31 December 2014

Dili District Court adjourns trial involving infanticide because the judge was dismissed by Parliamentary and Government Resolutions

ETLJB 31 December 2014 JSMP Press Release Dili District Court 5 December 2014 - On 4 December 2014 the Dili District Court adjourned the trial in a case of infanticide involving the defendant NF that occurred on 4 March 2014, in Aileu District.

Previously this matter was tried by a panel of judges that included an international judge who was affected by the Parliamentary and Government Resolutions introduced on 24 and 31 October 2014.

In addition to the judge, the public prosecutor representing the State in this case was an international prosecutor who has returned to his country in compliance with a Government Resolution that requested him to depart Timor-Leste within 48 hours.

“JSMP is very concerned that important cases involving women and children have been delayed as the result of these resolutions. These resolutions significantly affect people’s rights to receive speedy, affordable and fair justice without unnecessary delay,” said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

JSMP notes that most cases requiring a panel of judges involve women and children who are victims of rape, violence against children, like incest and infanticide, such as the case before the Suai District Court on 4 November 2014.

Recently on 27 November 2014 the Baucau District Court also had to adjourn the trial of a case involving aggravated sexual violence (incest), because a panel of judges could not be established.

JSMP believes that the cases that have been delayed will need to be completely retried because there was no handover of cases after the resolutions were introduced.

If there is no appropriate mechanism and policy to remedy this situation, JSMP believes that there will be many other delayed cases without just and necessary grounds. These circumstances greatly prejudice the rights of all people to obtain justice.

JSMP continues to encourage the National Parliament and the Government to remedy this situation to ensure justice for all, especially those vulnerable people seeking justice.

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