22 December 2011

Martial Arts Violence Continues, as the PNTL remains without any Community Police Engagement Strategies.

East Timor Legal News Source: Fundasaun Mahein, 21th December 2011 - “In regards to PSHT’s graduation, we PSHT had sent a letter to the PNTL and the State Sectary for Security to provide security for that event. However we had received no security guarantees from the PNTL, and the end result was confrontation and the death of one of our members.” (Mario Trinidade 20/12/2012 TVTL)

If Mr. Mario Trinidade’s statement is true, then Fundasaun Mahein is very concerned that despite the PNTL and SES being informed about the graduation of new senior PSHT members, no security arrangements were provided.

Fundasaun Mahein is concerned with Police attitudes and the eagerness to use para-military tactics, which includes the setting-up of road checkpoints once the conflict is over. The recurring use of para-military tactics does nothing in the way of conflict prevention and only exacerbates tensions to the point where they become national security threats.

Fundasaun Mahein is saddened by the PNTL’s tardy intervention allowing the confrontation of Martial Arts Groups (MAG), which resulted in the death of a man and the destruction of people’s properties and vehicles.

Fundasaun Mahein requests that the PNTL adopt detailed plans and strategies to deal with MAG conflict and suggests the use of Community Police engagement strategies. These in FMs view would be beneficial to conflict prevention.

As a result, Fundasaun Mahein recommends both the Government and the PNTL to:

(1) Create an effective community police unit, which engages daily with the community. The community police will be able to identify minor conflicts in the community and offer preventive resolutions as opposed to Special Police Operations that cause public panic.

(2) Ask the PNTL to adopt problem solving orientated strategies which identify the roots of the problems in the community and recommends appropriate solutions, thus reducing the high risks to the community.

(3) Develop police structures and management procedures. In order for police officers to listen and respond to community needs and priorities, they need to have structures which allow them to access the communities, and they need to have the operational flexibility to adjust activities based on local needs and priorities.

(4) Fundasaun Mahein recommends the National Parliament Committee B, which is in charge of Security Defence and Foreign Affairs to draft an Organic Law of Community Police, which would empower the Community Police to carry out more peaceful operations within the community.

If you would like more information on this topic please contact: Nelson Belo,Director Fundasaun Mahein www.fundasaunmahein.org Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org Tlp +670 737 4222

19 December 2011

Institutionalizing Community Policing in Timor-Leste: Exploring the Politics of Police Reform

East Timor Legal News 19/12/2011 Source: The Asia Foundation Nélson De Sousa C. Belo, Mark R. Koenig, Edited by Silas Everett Occasional Paper No. 8, December 2011 - A brief paper that examines the development of the Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) over the last decade, which has been a core focus of the international community as well as successive national governments. As capacity has been developed at both the individual and organizational levels, the need for the PNTL to develop into a community oriented police service has been stated regularly. Despite this prominence in international and national rhetoric on police development, demonstrable progress toward making community policing a cornerstone of policing in Timor-Leste has been very limited. The political leadership of Timor-Leste is very focused on the issues around the police and the need for police reform. As a vague ambition rather than an immediate priority, community policing is chronically under-resourced, with the most recent FY12 budget leaving out its funds for training completely.

Download the full paper here.

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

18 December 2011

President of the Republic denies requesting list of 100 prisoners to pardon on Christmas

H.E. President Jos Ramos-Horta
East Timor Legal News 18/12/2011 Source: Office of the President of the Republic Press Release  DENIAL - Dili, 16.DEC-11 (PPR) – The Office of the President of the Republic denies news published by Timorese press according to which H.E. President Jose Ramos-Horta would have instructed the Minister of Justice, Lucia Freitas Lobato, to prepare a list of 100 prisoners to receive pardons on Christmas.

The Head of State, within the scope of his institutional prerogatives and given his humanitarian culture, has always defended the commutation of sentences, provided they are based on solid arguments and, with that in mind, requested the Government for information and recommendations on prisoners eligible for a pardon, without any mention of numbers, for which the news published by the local press are completely false.

On December 1, the Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic addressed a letter to H.E. the Minister of Justice, Lúcia Freitas Lobato, saying only: “In order to prepare the pardoning process for 2011, H.E. the President of the Republic tasked me with requesting from Your Excellency an updated list of all prisoners currently serving sentence in Timor-Leste’s correctional facilities”. At no time did this letter mention any numbers.

The false pieces of news in question were published on Monday, December 12, by the daily newspapers Suara Timor Lorosae and Timor Post.

Suara Timor Lorosae quotes the Minister of Justice saying she had received “instructions from the President of the Republic to prepare a list of 100 prisoners eligible for a pardon on Christmas.” The same newspaper adds that Lúcia Lobato has already contacted the national director of Correctional Services to submit a list to the Prime-Minister before bringing it to the highest Magistrate of the Nation.

Timor Post goes even further, explaining that “the Minister of Justice received an official letter from the Office of the President of the Republic requesting names of prisoners because he wants to pardon 100, from Becora and Gleno.”

“I received an official letter from the Office of the President requesting names of prisoners eligible for receiving pardons by Christmas,” Lúcia Lobato reportedly said to Timor Post.

