12 December 2013

Oecusse District Court sentences defendant in case of aggravated murder to 18 years imprisonment

ETLJB 12 December 2013 - A man who slashed the throat of a woman and stabbed her in the back after dragging her into the forest has been sentenced to 18 years jail. The text of the English translation of the JSMP report of this horrifying case follows.

 On 6 December 2013 the Oecusse District Court, at a hearing held at the Dili District Court, sentenced the defendant in a case of aggravated murder to 18 years imprisonment. The murder occurred on 13 January 2013 in Oecusse District.

This case fell within the jurisdiction of the Oecusse District Court, however because the defendant was being held in pretrial detention in Becora and the judicial actors were in Dili, the decision was handed down at the Dili District Court.

During the trial, the public prosecutor alleged that on 13 January 2013 at approximately 1pm the defendant was heading home from the market with the victim.  On the way the victim told the defendant that she (the victim) wanted to buy some tobacco.  Then the defendant took out four packets of tobacco and gave one to the victim, however the victim suddenly shouted out that the defendant was harassing her.

In Oecusse District Court on 19 November 2013, the public prosecutor’s final submissions alleged that the defendant murdered the victim because the victim shouted out that the defendant wanted to harass her or intended her harm.

Although there was no evidence presented to the court that the  defendant  intended to or had sexually assaulted the victim, the public prosecutor alleged that the defendant had intended to sexually assault the victim Therefore, the public prosecutor asked  the court to hand down a punishment proportional to the seriousness of the crime committed.

The court concluded the matter based on the testimony of the defendant that he had dragged the victim into the forest, then slashed her throat, and stabbed her in the back causing the victim to die at the scene of the crime.

“JSMP notes that violence against women continues to increase every day. Many women suffer domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, mistreatment and other forms of violence, and lose their lives just because they want to defend and protect their integrity and dignity, and this is extremely regrettable, said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

JSMP believes that there was no justifiable reason for the defendant to kill the victim in such a sadistic/cruel way just because she screamed out.

There are strong reasons to suspect that before the defendant killed the victim he raped her, or the defendant killed the victim because she resisted or refused his demands.

“To uncover the  motive for the crime and the defendant’s  intentions, the police and the public prosecutor should have organized for an autopsy of the victim’s body to uncover facts related to the crime, given  there were no witnesses”, said the Executive Director of JSMP Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

This case was registered as Case No.  91/C.Ord//2013/TDO. The hearing was presided over by  judge João Riberio (Judge Administrator of Oecusse District Court) the Public Prosecution Service was represented by Mateus Nessi and the defendant  was represented by public defender Afonso Fatima Gomes (trainee). Source: JSMP Press Release 9 December 2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright 

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