a terrible price - out of 630 paratroops only 78 survived.

At the final conference all the officers fell asleep. The Japanese commander had requested their surrender. Sparrow Force was surrounded and there were 132 seriously wounded men to consider. When an inexperienced interpreter reported that the Japanese wanted to surrender the Japanese heard shrieks of hysterical laughter coming from Australian headquarters. The interpreter was sent back to politely enquire if the Japanese commander really wanted to surrender.

The only men who escaped to join the 2/2nd Independent Company in Portuguese Timor were behind the Japanese attack lines. Those who obeyed the order to surrender were either executed or taken prisoner.

Regarding food supplies: The Timorese ate a balanced diet and they created a food chain to assist the Australian soldiers whose money soon ran out. Loss of weight was caused by an inability to eat sufficient quantities of the available food. Even Timorese children could consume larger quantities of vegetables than Australians who were used to energy producing meat.

The article states: They eventually managed to steal enough parts and batteries to build a radio.

Because the 2/2nd. I.C. were not equipped with adequate wireless communications (though there were a few Lucas signal lamps and wirelesses with a range of only thirty miles) they were unable to contact Australia for approx three months after Sparrow Force surrendered. All communications to Australia had been through headquarters in Western Timor. The Morse wireless set had been smashed to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

A Taswegian called Loveless was trying to make a wireless transmitter from various bits and pieces, but he couldn't get the battery to charge. They had a receiver but could not send. 20th April by means of a boosted transmitter Australia picked up a weak signal. Sergeant John Henry Sergeant sent the first message. The military authorities thought that the men of the 2/ 2nd had been killed or captured. They thought the message was from the enemy. Sergeant was asked to give his wife's Christian name as proof. Her name was Kathleen. The story made the front pages all over the western world. The propaganda unit called the wireless Winnie the War Winner.

A month later a Portuguese wireless operator who had worked in the Dili Post Office made contact through the International Brigade in the east. When the Dutch had ordered him to destroy a long-range aeronautical wireless at a place called Vermasse, he buried it wrapped in several layers of waterproof fabric.

A group of Timorese volunteers and Aussie soldiers set off immediately. They retrieved the AWA AS9 set from under the noses of the Japanese. It had been used to contact flying boats delivering the mail in peace time. It could contact Melbourne, on a good day.

As a result of making radio contact Royale Australian Naval vessels began landing supplies on the south coast of Portuguese Timor at the end of May. Though extremely dangerous these supply runs enabled the Australians to continue fighting. In September the original force was reinforced with the 2/4th Independent Company.

Shirley Shackleton

Image added by ETLJB

East Timor Legal News 24 April 2009

Justice Ministry manipulates company Suara Timor Lorosae 24 April 2009 - Wesupa Company was the company that won the public tender process undertaken by the Justice Ministry for the supply of boots for prison guards but the boots that were purchased were kept in the warehouse of the Pualaka company which belongs to Justice Minister Lucia Lobato's husband.

Council of the Ministers approves decree law on the Order of Timor Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 24 April 2009 - State Secretary for the Council of the Ministers Hermenegildo Pereira said the Council of the Ministers had approved the drafting of a decree law on the Order of Timor providing for the bestowal of medals on either Timorese citizens or foreign nationals who had provided humanitarian aid to the country.

Police seize seven tons of fish Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 24 April 2009 - Dili District Police have seized seven tons of fish in Tasitolu. The UNIPESOA Company Manager Agustinho Cuba is believed to be involved in the case.

32 F-FDTL soldiers to be deployed along border zone Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 24 April 2009 - State Secretary for Defence Julio Thomas Pinto said the Government would deploy 32 Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) soldiers on the border on 27 April for preventing illegal crossings.

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

Artwork by Arte Moris artist.

Fact Sheet on the East Timor Government's Plan to Establish Municipalities

Ministry of State Administration and Territorial Management (MSATM) - In 2009, the Government is planning to prepare districts to become municipalities. This process is decentralization, or moving some work from the central level to the local level. The process will begin after the National Parliament approves laws that will regulate how to establish a local government system. The government has been working since 2003, however to prepare the nation for the decentralization process, and will continue to work to ensure that the municipalities, in the future, are a strong mechanism for development in Timor-Leste. Read the fact sheet: (PDF: <http://www.estatal.gov.tl/Documents/DNDLOT/Planu%20Munisipiu.pdf>Tetun Only).

23 April 2009

East Timor Legal News 23 April 2009

Judiciary Council members meet with Horta Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 23 April 2009 - The Timorese Judiciary Council members have met with President Jose Ramos Horta discussing administration, human resources and discipline in the Court of Appeal.

Paulo Remeido says rumors on his nomination is causing instability in the judicial system
Timor Post 23 April 2009 - International Jurist Paulo Remeido said the recent rumor-mongering on his nomination to replace current Deputy Prosecutor General Ivo Valente was causing instability in the judicial system in East Timor.

Horta inducts Joao Carrascalao as Timorese ambassador to Korea Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 23 April 2009 - President Jose Ramos Horta has officially inducted Joao Carrascalao as the Timorese ambassador to South Korea calling on him to build good relations with Korea.

