11 July 2009

Defence says 'No evidence' in East Timor assassination case against Australian citizen Pires

ABC Radio News 11 July 2009 By Phoebe Stewart Darwin - Lawyers for a Darwin woman accused of conspiring to assassinate two East Timorese political leaders say the case against her is "unfounded".

Angelita Pires's legal team has called on the prosecution to abandon their case.

The 43-year-old dual citizen of Australia and East Timor will stand trial in Dili on Monday for allegedly conspiring the attacks on Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and President Jose Ramos Horta in February last year.

She has hired Darwin QC Jon Tippett and solicitor Peter Maley to defend her case.

Mr Maley says the prosecution's case is problematic.

"There is really no evidence which we say links our client in any way whatsoever with any involvement or agreement to participate," he said.

"There is no evidence we say the prosecution can reliably use in this trial and the allegation that our client was involved in anyway whatsoever is not substantiated."

He says it is a stressful time for Ms Pires, but she is holding up well under the pressure.

"She is determined to demonstrate and prove to the court, to the world, that she was not involved," he said.

Ms Pires is one of 28 charged over the attacks.

Mr Maley says they are expecting the case to attract international attention.

"It's [a] serious allegation, an unfounded allegation against an Australian citizen," he said.

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