ETLJB 28 June 2009 SYDNEY An Australian lawyer has condemned East Timor's justice system as a "bloody hopeless" mess, riddled with corruption and incapable of providing anyone with a fair trial.
Darwin lawyer, Jon Tippett, QC, is the legal adviser for dual Australian/East Timorese citizen, Angie Pires, who stands accused of involvement in the 2008 shooting of President Ramos-Horta.
His legal team has not had access to the 5000-document prosecution brief to prepare her defence, and proceedings have been muddied by reports that Mr Ramos Horta may offer amnesty to some of those allegedly involved in the attack.
East Timor's dysfuntional judicial system and a backlog of 4000 cases meant Pires and ordinary Timorese were not getting access to justice, Mr Tippett is reported to have said.
"The problem is that Australian people are pouring tens of millions into East Timor each year and into the UN effort and the legal system is just hopeless," he said.
"I think our Government is entitled to say to the East Timorese Government . . . we want some bang for our buck, we want to see an open, accountable legal system that is free of corruption and free of the impediments that it contains."