Nepotism is growing up freshly Suara Timor Lorosae 23 April 2009 - MP Elijario Fereira said Predent Jose Ramos Horta nominating his brother-in-law Joao Carrascalao to become the Timorese Ambassador to the Republic of South Korea was nepotism.

Anyone who illegally takes natural resources of the State is breaking the law: Pires Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 23 April 2009 - State Secretary for Natural Resources Alfredo Pires said anyone who illegally took the State's natural resources was breaching the law and should take responsibility.

MTCI will not suspend its officers Timor Post 23 April 2009 - Minister for Commerce, Tourism and Industry Gil da Costa Alves said he had no power to suspend his officers who were suspected of being engaged in stealing rice in the Government's warehouse as it was still in the process of investigation.

Security situation in the Timorese territory is normal: Police Operational Commander Timor Post 23 April 2009 - The generally security situation in the Timorese territory is normal with only few minor cases happening in the districts, says Acting Police Operational Commander, Inspector Raimundo de Araujo.

Prosecutor general holds a work-trip to Oe-cusse Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 23 April 2009 - The Timorese Prosecutor General Ana Pessoa has held an official visit to Oe-cusse districtto establish closer relationships with the District Public Prosecution.

Artwork by Arte Moris artist. Image taken in October 2008 in Dili

55 - FFDTL and PNTL Operation Halibur 2008

Antonio Lima Lima on patrol with F-FDTL in Operation Halibur 2008 after the attacks on President and Prime Minster. Funny thing is that Antonio 55 is neither a PNTL officer not an F-FDTL soldier.

He does however have some fame circa 2006 as described by the UN Inquiry Commission.http://unmit.unmissions.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=sBQns2vB4mk%3D&tabid=431

Also on 8 May 2006 Minister of the Interior Lobato ordered the Commander of UPF, Antonio da Cruz, to deliver 15 HK33 semi-automatic assault rifles to his residence. These weapons were among the 180 HK33 firearms distributed legally to UPF.

Eastern members of UPF had been disarmed by Commander da Cruz to make these weapons available. The Minister of the Interior arranged separately for PNTL ammunition to be delivered. He used the weapons to arm two distinct groups of civilians. The first was a group of 31 civilians under the command of Rai Los.

The second was a group known as Lima Lima (55) under the command of Antonio Lurdes, aka Antonio 55. The Minister of the Interior told Commander da Cruz to give 10 of the rifles, 6,000 rounds of ammunition and 10 magazines to Rai Los in Liquiça. At about 10 p.m. that night Rai Los met Commander da Cruz in a cemetery to receive the weapons.

During the same evening the Chief of Staff of the Minister of the Interior travelled to Ermera and gave the remaining five HK33 rifles and one crate of ammunition to Antonio 55. The Lima Lima group was told to await further instructions. At about 9 p.m. on 21 May Commander da Cruz and Rai Los met at a deserted location, this time near Maubara. On the instructions of the Minister of the Interior, Rai Los received a further eight HK33 weapons and 16 magazines.

From http://thediliinsider.blogspot.com/2009/04/55-ffdtl-e-pntl-opersaun-halibur-2008.html

East Timor: Struggling on a $6bn pot that keeps growing

Eric Ellis April 23, 2009 East Timor's oil fund is thriving thanks to boring investment. IN THE East Timorese capital's joke of a "financial district", roosters scratch in the dust as a family of goats bleat at vendors selling porn CDs, "jiggy-jig" as they sleazily hiss at passers-by.

It's a sad and unlikely place to spawn a master of the global financial universe, inasmuch as any still exist after the economic conflagration. But in his makeshift office by the bank building, Timorese civil servant Venancio Alves Maria is doing something the storied Temaseks, the Warren Buffets and Citigroups in more sophisticated time zones away can't boast. He's making money.

Alves Maria is the executive director of the Petroleum Fund of Timor-Leste, the Government authority entrusted to invest the oil and gas royalties deriving from the Timor Sea fields between East Timor and the Northern Territory. After barely four years, the fund has about $6 billion invested, about eight times East Timor's non-resources GDP. The fund gets about $250-300 million added to it every month, and has returned 3 to 5 per cent annually since its inception in mid-2005. In a world where the trillions of investments lost by crooks, frauds and desk-jockey cowboys require responding trillions in taxpayer-funded government bail-outs, Venancio and his fund stand out as stellar performers.

So what's his secret? The short answer is bad politicians. Such is the chaos East Timor has descended to in the decade since it broke free from its Indonesian military colonisers, its warring political clans can't agree on how to diversify their petrodollar bounty. So Indonesia-educated Venancio and his board take the only legally required default option open to them, plunging it all in the most boring investment around — US Treasury bonds.

The Timor fund is a minnow in the world's sovereign fund ocean, but its returns make it one of the world's best-performing sovereign wealth fund in the past year. Read the full story...

22 April 2009

East Timorese Deputy Prosecutor-General resigns over political interference in the judicial system

ETLJB 21 April 2009 SYDNEY - The East Timorese Deputy Prosecutor, Mr. Ivo Jorge Valente, is reported to have resigned from his position in protest over the recent appointment of Maucau lawyer, Paulo dos Remedios, as a Deputy Prosecutor-General. A leading national newspaper, Suara Timor Lorosa’e, reported today that Mr. Valente said the reason he had chosen to resign was because of political interference in the judicial system.

