ETLJB 18 December 2012 - On 11 December 2012, three former members of the notorious militia group known as Besi Merah Putih were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 6 to 16 years by the Dili District Court for serious crimes including crimes against humanity in 1999 in Ulmera village in Bazartete in Likisa District.
The accused known as Faustino Filipe de Carvalho was the village chief of Ulmera as well as
the Milisi Besi Merah Putih Commander was found guilty of committing the crime of forcefully removing the civilian population from
Ulmera Village to the Indonesian city of Kupang in West Timor as well as the crime of
illegally detaining women and children. de Carvalho was sentenced to 6
The second accused, Miguel Soares, who was a member of the militia in
the area around Besiten, was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment after
being found guilty of being involved in the crime of murdering victim Fransisco Bras.
The third defendant, Salvador de Jesus (Kasait BMP
Commander), was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment after being found
guilty of the murder of two victims, Felix Barreto and
In a press release from the Judicial System Monitoring Program on 17 December 2012 which reported the Court's findings, JSMP applauded the steps taken by the public prosecutor who requested the
court apply measures of temporary detention against the convicted
persons while the appeal process is taking place, to avoid a repeat of
the mishap whereby the convicted person Lavio was sentenced to 9 years
imprisonment but which decision could not be enforced because the
convicted person had absconded to Indonesia.
The judges who heard the case were Ana Paula Fonseca, Antonio Gomes and Antonio Quantes. The public prosecution was represented by Jose Landim and the convicted persons were represented by public defender Jose da Silva.
Source: Judicial System Monitoring System Press Release 17 December 2012. Edited by Warren L. Wright BA LLB