The Becora Correctional Facility holds approximately 80 detainees awaiting trial and 90 prisoners serving sentences, in a total of approximately 170, while at Gleno there are 30 serving sentences and only two awaiting trial.east-timor,

17 December 2011

Police will not tolerate people who smuggle drugs into the country

East Timor Legal News 17/12/2011 Source: Suara Timor Lorosae 16/12/2011 - Deputy Timorese Police Commissioner of Police Afonso de Jesus said that the police will never tolerate people who are found guilty of smuggling drugs into the country.

He said that they have detained many smugglers and drug consumers, and some detainees have been jailed and some others are facing the judicial process.

“Our state leaders including the parliamentarians have many times called on the police to control drug consumers and or smugglers. We have to spend much time to detect drug consumers and smugglers and we need financial support to hunt and monitor this criminal activity,” de Jesus said.

The Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Commander Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga has recently said that they will never tolerate drugs consumers because consuming drugs will have a negative impact on the life of young people.

PNTL Deputy criticises NGO’s Human Rights report

East Timor Legal News 17/12/2011 Source: Independente 16/12/2011 - The Timorese Human Rights Association (HAK) has recently released their report that stating that the Timorese National Police (PNTL) members were involved in 90 criminal cases, but the Deputy Police Commissioner of Police Afonso de Jesus rejected it.

De Jesus said the recent report by HAK on human rights violations by PNTL members is false because it was not based on fact.

“When you make a report about…(human rights violation) (it) must come with concrete data, and people’s names (must also be included),” de Jesus said. He added that, “You must not just mention something general like this (that doesn’t) have justification.”

Police yet to identify F-FDTL cadet’s killer

East Timor Legal News 17/12/2011 Source: Radio Timor-Leste 15/12/2011 - The Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Commander, Calisto Gonzaga, said that the police have not yet identified the suspect who killed a Timorese Defense Force (F-FDTL) cadet last month in Metiaut of Dili.

Gonzaga confirmed that the investigation of the case wascontinuing, but the suspect involved in the case had not yet been identified.

The police had questioned a few witnesses who were with Sabino Ximenes da Silva before the murder, but no significant result was reached, he said.

“Some witnesses said they were with the victim about six hours before he was killed and we are trying to find out the one that was with him in a very short time,” he said.

Related stories
Soldier's body found on Dili beach
Police continue investigating F-FDTL cadet's death

Autopsy on body of Timina Fuel manager does not show signs of killing

East Timor Legal News 17/12/2011 Source: Diario Nacional 15/12/2011 - The Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Commander, Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga, said that the result from the pathology doctor of the autopsy on Saturnino Fatima Maia, the manager Timina Fuel who was recently found dead, did not show that he was killed by unknown people.

“I just receive the result of the autopsy from the pathology doctor and the document states that there is no indication or sign of killing on the body,” Gonzaga said.

Gonzaga reported that, according to the pathologist,t the wound on Maia's neck of Maia was not a sign that he was murdered.

“The pathology doctors recommend that the SIC should make an investigation into the case and we will inform the Public Prosecution so that they can authorise us to start investigations,” Gonzaga said.

Police commander slammed for criticising officers in public

PNTL Commander Longuinhos Monteiro
East Timor Legal News 17/12/2011 Source: Independente15/12/2011 - As the general commander of PNTL, Longuinhos Monteiro should not publicly discuss the weaknesses of his senior officers, FALINTIL veteran and member of parliamentary Committee B, Faustinho dos Santos, said.

During a swearing-in ceremony for new PNTL unit police commanders on Monday, Mr. Monteiro said current members of the PNTL command unit did not work professionally and lacked of capacity to do their job.

Mr. dos Santos reacted strongly to this declaration. “In the past, when we were in the jungle as FALINTIL [guerilla fighters] we had one method to orient members – when some of officials failed we did not declare this in public because the failure was ours,” he said. He added that in the future the PNTL command should have a good policy to secure confidence inside the command.

Police register 2010 cases of traffic accidents

East Timor Legal News 17/1/2/2011 Source: Diario Nacional 15/12/2011 - The Commander for Traffic Police Inspector Valente Soares said that in 2011 the Timorese National Police (PNTL) from the Traffic Police Unit have registered 2010 cases of traffic accidents.

“Based on data from the 13 districts from January up to December 2011, the number of traffic accidents registered is more than 2010,” Soares said.

Commander for the Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga said that during 2011 the SIC cooperated with the traffic police to investigatr traffic accidents.

“We cooperate with the traffic police to make the process of autopsy and sometimes we need pictures to respond to the investigation process,” Gonzaga said.

Related Stories
More reckless driving by UN staff in Dili results in yet another collision
Government and Parliament strongly condemn UN Staff who killed three Timorese in traffic collisions
Another traffic accident involving UN vehicle results in two deaths
People stone United Nations car after traffic accident leaves a Timorese boy dead

More reckless driving by UN staff in Dili results in yet another collision

East Timor Legal News 17/12/2011 Source: Independente16/11/2011 - The United Nations Police in Timor-Leste yesterday yet again have been involved in a collision with a Timorese citizen on a motobike in Dili in front of the Tiger Fuel Station.

