10 March 2011

Parliament commences proceedings to suspend Minister Arcanjelo Leite

East Timor National Parliament in session
JOSEFA PARADA ­ SUARA TIMOR LOROSAE ­ 08 March 2011 - DILI ­ The Baucau District Court has written to the national Parliament to suspend the Minister for State Administration and Territorial Planning, Arcangelo Leite who is suspected of having abused his power.  The letter from the court was tabled in the plenary meeting of the National Parliament last Monday 8 March 2011 and passed onto the parliaments Ethics and Parliamentary Mandate Committee I for its consideration.

The request from the Baucau District Court was made by Judge Ana Paula Monetiro de Jesus, was directed to Fernando Lasama de Araujo, the President of the National Parliament.

The letter stated, “For the purposes of enabling the proceedings against the member of government Mr. Arcangelo de Jesus Gouveia Leite, Minister for State Administration and Territorial Planning, I request Your Excellency to determine the suspension of the above named.  This is pursuant to Article 113 Numbers 1 and 2 of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (CDRDTL).  I annex copies of folios 242 to 257 of the accusation as well as the annexed folio 289.”

The Vice President of the National Parliament, Maria Paixao said that the letter has been received by the Parliament’s Secretariat, and now it has been sent onto Committee I to deliberate over the request and deliver a report to the national parliament for discussion in the plenary.

“The Secretariat of the National Parliament has sent the letter off to Committee I to prepare a report to the National Parliament.  The question of whether or not to suspend from functions so as that he can face court is one that will be decided by a session of the plenary of parliament.”

The Secretariat of the Parliament delivered the letter to Committee I and handed it directly by the Vice President of the National Parliament to the Chair of Committee I, the Deputy Maria Fernanda Lay.

However, the Deputy Chair of Committee I, Deputy Jacob Xavier said that though the letter had been handed to Committee I, the committee has been unable to get a quorum of Deputies to finalize its opinion to the plenary session.

The Minister for State Administration and Territorial Planning, Arcangelo Leite told STL by telephone last Monday 7 March, that he was ready to go and answer in court at any time.

“As a Timorese citizen I am ready to go and answer before the court at any time.  I am also ready to cooperate with justice.  As for the matter of my suspension by the National Parliament, I am ready to accept any decision the national Parliament may make and still cooperate with justice,” said the Minister.  (Ends)

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