20 December 2012

Convicted former Justice Minister Lucia Lobato still not in prison

ETLJB 19 December 2012 - The disgraced former East Timorese Justice Minister, Lucia Lobato, has still not been arrested and taken to prison even though the Court of Appeals has dismissed her appeal against her conviction on  corruption-related charges by the Dili District Court.

According to an English translation of a report in the daily Jornal Independente dated 18 December 2012,  the National Criminal Investigation Commander, Calisto Gonzago said that the police had still not received any letter of notification authorising the police to arrest Ms Lobato and take her to prison.

“Up to now we have not received any instruction. We have not received any authorisation to take [her] into,” he said.

The Court of Appeal has recently confirmed the decision by the Dili District Court to sentence Ms Lobato to 5 years imprisonment after finding her guilty of abuse of power and corruption relating to the tendering of a government contract to her husband.

Ms Lobato's uncle, Rogerio Lobato, who was the Internal Affairs Minister in the I Constitutional Government of FRETILIN, was also convicted on criminal charges arising out of the illegal distribution of weapons to civilian groups that contributed to the 2006 crisis in East Timor. He did not serve the term of seven and a half years imprisonment imposed on him for those offences because the then President, Jose Ramos Horta, granted him an amnesty cutting his sentence in half.

Ms Lobato is also the niece of resistance hero Nicolau Lobato, who is the brother of Rogerio Lobato.

Related reports
Justice minister sues East Timor newspaper
Former Justice Minister Lucia Lobato to go to jail for 5 years
Timor Justice Minister considers appeal
Lobato ‘Ready to Explain Truth’ as Corruption Trial Begins
Anti-Corruption Commission applies for house arrest of Justice Minister Lobato
East Timor Justice Minister Lobato Defends Husband
Public Prosecution presents new witnesses for Minister Lobato's case
Former East Timor justice minister receives jail sentence
Parliament removes Minister Lobato’s political immunity 
CJITL: Minister for Justice Lucia is Formally Made Suspect in Maternus Bere Case 
Perversion of the rule of law in Timor-Leste and its impact on State legitimacy

Source: Jornal Independente. Edited by Warren L. Wright

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