Mr dos Remedios, who is reported to have been a former legal adviser to President Ramos Horta, was appointed by an undated Presidential Decree last month. The decree states that, the President, having heard the Board of Public Prosecutions, appoints Dr. Paulo dos Remedios, a lawyer of recognised merit with more than 20 years of professional experience to official duty in the position of Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic.

In other dramatic developments in relation to the office of Prosecutor-General, newly appointed Prosecutor General, Ms. Ana Pessoa has recommended to President Horta (to whom she was previously married) the termination of two members of the Board of Public Prosecutions. Ms Pessoa was the Minister for State Administration during the Fretilin government and was also a member of the Fretilin Central Committee before resigning to take up her new post.

The two members of the Board of Public Prosecutions that Ms. Pessoa has recommended be terminated are former Judge of the Dili District Court and now member of parliament from Prime Minister Gusmao’s Council for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT), Ms. Carmelita Moniz, and Education Minister, Cancio Freitas.

In her letter to the President, Prosecutor-General Pessoa stated that “both cases are now…in a situation of conflict …..setting up a situation of the violation of the principle of the separation of powers.

The Board of Public Prosecutions, national self-government of the prosecutors of the judiciary, ideally, should consist of trustworthy people who are not holders of other organs of sovereignty.”

Image: East Timor's Prosecutor-General, Ms. Ana Pessoa

East Timor Legal News 21 April 2009

Justice Minister ready to respond to corruption allegations in court Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 22 April 2009 - Minister for Justice Lucia Lobato said she was ready to respond in court over the corruption allegations made by the national civil society organisation, LABEH and the Timorese Human Rights and Justice Ombudsman (PDHJ).

LABEH has found corruption within the Human Rights and Justice Ombudsman Office
Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 22 April 2009 - Director for LABEH, Christopher Henry Samson, said his organisation had found a corruption case involving an officer of the Timorese Human Rights and Justice Ombudsman (PDHJ) in which the officer misused budget provided by the World Bank.

Parliament discusses law proposal to confer judicial powers on Members of Parliament
Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 21 April 2009 - The Parliament started discussing in the generality draft law number 12 – 11 on giving judicial powers to the deputies for investigating any kind of criminal acts, says MP Vital dos Santos.

Let court do its task in assassination attempt case Suara Timor Lorosae 21 April 2009 - MP Estanislau da Silva from Fretilin said let the court do its job in processing the attempted assassination to President Jose Ramos Horta on February 11 last year and said the process of the case was ongoing and would be tried shortly.

Ivo Jorge Valente to resign from his post Suara Timor Lorosae 21 April 2009 - Deputy Prosecutor General Ivo Jorge Valente said he would resign from his current post as the country's politicians put their hands into the judicial system.

President Horta denies nominating Paulo Remedios
Timor Post 22 April 2009 - President Jose RamosHorta has denied rumor-mongering that he nominated international jurist, Paulo Remeidos to become deputy prosecutor general replacing Ivo Jorge Valente.

Prosecutor General violates law
Suara Timor Lorosae 21 April 2009 - MP Carmelita Caetano Moniz from the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) considersthat the actions of the Prosecutor General, Ana Pessoa urging President Horta to sack her and the Minister for Education, Joao Cancio Freitas, from the Board of Public Prosecutions was baseless.

Brazilian public defender general meets with Gusmao Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 22 April 2009 - Brazilian public defender general, Eduardo Flores Vieira has met with Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao to discuss cooperation in the field of justice.

Deputy Prime Minister needs great amount of money for combating corruption Timor Post 22 April 2009 - MP Fernando Gusmao Social Democratic Party (PSD) said in order to combat corruption in Government institutions, Deputy Prime Minister II Mario Viegas Carrascalao needed a great amount of money to help support processes of investigation into corruption.

MP calls for Mario Viegas Carrascalao to not only talk Suara Timor Lorosae 22 April 2009 - MP Aderito Hugo da Costa from the National Congress for the Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) called for Mario Viegas Carrascalao to not talk only about combating corruption within the Government’s institutions.

Appellate court president Ximenes meets with President Horta Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 21 April 2009 - The Court of Appeal President Claudio Ximenes has met with President Jose Ramos Horta to discuss the court's activities.

Government should increaes numbers of personnel in office of public defender Radio Televisaun Timor Leste 21 April 2009 - Brazilian Public Defender, Eduardo Flores said the Timorese Government should add numbers of its public defender to better strengthen the country’s judicial system.

Artwork by Arte Moris artist

Voices of East Timor - Stories of the ordinary people of Timor-Leste.

21 April 2009

East Timor's New Criminal Code Promulgated by President Horta

On 30 March 2009, President Jose Ramos-Horta promulgated Decree-Law 19/2009, the new Penal Code for Timor-Leste. This law contains 323 articles, and will take effect 60 days after its publication in the Jornal da Republica on 8 April. http://www.mj.gov.tl/jornal/?mod=artigo&id=1044

The Penal Code does not contain any article criminalizing defamation.

