20 May 2009

Trial of case relating to attack in Tasi Tolu postponed again

JSMP 19 May 2009 - On 28 April 2009 a panel of judges conducted a third hearing to examine witnesses in the case of an attack committed against the F-FDTL HQ in Tasi Tolu. After that hearing the panel adjourned the trial until 15 May 2009, however the hearing could not be conducted on the said date because the panel handling this case received an urgent summons by the Court of Appeal to attend training on the Timor Leste Penal Code that has just recently been approved by the state, and according to information provided to JSMP, the new Timor Leste Penal Code may enter into force on 7 June 2009.

Also, according to information obtained by JSMP, the trial might continue on 21 May 2009, at an undisclosed time, because no clear schedule has been issued for the trial of this matter. JSMP believes that all witnesses have been notified by the Dili District Court and they were all present, including a high ranking officer from the PNTL with the initials AJ, and were prepared to give evidence against the defendants Railos and others.

JSMP understands that the new Timor Leste Penal Code needs to be properly understood, both by the general public as well as judicial actors in general and judges in particular. However, the reasons for adjourning this trial were not appropriate, because there was no legal basis; rather the decision was made in response to the current situation and circumstances. JSMP believes that all parties, including the victim and the defendants, have the right to a speedy trial without undue delay because JSMP believes that behavior such as this violates the rights of the defendants to a timely and credible trial.

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

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