The incident took place when the UN Police car with the Number UN-0019 came out from the Tiger Fuel Station and hit a motorbike travelling in on the main road from Mandarin to Komoro.

The victim was injured but not seriously and the light on his motorbike was smashed.

This is the third traffic collision in the country in the last mongh involving United Nations vehicles with the previous two occuring on the 4th and 9th of December which have resulted in 3 deaths and two citizens seriously injured.

ETLJB Related Stories
Government and Parliament strongly condemn UN Staff who killed three Timorese in traffic collisions

Another traffic accident involving UN vehicle results in two deaths

People stone United Nations car after traffic accident leaves a Timorese boy dead

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 14 December 2011

East Timor Legal News 14/12/2011 Source: Government of East Timor Press Release -The Council of Ministers met this Wednesday, December 14, 2011, at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved:

1. Government Resolution Proposal approving the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia

The accession of Timor-Leste to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a priority of the IV Constitutional Government, as well as the promotion of good relations with all nations. For that reason, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia and its Protocols should be ratified.

These international legal instruments aim to promote peace, friendship, solidarity and cooperation among people at a regional and global level.

The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia was signed by the five founding members of ASEAN in Bali in 1976, proceeding then to the extension to other countries through the three Amendment Protocols. The first and second Protocols were signed in Manila, Philippines in 1987 and in 1998 respectively. The third Protocol was held in Hanoi in 2010 allowing the European Union to join. Since its establishment sixteen countries outside ASEAN have joined the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

2. Decree-Law: approves the Special Careers Scheme for Health Professionals

The first amendment to the Civil Service positions of leadership and management careers scheme approved by Decree-Law 20/2011 of June 8, allowed us to develop the rules governing the creation of special careers and establish a its specific regulation.

It was thus solved the existing gap in the Civil Service Law covering health clinicians and in the Decree-Law establishing the Civil Service positions of leadership and management careers scheme that had insufficient legal basis to create their own careers  scheme within the Civil Service.

This legislation responds to the aforementioned needs and distinguishes health professionals, previously integrated in the general civil service career scheme, bearing in mind the specifics of their duties and the need to continuously build their scientific technique and functional autonomy.

3. Decree-Law: approves the Special Career Scheme and Statute of Prison Guards

This Decree-Law creates a special career regime for prison guards under the National Directorate of Prison Services and Social Welfare, distinct from the general civil service career scheme.

Prison guards face specific limitations, responsibilities and risks due to the performance of their duties in securing and in the surveillance of inmates. Prison guards also respond for the maintenance of order and tranquility inside the prison establishment.

In addition, this measure ensures the continuity of specific training given to prison guards during their career, allowing the development of their professional skills and improving prison services.

4. Decree-Law: approves the Statute of the Notaries and Registry Officers

This law creates a special career for both notaries and registry officers. It defines the rules of admission, appointment and career progression. It also establishes a salary in accordance to the set of special rights and duties. Moreover, it creates a separate incompatibility and impediments regime related to the specific nature of the functions and activities that registrars and notaries have to perform.

The implementation of the registry and notary system is one of the IV Constitutional Government Program priorities. By ensuring certainty and security within the country’s social and economic relations the Government aims at the reduction of judicial conflicts and the growth of a steady business environment, favorable to economic  and social development.

5. Decree-Law: approves the training regulation to access the registry and notary officer’s career

This regulation defines the application and entry conditions to access the special career and training of notaries and registry officers.

Joining this special career depends not only on the approval of a tender but it requires a mandatory special training, that ensures both notaries and registrars a due qualification, technical expertise and high-standard ethics. These components are essential for the maintenance and development of their professional activity and technical autonomy.

Building the capacity of notaries and registry officers is essential to the successful implementation of the registry and notary services. It is their special responsibility to maintain secure legal transactions and ensure the extrajudicial reduction of social conflicts

6. Decree-Law: approves the single pecuniary installment to the Combatants and the family of National Liberation Martyrs

This Decree Law defines the ownership and the requirements needed to start allocating the pecuniary installment process intended only to the families of martyrs and fighters for national liberation in agreement with Article 28 of the Statute of the Combatants of National Liberation

7. Fifth Amendment to Decree-Law No. 15/2008 of 4 June that regulates the Law of National Liberation Combatants

This decree-law amends the deadlines set out in Decree-Law No. 15/2008 of 4 June, in order to accelerate the pension claims procedures and appeals. The deadlines are now faster, without, however, undermining the rights of all beneficiaries

8. Decree-Law: approves the judicial holidays regime

The courts activity suspension system and the judicial actors’ holidays is severely outdated and unframed vis-à-vis the current judicial sector needs.

It is necessary not only to adequately ensure the right of judicial actors to pause but to provide institutions with enough time to organize training activities and to enhance the professional experience, competence and performance of their employees. This courts activity suspension shall not affect the guarantee of urgent services.

The Council of Ministers has approved a vote of condolence on the death of Ambassador RamonHernandez

Having been informed of the tragic death of HE Ambassador and friend Ramon Hernandez, who has recently ceased functions as Ambassador of Cuba in Timor-Leste, the Council of Ministers approved a vote of deep regret, addressing the most heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Maricela Hernandez and the rest of the family.