Regarding the criminalisation of abortion and exceptions, it includes the following article:

Article 141: Interruption of pregnancy

1. Whoever, by whatever means and without the consent of the pregnant woman, performs an abortion will be punished by a term in prison of 2 to 8 years.

2. Whoever, by whatever means and with the consent of the pregnant woman, performs an abortion will be punished by a term in prison of up to 3 years.

3. A pregnant woman who gives consent to an abortion by another person or who, by her own actions, performs an abortion will be punished by a term in prison of up to 3 years.

4. The previous sections do not apply in cases where the interruption of pregnancy is the only way to remove the danger of death or serious and irreversible injury to her body or the physical or psychological health of the pregnant women or fetus, and which was carried out under the authorization and supervision of a medical committee, by a doctor or health professional in a public health establishment and with the consent of the pregnant woman and/or her spouse.

5. No. 4 of this article will be subject to separate legislation.

Original Portugusese text:

Artigo 141º
Interrupção da gravidez

1. Quem, por qualquer meio e sem consentimento da mulher grávida, a fizer abortar é punido com pena de prisão de 2 a 8 anos.

2. Quem, por qualquer meio e com consentimento da mulher grávida, a fizer abortar é punido com pena de prisão até 3 anos.

3. A mulher grávida que der consentimento ao aborto praticado por terceiro, ou que, por facto próprio ou alheio, se fizer abortar, é punida com pena de prisão até 3 anos.

4. O disposto nos números anteriores não se aplica aos casos em que a interrupção da gravidez constituir o único meio para remover perigo de morte ou de grave e irreversível lesão para o corpo ou para a saúde física ou psíquica da mulher grávida ou do feto, desde que efectuada, mediante autorização e supervisão de junta médica, por médico ou profissional de saúde em estabelecimento de saúde público e com o consentimento da mulher grávida e ou do cônjuge.

5. O disposto no n.º 4 do presente artigo é objecto de legislação autónoma.

With thanks to Lao Hamutuk

"B" Alleges Timor Justice Minister used another's company to buy Prison Guard Uniforms

(Note: References in the translation of the article below to "big brother" are a straight translation of "maun" and "sister" of "mana" from tetum to english. The references to "sister" are of Minister Lucia Lobato and "big brother" of her Husband Americo Lopes.)

TRANSLATION OF “TEMPO SEMANAL” ARTICLE: “B” Alleges Justice Minister Used Name “Wasuba” to Buy Uniforms Edition Number 135, Monday 20 April 2009

The witness from whom the Justice Minister Lucia Maria Brandao Lobato and her husband asked for help find a company to use to supply uniforms for Timor-Leste prison guards have started to open their mouths to tell their story, strengthening the foundations of the allegations that the Justice Minister and her husband paid a bribe of 10% to the company named “Wasabu” in order to use their company’s name only to acquire uniforms and use their bank account to effect the transfer of funds paid for this Project to the Justice Minister. These allegations were made by “B”, who asked not to be named, but who is ready to cooperate with Timor-Leste State authorities to stop this misuse of State moneys. “First of all it was big brother Americo who
came. He came to speak to me. For me to look for a company, to make a purchase.”

When Tempo Semanal journalists tried to obtain clarification from the Justice Minister on the 17th of April after a seminar held the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building the Minister said, “Where are you from?” This newspapers journalist answered, “From Tempo Semanal.”
With a grimace the Minister said, “Right now I do not have time to speak with Tempo Semanal.” Perhaps the Minister was still feeling wounded by this newspaper’s earlier published article that she was suspected of Corruption, Collusion and Nepotism involving her Ministry.

This newspaper attempted to confirm with her the word “purchase” that Ms “B” had alleged, with a smile on her face, against what the Minister’s husband had “said regarding the uniforms (uniforms for prison guards).”

So as to discover what mischief these high level people were up to, she told him, “I will let you know later, if I can.” She emphasized, “I accepted to look for a company.” At that moment the lady concerned also had a company but its license had expired. “ I was going to give
mine but at that moment my company’s license had lapsed, it could not be used so I asked to use A’s instead,” she told further. After that B thought she would go and speak with her relative A, who was the owner of company Wasuba. “I spoke to A. A accepted, so he brought his
company over.”

A and B also began preparing the documents to formalize the tender in the middle of 2008, although according to an SMS from the minister shows that the process for acquiring the uniforms began in April 2008. “It was the two of us who in fact prepared this proposal,” B said.
Despite this, the two of them understood very well how this process would function. “Then the two of us spoke amongst ourselves and said, to do this thing, how do we do?” Because they did not understand it, B sought to find out from the Minister’s husband. “So then, I asked big
brother, and it seems that big brother spoke again with big sister.

This is what he said (big brother Americo, big brother Americo himself). This is what big brother said to the two of us that we would only get ten percent from the money, the budgeted moneys for making this purchase.”

“We got ten percent because the things were already there.” “These things were already acquired. We were only needed for help with the documents, merely for the preparation the proposal, just did things like the formalities. Just did the formalities for the things
that were already there ready to be delivered, just to be delivered, ready, to just make the claim for payment.”

