10 May 2013

Timor-Leste Parliament suspends immunity from prosecution of Secretary of State for Institutional Strengthening

ETLJB10 May 2013 - East Timor's Judicial System Monitoring Program reports that the National Parliament suspends Françisco dacosta Soares Borlaco indefinitely from his position as Secretary of State for Institutional Strengthening

On 07 May 2013 in a plenary session the National Parliament discussed and voted on Resolution No 7/III (1ª) of the National Parliament regarding the indefinite suspension of  Françisco da Costa Soares Borlaco as the Secretary of State for Institutional Strengthening. This suspension was made pursuant to a request from Dili District Court in relation to allegations against Françisco da Costa Borlaco in a case involving the misuse of authority which occurred on 29 February 2009.

During the discussion the majority of MPs voted in favor of the indefinite suspension or removal of the member of government to enable him to attend his trial from 28 May 2013 until the matter is settled by the court. This resolution passed with a majority of 55 votes in favor, 3 votes against and with 2 MPs abstaining.

“JSMP welcomes the political purpose and consistency of the members of the National Parliament to fulfill their obligations in accordance with the provisions set out in the Constitution. This reflects a very progressive from of political decision making and progress from previous years, whereby in the past the community was very confused about cases involving members of the government” said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

JSMP observed that before the debate had commenced the MPs gave their vote and recommendations to the head of the National Parliament, to examine if the suspension of the aforementioned member of government would be indefinite or only temporary in order to avoid influencing or undermining the role of the judges in following up and deciding the aforementioned case. Source: JSMP Press Release 08 May 2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

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