The relations between Timor-Leste and Cuba have strengthened considerably throughout the Ambassador Ramon Hernandez’s mandate. He has shown a strong commitment to support various areas, with particular emphasis on medicine and literacy, which by far have improved the living conditions of many Timorese people.

The Timorese people will always miss the work and the especial friendship that with no doubt distinguished Ambassador Ramon Hernandez. Timor-Leste is forever grateful.

15 December 2011

Government and Parliament strongly condemn UN Staff who killed three Timorese in traffic collisions

East Timor Legal News15/12/2011 Source: Diario Nacional 13/12/2011  - Government officials and Members of the National Parliamenta strongly condemned the attitude of the United Nations personnel in the country who killed three Timorese last week in the traffic accidents.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Carlos said that it was important for the competent institutions to investigate this case.

"The United Nations have their own rules. I used to be a staff member of the UN for 11 years in Africa. They have to be disciplined in using the UN assets and they have to abide by the rules. I do not know why they [UN Staff] drive UN's car and kill people recklessly therefore we have to investigate this case," Carlos said.

He also called on the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) leaders to evaluate their staff attitude and should send back their staff who get drunk and cause undesirable things to happen.

Deputy President of Parliament Maria Paixao said UNMIT Chief Ameerah Haq had recently said the competent institution was investigating the traffic accident involving UN staff, adding that the staff members who killed the Timorese should be punished based on Timorese law, if they were found guilty.

"We know that the Special Representative of the United Nations Ameerah Haq made a declaration saying that the investigation into this case is going on and if it is found that the UN Staff are guilty then they should be sanctioned based on our law," she said.

MP Cornelio L-7 Gama from UNDERTIM said it was important to hand over this case to the United Nations to process because they already killed many people.

Spokesperson for UNMIT Carlos Araujo said that UNMIT was cooperating with the Timorese National Police (PNTL) to investigate this case.

"In order to take the necessary action against UN staffs who are involved in these cases. there will be an investigation" Araujo said.
UN to investigate traffic accidents involving its staff Source: Timor Post 13/12/2011 language source: Tetun - The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative to Timor-Leste, Ameerah Haq, on behalf of the UN extended condolences to the families of the victimes who died in traffic collisions involving her staff.

Haq made the condolences during the ceremony for the commemoration of the human rights day in the House of the Parliament yesterday.

She said the UN would fully support the process of investigation into the cases in order to explain the case. The UN also investigated the cases according to the procedures to take the necessary action for reducingthe  number of accidents, she said.

"This officers is the UN personnel who are involved in the collisions and will be sacked from the UN. The court in his own country will also legally process him based on the responsibility which the UN asks for," She said.

The MPs in the Parliament also called on the international entities who were working in Timor-Leste to respect human rights.
UN promises to support outcome of PNTL probe into road deaths Source: Independente 13/12/2011 - UNMIT boss Ameerah Haq said her office would support the result of the police investigations into accidents involving UN vehicles that led to the deaths of three civilians last week.

Last Friday night, a Timorese national Pedro da Cruz and Indonesian citizen Patrisius Bau died after their motorbike was hit by a UN vehicle.

It is alleged that the driver of the UN car was drunk at the time the accident, which occurred about 1 am in Mataduro.

Five days yearlier, on December 4, six-year old Jose Maia was killed and his father and sister were injured after a UN police car hit the motorbike they were travelling on in Aitarak Laran, Dili.

Ms. Haq said the police were investigating the accident and the UN would support the outcome of the investigation.

The UN regretted the two incidents, she said, and if the investigation found the UN staff involved had committed crimes they would be disciplined by her office.

14 December 2011

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of 7 December 2011

East Timor Legal News 14/11/2011 Source: Government of East Timor The Council of Ministers met this Wednesday, 7 December 2011, in the Counsil of Ministers meeting roon, in the Government Palace, in Díli, and approved:

1. Decree-Law that approves the extraordinary payment of one month’s base salary to the public sector

The IV Constitutional Government develops a policy of preservation of human resources connected to the State of Timor-Leste and thus, there is the recognition of the work done by the State employees and, at the same time, the stimulus for a better performance.

This legislation approves the extraordinary payment of a month of basic salary to employees and agents, even if temporary but contracted for at least one year on the payment date set by this Decree, to the leaders of the Civil Service, those listed in Article 2 and to members of the organs under state sovereignty.

This measure is equitable, even though it is of exceptional character.

2. Proposed Government Resolution on the Double Taxation Agreement with Portugal

This law aims to establish a compromise between the Portuguese Republic and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to effectively eliminate double taxation and to establish mechanisms of cooperation between the two parties to prevent fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

3. Government Decree approving the fourth amendment to the Government Decree that regulates the status of the members of the Sovereign Organs

Law No. 7 / 2007 of 25 July, adopted the Statute of the holders of the organs of sovereignty, regulated by Government Decree No. 2 / 2007 of 1 August.

Based on the experience of implementation of the mentioned diplomas, the need arises again to change the Government's Decree No. 2 / 2007 of 1 August, in order to better define the rights and privileges therein, thus shaping a transparent and sustainable system, that recognizes and at the same time, enhances the importance of the former holders of the organs of sovereignty to Timor-Leste.