He emphasized, alleging that, “ The things were already there, we merely helped with the company and made the proposal, so that the money could, could be paid out.” The price for this project was nearly US$100,000, but A and B as owners of the company only received
US$9,700. “But we only got ten percent from the total. But we did not buy the things, because we were told that they were already bought. They were already bought just waiting to be picked up and delivered.”

She also told of how the uniforms were transported from Indonesia. “Picking up the things. We went to pick up the things. My younger sibling took care of it in Surabaya and it was L who went to collect it in Jakarta,” B said.

Indeed this was also confirmed by LO. “At that moment I went to Indonesia, the Justice Minister herself telephoned me, she said, “I had to go to Jakarta to pick up the things and bring them here.” But he said he told her he rejected it saying, “this project is not mine.” B said that it was she who went to collect the specimen of the documents from the Ministry of Justice.
“This specimen here, at that time we went to pick up at justice. We went to pick it up there. If I am not wrong collected from Mr. Antonio,” B said. But B explained that it was not a specimen regarding the quality of the goods but regarding some other document. “This is not a specimen, but a project proposal document. It was blank so she asked for us to help her.”

Despite it being the two of them who filed out the form regarding the uniforms it was the Minister who gave them the amount for the contract price. “ We prepared it but they gave us the budget amount directly.

How much, that was given directly by them. At that moment big brother Americo brought it over to us,” she alleged of the Minister’s husband.

“They had already given the amount of the contract price. They gave us ninety seven thousand. They told us to put down ninety seven. Then after they gave us the price of ninety seven, they told us to put in the amounts per item, as to how much that was to be according to us, but what was clear was that it had to come out to ninety thousand dollars. Like this,” B said.

This newspaper was able to access the CPV in the amount of US$97,000.00 specifying the manufacture of more than five hundred uniforms, but it did not specify which company was to receive this money. “So the name of this company was used with nine thousand seven
hundred (US$9,700.00) then after we paid tax would be nine thousand seven hundred (US$9,700.00). The two of us got ten percent like this and A’s company had its tax paid,” A said, who after having received the money took 90% and delivered it to the minister’s residence in Bidau.

“We just used the company’s name and we just went through the formalities. We put in the amounts for the items to be able to lodge it and that was all. We didn’t do anything else,” B emphasized her allegations.

According to B’s recollection at the time they inserted a proposed amount of around five hundred dollars per item. “The items for the uniforms at the time it was five hundred and something, something like that. It was delivered in phases. 50% delivered (fifty percent). We didn’t deliver it all. Up until now we have not been able to receive payment of the refund of two thousand (US$2,000.00) security money that we deposited in Bank Mandiri. Because they say the goods have not been delivered one hundred percent.”

“We put it in (bill security). A and I took a debt, so that the two of us could put it in. Because at that time we asked sister directly.” What did the Minister for Justice say to do? The Minister for Justice told B to speak to her husband. “Speak to big brother, big brother said speak with sister as we are not prepared to speak with sister. The two of us and Amau were also scared because we still owed money to sister.”

“The two of us put the money together and then we telephoned big brother asking him to pay back the two thousand. Because we borrowed money from someone for that. So Americo gave us the two thousand back so that the two of us could pay back the people we owed money to.”
B added that, “yes, it was not ours. Because at the time we borrowed money from someone, big brother paid us back.” If this case goes further in the future are you prepared to give testimony? “Yes when needed we can give ours, (statement) we will go,” she said calmly. “This money was paid into the company Wasuba, it went into Wasuba’s company bank account.”

As soon as the transfer had been made form the Government to Wasuba’s company account they withdrew it and delivered it to the home of the Minister for Justice in Bidau. “After withdrawing it, withdrawing straight away, A took it and gave it to big brother and big sister at
Bidau and then A took our percentage and brought it here to be distributed to us. The two of us divided it here (at front of the house). All the money was taken and given to big brother and big
sister in Bidau. All the money that was transferred from the State into the bank account of Wasuba, was all withdrawn by A. At the time I did not want to go. So (she said) because it was A’s company, I told him he should go and collect it. As soon as he collected it he telephoned big sister, and she said take it to Bidau straight away.

The money was taken straight away to sister’s house, all delivered there, then, we were given money as part of our share.” “Initially when big brother spoke to me it was like this. He was only going to give me three thousand five hundred (US$3,500.00). I was just going to help with lodging a company for them. Then I said this: three thousand five hundred (US$3,500.00) and we will the rest. Then I spoke to A but A rejected it. A said three thousand five hundred
(US$3,500.00) to do what? We are going to do everything, all these things, and it was then that sister said to us, she would give the two of us ten percent. Because it was not right, this project was an Indonesian’s? (If it’s like that then why don’t you use the name of this Indonesian’s company?)”

Although the payment from the Government budget has lapsed the uniforms, “it came in phases because the ones came from Jakarta.” According to LO in the middle of 2008, he was in Surabaya for a graduation ceremony when he received a telephone call from the Justice
Minister asking him to go to Jakarta to collect the uniforms and take them by plane to Surabaya. “I received a telephone call from big sister asked me to go to Jakarta, go collect the uniforms at a lady friend of the Minister’s in Jakarta to take by plane to Surabaya so as
to ship by sea to Timor-Leste.” Because of this he departed straight away to Jakarta to take the goods back to Surabaya and then to ship by sea to Dili.

