23 November 2012

Court of Appeal rejects Samson's appeal

Mr Samson is taken away in handcuffs
ETLJB 23 November 2011 - The East Timor Court of Appeal has soundly rejected an appeal by a foreigner, Mr Christopher Samson, relating to his conviction for the falsification of documents he used to obtain East Timorese citizenship.

Mr Samson, who was the director of one of East Timor's anti-corruption civil society organisations, LABEH, was convicted by the Dili District Court and sentenced to three and a half years in prison for his offence.

At his trial in December last year, which was heard by a panel of judges composed of Rosa Brandao, International judges Antonio Fonseca and Jose Goncalves, Public Defender Pedro Apolinario and Sergio Hornai, Public Prosecutors, Remiza de Fatima and Felismino Cardoso, the Immigration Police's investigation findings showed that Samson came from Angola to Timor-Leste with a false document.

The Public Prosecution had data that proved that he is not Timorese but a foreigner, therefore the Public Prosecution had asked the Immigration Police and Ministry of Justice to investigate this case. It was found that he [Samson] was not a Timorese and had brought false documents to be in East Timor. 

According to a report by Suara Timor Lorosae yesterdy, the Court of Appeal firmly maintained the first verdict and sentence.

One of the Court of Appeal officers said the Court would not make any changes to the verdict as everything had been clearly stated in the initial decision.

"We will not explain the process anymore to the defendant as everything is outlined in the decision made in the first instance," he said.

On the blog for his organisation, Mr Samson declared: "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."

As it turns out, he himself was a fraudster all the while he had purported to be monitoring and fighting corruption and fraud in East Timor. In his blog, The Real Christpher Henry Samson (Accessed by ETLJB on12/12/2011), he claimed 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.

Source: Suara Timor Lorosae. Edited and expanded by Warren L. Wright

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