13 December 2011

Another traffic accident involving UN vehicle results in two deaths

East Timor Legal News Source: Timornewsline12/12/2011 - The United Nations deeply regrets the traffic accident that occurred near Obrigado Barracks in the early morning of Saturday 10 December involving an UN vehicle and a motorcycle.

As a result of the collision two men travelling on the motorcycle died.

PNTL is investigating the accident. The UN is cooperating fully in the investigation.

"The United Nations takes seriously the issue of road safety," said Carlos Araujo, UNMIT spokesperson.

"We already have strict regulations governing road safety. We are taking further measures to strengthen enforcement of all rules and regulations. These measures include more road-checks and surveillance," he said.

The United Nations expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the deceased.
UN staff vehicle collides with motor cycle killing another Timorese and an Indonesian Source: Independente 12/12/011 language source: Tetun - A vehicle driven by a staff member of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) has killed two persons; Pedro da Costa da Crus and Patrisius Bau, an Indonesian, last Friday after colliding with the motor cycle the two deceased were on.

The traffic incident took place in Matadouru at 1:00 AM and it is believed that the UN staff member who was driving the motor vehicle was drunk.

A witness, Atino, said that the UN car was coming from the direction of Balide and the two victims were coming from the direction of Obrigado Baracks.

"Two friends and I were sitting at the front of the house when we heard the sound of the collision," Atino said.

Spokesperson of UNMIT, Carlos Araujo, confirmed that the Timorese National Police (PNTL) is investigating the case.

"The United Nations consider the road safety as a serious issue," Araujo said.

He added that, "We already have a regulation to regulate road safety. We have taken an additional measures in order to better strengthen obedience to the rules and regulations. These measures also include check points and vigilance on the streets."

This latest incident follows the death of a young boy last week after he was struck by another UN vehicle.

Related story: People stone United Nations car after traffic accident leaves a Timorese boy dead

Borges re-elected to lead PUN party

Fernanda Borges, re-elected to lead PUN
East Timor Legal News 13/12/2011 Source: Timornewsline 12/12/2011 - Ms Fernanda Borges who is also a Member of the National Parliament has been re-elected as the president of Partidu Unidade Nasional (PUN).

Ms Borges was elected during a fair and democratic election which was held last Friday (9/12) at the National Election Commission (CNE) conference room.

She was elected with 455 votes in a ballot in which she competed with four other candidates during the conference.

She expressed thanks to the party's followers who had voted for her in the national conference.

"Thanks to you as he have believed in me to continue leading this party. My commitment is to PUN to strengthen democracy for a better future for the country," she said.

PUN is committed to building a strong democracy in Timor-Leste, she said.

One hundred prisoners to be given pardon, says Justice Minister Lobato

East Timor Legal News 13/12/2011 Source: Suara Timor Lorosae 12/12/2011- The East Timor Minister for Justice, Mrs. Lucia Lobato, said she had received instructions from President Jose Ramos Horta to prepare a list of 100 prisoners who were possible candidates for receive pardons for their crimes.

"I will comply with the instruction given and I have contacted the Director of Prison and requested he prepare the list of the prisoners. The list will be sent to the office of the Prime Minister before being forwarded on to the president," she said.

Lobato made the comments after participating in the ceremony for commemorating human rights day in Liquisa on Saturday (10/12).

"The granting of pardons to prisoners is the prerogative right of the President of the Republic," she said.

President Horta to give pardon to 100 prisoners Source: Timor Post 12/12/2011 language source: Tetun - Justice Minister Lucia Lobato confirmed that she has received an official letter from the office of the President of Republic asking the Justice Ministry to provide the names of prisoners for President Horta as he has planned to grant pardons to 100 prisoners in Becora and Gleno prisons.

"I received an official letter from the office of the President of Republic and he has asked us to send the names of prisoners as they will receive pardons on this coming Christmas day," Lobato said.

Minister Lobato said that giving pardons to prisoners raises polemic in the country so far, but unfortunately the Government could not do anything, because the president has prerogative power to give pardons to the prisoners.

Leading Law and Justice NGO opposes President Horta's statements regarding possible pardon for Samson

East Timor Legal News 13/12/2011 Source: Independente 12/12/2011 - The peak East Timorese civil society organisation, the  Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) Director Luis Oliveira Sampaio said that JSMP opposes the recent statement of President Jose Ramos Horta implying that it is possible to grant a pardon or amnesty to the Director of LABEH Christopher Henry Samson who has been convicted by the Dili District Court of fraudulently obtaining East Timorese citizenship.

The JSMP Director said thatwhile the President has absolute power to make a decision regarding pardons and amnesties for criminals, unfortunately the Parliament has not yet produceed an amnesty law and it is therefore important to respect the judicial process.

"I think this is a phenomenon which always appears. We think that even though President has power to push the Parliament to do so it is important for all of us to respect the judicial process," Sampaio said.

He also said that it is important for President Horta to be patient and wait for the final decision of the Appellate Court.