As the goods delivered were incomplete when they arrived, further requests were made for B’s younger sibling in Surabaya to help find some more. “The second delivery was from Surabaya.”

According to this witness, who was brave enough to accept this dirty work from a high level political leader in order to get to the bottom of the mischief of these politicians, his younger sibling sent more goods as requested but he had to send some more because the quantities
were again insufficient, “They arrived but when A delivered it, he said to me, B they don’t want to receive these things. A said, B they do not want to receive the goods because they are not one hundred percent there.” Then A asked, B what he thought, “Now what do we do?”
To this B said that he did not know and he asked A to let the Minister’s husband’s know. “Now you have to speak to big brother and them. Because, I do not know either. Whatever they send we do, we just do it.”

B immediately justified to A that according to instructions from the Minister and her Husband, they were only suppose to organize the documents to legalize the tender process. “To help with the documents, but with things like this, like this, I do not know anything,” added B.
“We were not suppose to do this, because at the time big brother made the proposal to us it was to pay ten percent (10%). We already have the goods, he told us there and then. We are just waiting to deliver (the proposal documents) them, so that the goods can just be delivered
to the warehouse, so that payment can be made,” alleged B. When this newspaper questioned regarding these documents B said, “Our documents were the only things needed. Only the company were needed.”

The Wasuba company documents were taken and lodged with the Ministry of Justice. “Then the company profile was taken and given to sister herself. We handed it directly to sister. The two of us, A and I went there to give it to her,” she said with certainty.

She emphasized her allegation that the Minister and her husband did not ask them to do any more work but to just give them a business name. “All they needed was the company, the goods were already acquired. They only needed the documents for formality, someone else’s

Six months, or seven months ago, this newspaper published a series of SMS’s from the mobile telephone of the Minister for Justice in the IV Constitutional Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Lucia Maria Brandao Lobato supporting allegations that she had given
herself and her friends projects, which to this date have not been the subject of any investigation by the Prosecutor General’s Office. But because of these allegations that Tempo Semanal published in Edition 108 on 14/10/08 the Minister for Justice lodged a complaint of criminal defamation against the Director of this newspaper Jose Belo with the Prosecutor General’s Office, which has already summonsed him and released him on conditional liberty, but placed him under reporting conditions, limiting his movements.

This case has not yet been tried to date, because according to the previous Prosecutor General Dr. Longuinhos Monteiro, he was still awaiting further evidence from the Justice Minister. To this day this newspaper and it’s director are still under accusation of having committed criminal defamation. Prior to lodging a complaint with the Prosecutor General, the Justice Minister also published an expensive full-page newspaper advertisement in a national daily newspaper, supplied at no cost to her, denying the allegations made by Tempo Semanal, calling Tempo Semanal stupid, backward, liars, lacking in credibility and accusing this newspaper of trying to bring down the AMP government.

But now this newspaper has been able to find witnesses who have given valuable testimony regarding the Prison Guards Uniforms, which has remained controversial until this day because the Prison Guards themselves have rejected the uniforms, footwear, and headwear purchased because they are adorned with TNI and ABRI (Indonesian Armed Forces labels).

(end of translation)

Translated distributed by Fretilin

Criminal cases tried and decisions issued by the Baucau District Court in March 2009

DILI 21 April 2009 East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program - This summary of cases is the result of observations conducted over five days at the Baucau District Court. JSMP monitored hearings in both minor and serious criminal cases. Minor criminal cases were tried by a single judge until the final decision, whereas serious criminal cases were tried by a panel of three judges. Therefore when a serious criminal case was scheduled for trial at the Baucau court it was necessary to bring a judge from Dili to make up the number necessary to compose a panel to conduct hearings.

Between 16-20 March the Baucau District Court tried 10 criminal cases from a total number of 19 cases scheduled for trial at the aforementioned court. Of the 10 cases, oral decisions were issued in 2 minor criminal cases. In five serious criminal cases the court examined testimony from defendants, victims and witnesses, and in two of these cases the court issued sentences of four years and 1 year two months imprisonment respectively.

In addition the court also adjourned one expedited trial in a case of damage to property. A number of cases were adjourned and rescheduled for trial to hear testimony from victims and witnesses.

Most of the aforementioned cases have been pending since 2005 - 2008, except for one case (expedited trial) where the defendant had been held in preventive detention in police cells for less than 72 hours.

More information about the aforementioned trials is provided below:

BAUCAU, 17/03/2009 (I)

A case of light maltreatment committed by the defendant against the victim. The Baucau Court adjourned the trial until 7 April 2009. The court adjourned the case after hearing testimony from the witness LX. The trial will continue with the examination of testimony from other witnesses who did not attend the aforementioned hearing.

According to monitoring conducted by JSMP during the examination phase, the witness LX informed the court about what he saw and knew about the maltreatment committed against the victim at the scene of the crime. In his testimony he said that he witnessed the maltreatment.

The witness testified that the defendant struck the victim with a piece of wood. The witness also explained that the victim was lying on the ground and covered in blood.

