29 August 2012

East Timor Legal News 28 August 2012

Map of the Timor Sea with East-Timor-Australia boundary
Police launch investigation into drugs trafficking and commence patrols in the Timor Sea to combat illegal fishing - The East Timor Secretary of State for Security, Francisco da Costa Guterres, has announced a new police investigation into allegations of drug trafficking in the country. Mr Guterres announced the investigation following the receipt of information from the national police that efforts were being undertaken to identify the drug traffickers, according to a report by RTTL today.

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao had recently expressed anger about the presence of illegal drugs in East Timor after several imports were confiscated by Indonesian authorities at the border. The Prime Minister had called upon the responsible agencies (the police and customs authority) to be more vigilent. 

The Security Secretary of State added that the Government had planned to increase the numbers of marine police officers and to provide them with more facilities to better control illegal activities in the sea.

In this regard, Timor Post also reports that the newly inaugurated police marine vessel, the Lusitania that was recently acquired by the Government from the Indonesian Samudra Permay Company will begin operations off the southern coast of East Timor in the Timor Sea.

“We bought the ship for controlling the Timor Sea off the southwest coast and I have discussed with the Police Commissioner, Longuinhos Monteiro, the plan to commence routine patrols in that area," Secretary da Costa Guterres said.

The Lusitania will be used also to better control illegal fishing in the Timor Sea.

The Secretary of Security confimed that the Police Command had orderd the Marine Patrol Unit of the police force to conduct operations to combat illegal fishing as well as drug trafficking.  (Source Jornal Independente 28 August 2012)
Pension fund law creates injustice - Diario Nacional reported today that the Deputy President of the National Parliament, Aderito Hugo da Costa, said the time had come to amend the Pension Fund Law for conferring benefits on former government officials and Members of Parliament as it did not reflect the real condition of the Timorese people.

Mr. da Costa said the Pension Fund Law for former politicians could give rise to social injustice in the future and that the provisions of the law conferring 100% of the basic salary should be reduced to only 65%.

He added that there were also some provisions conferring the privileges of diplomatic passports, official residences and exemptions from import and export duties on former government officials as well as the family members of fomer Members of Parliament. Such provisions were unfair and should be amended.
Anti Corruption Commision summons former Deputy Minister for Education to testify - Diaro Nacional has reported that the former Deputy Minister for Education, Paulo Assis, will appear in the office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (KAK) to make a testimonial declaration regarding all physical projects implemented by the Ministry of Education.

Mr. Assis has been summoned as some of there are allegations that the project tender was not transparent and there is a suspicion of corruption, collusion and nepotism in the tender process.

KAK is also planning to summon the former Minister for Education, Joao Cancio Freitas, to testy in relation to the referred case.
Missing police weapon is not the government’s responsibility - According to a report by the Timor Post today, the State Secretary for Security said the recent case of the missing police weapon was not the government’s responsibility but the responsibility of the police officer who lost it.

“The missing weapon is the responsibility of the person who carried it,” he said. He added that actually the case was being investigated and the police officer who lost the weapon has been suspended from duty.

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