The Dili District Court recently decided to punish Christopher Henry Samson to three years and five months imprisonment because he was found guilty for falsifying his birth certificate in order to become a citizen of Timor-Leste.

There follows a report on the President's statement by TVTL
President Horta: There is a possibility to give pardon to Samson Source: Televizaun Timor-Leste 12/12/2011 language source: Tetun - President Jose Ramos Horta said there is a possibility to give a pardon to the Director of LABEH, Christopher Henry Samson following his conviction and sentencing by the Court in Dili this week.

President Horta made the statements regarding the recent verdict of the Dili District Court to sentence Samson to three years and five months imprisonment.

"I will try to see this case carefully, because I used to give pardons to those people who tried to kill me, therefore it is possible to give him [Samson] a pardon for falsifying his documents," President Horta said.

President Horta added that, "It is possible, but it is important to see the final decision of the Appellate Court."

Related story: Court sentences Samson to three and half years in prison

12 December 2011

TEMPO SEMANAL: East Timor – a brief Update

TEMPO SEMANAL: East Timor – a brief Update

People stone United Nations car after traffic accident leaves a Timorese boy dead

East Timor Legal News 12/12/2011 Source: Independente 05/12/2011 - Residents in Aitarak-Laran, a place in front of the Presidential Palace, stoned a car belonging to the United Nations Police after it was involved in a fatal traffic accident that left a boy killed.

Jose Maria de Jesus was dead at the scene after the traffic accident involving a member of the UN Police. The registration number of the car is UN 0163.

Ramerio de Jesus and his daughter Niquelina de Jesus were also injured in the accident.

A witness said the driver of the UN Police car tried to hit the victim again but luckily the residents who were at the scene threew stones and smashed the window of the car.

“Many people came to throw stones at the car.

Three malae [foreigners] got out of the car and run away into a shop,” a witness said.

Court sentences Samson to three and half years in prison

Christopher Henry Samson
East Timor Legal News 12/12/2011 Source: Diario Naconal 05/12/2011  - The Dili District court has handed down its verdict and sentenced the Director for local civil society corruption watchdog organsiation LABEH, Christopher Henry Samson, to three and half years in prison. The civil socieity organisation's full name is Lalenok ba Ema Hotu or Mirror for All People.

Mr Samson was found guilty by the Court of falsifying documents regarding his citizenship of Timor-Leste.

Evidence adduced to the Court showed that Mr Samson had falsified his birth certificate during his stay in the country.

According to the court, such an attitude is an act of crime; therefore Samson is sentenced to three and half year in prison.

Meanwhile, local media outlet Independente reported today that Mr Samson will appeal his prison sentence to the Court of Appeal as he was dissatisfied with the court's decision to jail him for three years and five months.

“I will lodge an appeal to the Court of Appeals within 15 days,” Samson said.

Mr Samson's lawyer, Sergio Hornai, said they would make an appeal to the Court of Appealt because court did not consider his client’s original documents.

The Dili district court decided to sentence Samson  as was found guilty in falsifying his document to obtain East Timorese citizenship.

On the blog for his organisation, Mr Samson declares: "I mark my presence on the cyberspace through this Blog to unmask fraudsters worldwide. One of the biggest frauds in our time is currently taking place in Timor-Leste."

It is further stated on this blog that he was born in Rumah Adat Thama-Op, Bobonaro of an Angolan father and Timorese mother; he left Timor-Leste with his father when he was still a baby. Christopher Henry Samson returned to Timor-Leste in 1995, In search of his family, and then lived for some years in Malaysia and Indonesia. After a lifetime of separation from his parents, friends, and family members, he finally rejoined his family in Bobonaro in 2002. Read more about Mr Samson on his blog The Real Christpher Henry Samson (Accessed by ETLJB on12/12/2011)

08 December 2011

Police identify three suspects in double hotel homicide in Dili

East Timor Legal News Source: Televizaun Timor-Leste 05/12/2011 - The Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) Commander Superintendent Calisto Gonzaga has confirmed that the poilce have identified three people who were believed to have been involved in murdering the manager of the Garden Beach Hotel and his wife.

The Superintendent said that they had handed the dead bodies back to their families.

“We have compiled the data and therefore we need to analyse it in order to know whether the murder involved other people or not but we found that there were some people believed to have committed the murder. Our intelligences are continuing to search for information and we found there are three people who are accused of committing the murders,” Gonzaga said.

He added that they also found other people’s foot prints at the crime scene therefore it was believed that the victims were killed by other people.

Gonzaga said that they had also questioned eight witnesses to get information regarding the murder case.
Maubere Security officers will be investigated for second time Source: Timor Post 05/12/2011 - The manager of  Maubere Security, Sebastiao Marques Soares, has confirmed that their security officers who provided security at the Garden Beach Hotel would be investigated for the second time regarding the recent murder of the hotel’s manager and his spouse.

“The investigation process for the first time was done. We sent four of our staff to the police office in order to give their information to the police that will help uncover the assailant who killed the manager of the Garden Beach Hotel and his wife,” he said.

Soares rejected rumours that the recent murder at Garden Beach Hotel involved Maubere Security staffs.

He explained that their staff’s duty was to control or maintain security outside the hotel and they were not allowed to get access into the Hotel.