BAUCAU, 17/03/2009 (II) No. 164/Crm.S/2008/TDB

This case of serious maltreatment was committed by the defendant (JF) against the victim (MF) because of a fight between their children. The indictment stated that the defendant used a piece of wood to strike the victim twice on the jaw resulting in injury. For these actions the public prosecutor charged the defendant under Article 351.1 and Article 55.1 of the Indonesian Penal Code. The public prosecutor decided to apply Article 55.1 because another defendant had assisted in the maltreatment committed against the victim. The defendant charged with Article 55.1 was the husband of the defendant JF who did not attend this hearing.

During the hearing the defendant exercised the right to remain silent, however during the examination of witness testimony the witness AF who is related to the defendant briefly stated that he/she saw the defendant strike the defendant as described in the indictment. After hearing the testimony of the witness, the public prosecutor also presented evidence (a branch from a coconut tree) and a machete to the court. The public prosecutor also mentioned other factors relating to this case, such as the fact that the parties had not yet reached an amicable settlement because each party argued that the other party should pay a fine. The trial of this case will be continued on 15 April to find out the results of an examination into the victim’s psychological state. The victim did not attend the hearing due to a fragile mental state. At the conclusion of the hearing the defence asked the court to instruct the public prosecutor to summon the victim to ascertain the victim’s condition.

BAUCAU, 17/03/2009....(III) No. 12/Crm.S/09/TDB

The defendant AG was charged by the public prosecutor for selling government subsidized rice (MTCI) in violation of a government instruction issued in the form of a ministerial regulation. The prosecutor considered the actions of the defendant to be aimed at benefiting himself financially by raising the price of goods. The prosecutor charged the defendant under Article 390 of the Indonesian Penal Code. The public defender representing the defendant requested for the court to summon the local village chiefs as witnesses because they would have a good understanding of the conditions in the local community. However the village chiefs had already heard the testimony of other witnesses during the hearing and therefore the court denied the request of the defendant to allow them to appear as witnesses.

The witnesses FC and PR who were presented by the public prosecutor said that they arrested the defendant at the scene of the crime because of information provided by the Baucau PNTL Commander that a person (the defendant) was manipulating the price of government subsidized rice and selling it at $13 per sack. The witnesses stated that they confiscated $3002 from the defendant at the scene of the crime as evidence. The confiscated money was returned to the defendant except for $300 which was still being held at the Baucau Police Station.

In his final recommendation of sentence the public prosecutor summarized the evidence produced during the trial, for example the confession of guilt by the defendant and acknowledgement that he had acted based on his own free will. The prosecutor confirmed that there was lack of documentary evidence to support the indictment, however the prosecutor was endeavoring to provide receipts of the transactions conducted by the defendant to provide documentary evidence for this case.

The defence rejected the recommendation of the prosecutor and stated that his client had no intent to benefit financially as stated in the charges. The defence also stated that the defendant had sold the aforementioned rice with the intention of helping the local community. The defence also stated that the elements of the charge had not been established and therefore requested for the court to acquit the defendant.

BAUCAU, 18/03/2009....(IV) No. 162/Crm.C/08/TDB

The court did not allow JSMP to monitor this case because of its sensitive and confidential nature (sexual assault) which is closed to the public. However, JSMP was able to hear the reading of the indictment by the judge in the court room. The indictment stated that prior to the incident the defendant had a romantic relationship with the victim in 2001. At the end of March 2003 the defendant threatened the victim to have sexual intercourse with him. The indictment also mentioned that the defendant committed the aforementioned criminal offence when the victim was 12 years old. The defendant was charged with Article 287 of the Indonesian Penal Code.

BAUCAU, 18/03/2009....(V) No. 62/Crm.C/08/TDB

The public prosecutor charged the defendant HB under Article 338 and Article 53 of the Indonesian Penal Code for the criminal act of attempted murder against the victim AA. The prosecutor charged the defendant based on evidence showing that the defendant had thrown a stone that struck the victim on the head, nose and eye. According to the prosecutor the defendant committed the aforementioned act based on his own free will. However during the hearing the defendant defended his actions saying that the victim had initially been carrying a machete and running towards him with the intention of striking him with the machete. In response to the actions of the victim the defendant took two stones and threw them at the victim and struck the victim on the head causing injury. The prosecutor stated that the defendant admitted his actions. In addition the victim told the court that there was no clear reason why the defendant had thrown stones at him. Due to the fact that no clear motive had been established the court adjourned the trial until the 6 April to hear testimony from witness (M) who is in Indonesia.

BAUCAU, 18/03/2009....(VI) No. 49/Crm.C/08/TDB

On Wednesday 18/3 the Baucau District Court read out a decision in a case of serious maltreatment. This was the final decision issued by the court of first instance after considering all of the facts presented during the trial. The decision read out by Judge Edite P stated that the defendant had prior convictions. During Indonesian times the defendant committed the criminal act of murder against the victim’s husband.

In September 2005 the defendant also cut off the left hand of the victim (M). In that case the defendant was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment from the Baucau District Court however after serving only 3 years of his sentence the defendant was pardoned by the President of the Republic in 2008 and was released back into the community.

In relation to the more recent case the public prosecutor charged the defendant under Article 351.1 and Article 356.1 of the Indonesian Penal Code. When reading out its decision the court also accepted and assessed the testimony provided in a previous hearing.

After considering the actions of the defendant the court considered the appropriate articles because the defendant committed the criminal act against the victim who was his own wife. Therefore the court decided to increase the punishment by half and sentence the defendant to 6 years and two months imprisonment.

The court also decided that there were aggravating circumstances and sentenced the defendant to serve a minimum sentence of four years but released him from court costs.

BAUCAU, 18/03/2009....(VII) No. 35/Crm.C/08/TDB

On Wednesday 18 March the Baucau District Court read out its decision in a case of serious maltreatment committed by the defendant R against the victim (.....). The public prosecutor charged the defendant with Article 354.1 after considering that the defendant struck the victim on the forehead and temple with a machete causing the victim to suffer a serious injury requiring seven stitches.

The defendant expressed regret for his actions and had already spent three months in detention. The defendant had also reached an amicable settlement with the victim and provided a horse as compensation. According to the decision the defendant had no prior convictions.

After considering the aforementioned facts the court decided to sentence the defendant to 1 year and four months imprisonment. The court did not order the defendant to pay for court costs.

BAUCAU, 19/03/2009....(VIII) No. 72/Crm.C/08/TDB

At the opening of the hearing the judge stated that this case was open to the public. However after reading out the indictment the judge asked those in the court room to leave because of the sensitive nature of the case (sexual assault) which is closed to the public. The only people allowed to attend were court officials or the parties directly involved in the case. For this reason JSMP was unable to monitor this hearing

BAUCAU, 19/03/2009....(IX) No. 138/Crm.C/07/TDB

This matter was adjourned because the witness who was supposed to provide testimony was not present. Due to the non-attendance of the witness the court adjourned the trials until 14 April to hear testimony from the witnesses listed in the indictment. The trial was adjourned after the victim JE was presented.

BAUCAU, 19/03/2009....(X) Case Number. 09/TDB

The court conducted an expedited trial in a case of damage of property. The trial was adjourned until the 23 March to hear victim and witness testimony because they had failed to attend the first hearing. Based on monitoring conducted by JSMP, the defendant was escorted from Lospalos District by PNTL. The defendant was taken to court to attend the expedited hearing before the expiry of the 72 hour period of detention due to concerns about the mental wellbeing of the defendant who was being held in police detention. The defendant was caught in the act of damaging property.

The investigative report provided by the Lospalos police stated that the police arrested the defendant at the scene (Fuiluro, Lospalos) when he was in possession of stones that he intended to throw at the victim’s house. The police arrived at the scene after receiving information from the victim. The indictment also mentioned that the defendant had previously been convicted for the same type of offence (damage to property). The prosecutor charged the defendant with Article 406.1 of the Indonesian Penal Code on destruction of property. The defendant exercised his right to remain silent. The court adjourned this trial until 23 March to hear testimony from the victim and witness who were not present.

For further information please contact: Luis de Oliveira Sampaio Executive Director of JSMP
Email: luis@jsmp.minihub.org Telephone: 3323883

Artwork by Arte Moris artist.

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

UNMIT: New East Timor Police Commander and UN Police Cmmissioner visits Lautem District PNTL office

United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste

Issue No 86

20 April 2009

New PNTL Commander and UN Police Commissioner visit Lautem District PNTL office

The new General Commander of the Timor Leste National Police (PNTL), Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro, and the UN Police Commissioner Mr. Luis Carrilho visited police officers in Lautem last Monday (13/04). The visit was part of the ongoing preparations for the resumption of responsibility by the PNTL.

Speaking to the police officers, Police Commissioner Carrilho spoke of the five principles he believes to be integral to policing:

1. the primary mission of every police officer is to serve the people in Timor- Leste regardless of their ethnic or cultural background or their political affiliations;

2. the human rights and dignity of each individual needs to be respected and fully protected;

3. the use of force should be the last resort and the need to use force must be legitimate and proportionate to the situation at hand;

4. self-discipline, respect for police hierarchy and unity among all police officers are integral to creating a professional police force;

5. the police force must not be politicisedwhile each police officer has the right to vote and express their personal opinion during the elections, they must treat all people with impartiality, equality and fairness when carrying out their duty as police officers.

The Lautem District PNTL Office has an Administration Unit which comprises a logistics section, personnel section and sub-district section, and an Operations Unit consisting of the following sections: task force, investigations, community policing, radio communications, traffic police, disciplinary section, and the sub-district sections. During the visit, the Lautém PNTL Commander reported that out of the 149 police officers based in the district, 90% had been certified with 9 police officers still in process. In logistics, he confirmed that the Lautém office has five cars, 16 motorbikes, a radio communication unit and two official telephones.

Regarding the resumption of responsibility, PNTL General Commander Longuinhos Monteiro emphasized that no final decision has been made regarding when the districts would begin to resume responsibility. “The resumption process is in progress,” said the General Commander. I ask that the PNTL and UNPOL continue to have good working relations, respect the Commanders, be unified and coordinate their work well.”

Mr. Monteiro also stressed to PNTL officers that he hoped they would continue learning from the UN Police officers.