04 December 2011

Council of Ministers Extraordinary Meeting from November 19, 2011

East Timor Legal News 04/11/2011 Source: Government of East Timor Press Release - The Council of Ministers met this Saturday, November 19, 2011, in the Council of Ministers Meeting Room, at the Government Palace, in Díli and approved:

1. Decree-Law that approves the Statutes for the University Teaching Career

The IV Constitutional Government, sensitive to the need for quality Timorese staff in higher education, who may encourage the Nation’s economic, social and cultural development, considers it important to implement a legal framework to regulate the higher education institutions and the special teaching and research career in these institutions.

Thus, this law establishes the rights and obligations of those who wish to pursue a teaching career, offsetting the value of their work in accordance with the dedication and effort on behalf of the University.

2. Proposal of Law on Legislative Authorization in Environmental Matters

Timor-Leste, as a coastal and island State, has a great environmental and marine diversity, with flora and fauna of its own that must be protected and conserved by the State.

The solutions proposed in this diploma took into consideration the general principles of environmental protection, the various international instruments that have been ratified by Timor-Leste and the particular economic, socio-cultural and insularity circumstances of the country.

This Proposal of Authorization Law was prepared with the technical support of the United Nations Program for Environment and relied on a public consultation process carried through with the relevant government and nongovernmental organizations.

02 December 2011

Lasama: Police should not tolerate criminals

Parliamentary President Fernando Lasama de Araujo
East Timor Legal News 02/12/2011 Source: Timor Post 01/12/2011 - The Parliamentary President Fernando Lasama de Araujo has called on the Timorese National Police (PNTL) to carry out their work professionally to respond to  situations and should not tolerate those people who engaged in crime.

“I am calling on PNTL to carry out their work based on the existing law and that they should not to tolerate the criminal actors as crime is not good for our country,” Lasama said.

He also called on the United Nations Police to pay attention to public needs and not to the criminals who never respect the rights of the people.

“For the UN Police, they should not look at those people [criminals] who have never respected the public's rights.

They should not look at certain people or private groups who always disturb the people,” Lasama said.

He also called on parents to take care of their children and always monitor their activities and to dissuade them from joining groups which always engage in conflict.

Lasama made the statements regarding the recent martial arts clash between PSHT and 77 in Kampung Baru of Komoro in Dili.

Parliament will continue discussing money laundering law

MP Manuel Tilman
East Timor Legal News 02/12/2011 Source: Radio Timor-Leste 01/12/2011 - The National Parliament will continue discussing the money laundering and terrorism financing draft law, MP Manuel Tilman from the Parliamentary Committee C for Economy, Finance and Anti-Corruption said.

Tilman was referring the discussion on the draft which had not yet been held as many of the MPs took part in UNDP and the Parliament’s joint conference.

The draft had started to be discussed in the plenary, but this morning most of the MPs went to participate in a conference which was held by UNDP and the Committee B at Hotel Timor, he said.

Tilman pledged to continue cooperating with the MPs to discuss about the law next week.

F-FDTL investigates its officers’ death

East Timor Legal News 02/12/2011 Source: Suara Timor Lorosae 01/12/2011- The Timorese Defence Force (F-FDTL) is currently conducting an investigation into the murder of its officer, Damiao Soares, by his spouse.

The defence force also investigating the death of its new cadet who was found dead at the beach of Matiaut, in Dili recently.

F-FDTL Commander Major General Lere Anan Timur said they were currently investigating the cases in order to uncover the cause of their soldiers' deaths.

“We are also doing investigation into the case in order to know what the motives are,” he said.

Related stories:
Military officer stabbed to death by wife

Soldier's body found on Dili beach

Possible suspect in Beach Garden Hotel Murders

East Timor Legal News 02/12/2011 Source: Independente 01/12/2011 - The Criminal Investigation Police Service (SIC) strongly suspected someone who is living in the hotel murdered the hotel's manager and his spouse.

Police Commander Longuinhos Monteiro said there was someone suspected of having committed the murder of He Sen and Monica Chin. This man contacted the deceased within two hours before the incident, he said.

He Sen and Monica Chin were stabbed to death on Tuesday (22/11) night in the hotel.

Related stories:

Police must work with UNPol to solve double murder in Garden Beach Hotel

Murder of expats will not affect relations between Timor-Leste, Malaysia and China

Hotel manager and wife stabbed to death in Dili hotel

01 December 2011

Police will use force to respond to martial arts clash: PNTL commander

East Timor Legal News 01/12/2011 Source: Radio Timor-Leste 30/22/2011 - The Timorese National Police (PNTL) Commander Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro said the police would use force to respond to the ongoing violence involving martial arts clubs in Moris Foun [Komoro] in the capital Dili.

The commander made the comments because some of the residents in the area had to escape from their homes because of the conflict.

In such a situation the police should use force to respond to the clash as a numbers of people have become victims, he said.

Responding to the residents' demands, asking PNTL to set up security post in the area, he said Dili District Police would take it into a consideration.

Comoro village chief Eurico da Costa said the violence in his area continued happening as the police had not yet captured the main suspects.

Police Weapons: Items of Security or Threat?

East Timor Legal News 01/12/2011 Source: Fundasaun Mahein 30th of November 2011 Press Release  PNTL’s Weapons: Items of Security or Threat? - Mahein’s voice no. 25 will discuss whether the PNTL’s arsenal is a source for security or a threat to the Timorese population?   Timorese history has been filled with conflicts marred by heavy weaponry. These conflicts have been listed in the history of Timor-Leste and include the 1975, 1999, 2006 crises and the attempted assassinations of the head of State and Government of RDTL on the 11th of February 2008.

This report explains that the use of weapons in conflict continues to be used by State institutions against ordinary citizens. The report cited that, wrong doing caused by the use of weapons that lead to the intimidation and murder of civilians is caused by the lack of systems of control whereby the State has insufficient control over the weapons in use in the Army and the Police institutions. In addition to this, the individual soldier or Police officer is most often unaware of the laws relating to the use of weapons. This often results in the carrying of weapons by off duty officers, which leads to the use of weapons for wrongdoing. A striking example of this was the murder by two off duty PNTL border patrol Unit officers of a young girl on 4th November 2011 in Bobonaro district.

The report later goes on to reveal that the PNTL officer who committed the killing of a young man in December 2009 is still on duty while the case is ongoing and has not been sent to prison yet.  Moreover, FM also lists in this report the various incidents of murder and intimidation, which were committed by PNTL and army officers in Timor-Leste.

In this report FM also offered several recommendations to the Government of Timor-Leste.

Fundasaun Mahein recommends the Government to set up a control system to better monitor the use of weapons by on and off duty Police and Army personnel.

Fundasaun Mahein recommends the Government of Timor-Leste to conduct psychological tests of Police and Army officers to probe for cases of mental ill health and to ban the use of weapons while off duty.

Fundasaun Mahein recommends the Government to have regular auditing of weapons within both the PNTL and the F-FDTL.

Fundasaun Mahein recommends that the commanders within the PNTL and the F-FDTL control their officers and soldiers when using weapons in the community.

 For more information on this issue, please contact Nelson Belo Director of Fundasaun Mahein Web: www.fundasaunmahein.org Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org Tlp :   +670 737 4222
Fundasaun Mahein, 30 Novembru 2011 Komunikadu Imprenza PNTL nia Kilat Atu Fo Seguru Ka Hatauk?

Mahein Nia Lian no. 25 sei deskute klean konaba PNTL nia fo seguru ka ameasa? Timor-Leste nia historia nakonu ho konflitus nebe’e uza kilat. Konflitus hirak ne’e mak akontese hahu tinan 1975, 1999, krize 2006, atentadu asasinatu ba lider estadu ho governu iha 11 Febreiru 2008.

Mahein nia Lian ida ne’e mos lista konaba uza sala kilat husi institusaun estadu hasoru sidadaun bain-bain. Relatoriu ne’e fo sai katak uza kilat hodi hatauk no oho ema tanba estadu menus kontrolu no la uza sistema iha institusaun Polisia, dala ruma sistema iha maibe la funsiona ho diak. Ho ida ne’e mos, pesoal ofisial polisia dala barak la hatene lei konaba uza kilat iha tempu servisu no tempu la servisu, ne’ebe ikus mai rezulta uza sala kilat, ezemplu maka oho feto foin sae iha ida distritu Bobonaro dia 4 Novembru 2011 no akontesementu hanesan iha fatin seluk nian mos.

Iha parte seluk, FM fo sai iha Mahein nian Lian ida ne’e  katak pesoal PNTL ida ne’ebe komete oho mane ida iha fulan Dezembru 2009 iha Delta Nova kontinua halo nafatin nia kna’ar no seidauk haruka ba prizaun. Pior liu tan liu tiha ona tinan 2 mak Tribunal Distrital Dili  halo primeiru audensia ba testamuna ne’ebe hala’o iha 24 Novembru foin lalais ne’e. Iha relatoriu ne’e FM fo sai konaba hamate ema ho intimidasaun hasoru sidadaun ne’ebe komete husi pesoal Polisia durante iha Timor-Leste.

Iha relatoriu ida ne’e FM mos hato’o rekomendasaun ba Governu Timor-Leste tuir mai ne’e:

Fundasaun Mahein rekomenda ba Governu atu estabelese paiol/armajem kilat nian ho funsionamentu sistema atu bele kontrola polisia nia kilat durante tempu servisu no tempu la servisu.

Fundasaun Mahein rekomenda ba Governu Timor-Leste atu iha teste piskolojia ba pesoal PNTL ne’ebe iha deskonfia problema mental bainhira halo kna’ar hodi nune’e bandu labele uza kilat iha tempu servisu.

Fundasaun Mahein rekomenda ba Governu kontinua halo auditing ba kilat iha institusaun PNTL 

Fundasaun Mahein rekomenda ba komadante Polisia sira atu halo kontrolu diak ba sira nia membru sira wainhira uza kilat iha komunidade nia let.

Atu hatene klean liu konaba asuntu ne’e bele kontaktu Nelson Belo, Diretor Fundasaun Mahein www.fundasaunmahein.org Email: nelson@fundasaunmahein.org Tlp +670 737 4222