16 November 2018
TImor-Leste Legal News Headlines 13-14 November 2018
Timor-Leste’s Non Governmental Organisations Forum (FONGTIL) condemned the police officers’ handling of participants at the rally against the National Parliament's decision. FONGTIL considered the police’s violent acts against Timor-Leste’s Universities Students Movement (MUTL) members last Friday was violations of human rights.
“They punched, kicked and even hit these students with guns and three of the students were injured including a female student, it was unprofessional and brutal,” FONGTIL Director, Daniel Dos Santos Do Carmo said at his office in Kaikoli, Dili on Tuesday (13/11).
He said more than 20 students were arrested and three students were injured because of violent actions by the police and police also broke doors at the National University of Timor Lorosa’e (UNTL)’s building.
At the same place, FONGTIL’s Educations Department Chief, Jose Monteiro said FONGTIL was going to report the case to Public Prosecutor to process it legally.
“Tomorrow (today, red) we are going to file a complaint with the Public Prosecutor to take the case to court,” Monteiro said.
Last Friday, 22 students were arrested on suspicion of infringement of space during rally against National Parliament’s decision to buy new Mitshubishi 4x4 cars to its members in front of UNTL Campus.
Under Timor-Leste’s law the distance between protesters and the party being protested should be 100 meters.
The students have been gathered in front of UNTL Campus since 26 of October to protest against parliament’s reversed decision on its plan to have its members use its existing Prado vehicles fleet.
MUTL has long sustained strict opposition to PN decisions to buy new state vehicles, labelling the spending priorities as “corrupt” and “self-benefitting.”
National Parliament (PN) has removed PN members Antonio Da Conceição and Mariano Assanami Sabino’s political immunities to allow them to be heard in court.
PN made the removal to respond to the notifications from Baucau District Court and Dili District Court.
Mr. Da Conceião is notified as a defendant regarding his involvement in economic participation and business crime which will be heard in Baucau District Court today (November 14, 2018), meanwhile, Mr. Assanami is notified to testify in Dili District Court regarding dairy cattle case of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries which involved the former Deputy Minister Marcos Da Cruz as defendant.
Regarding the political immunity removal, Assanami told Independente that the dairy cattle case trials had been adjourned for long time because several defendants and testimonies were government officials that had political immunity.
“It is a dairy cattle import case and it happened in 2015, but the trial has been adjourned for long and as a Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, at that time, I had written a statement to the court to be read out as testimony, but the trials had been adjourned at that time, and now it is currently processing in Dili District Court, so I need to testify in court in person,” Assanami said.
In relation to his defendant status, Mr. Da Conceição said as Minister of Tourism, Commerce, and Industry, he signed off a humanitarian aid to community in Vemasse because of lack of rice in the market by allowing Village Chiefs and Administrator of Manufahi Municipality to take rice in the national storehouse to sell to community.
“The Village Chief and Vemasse Administrator bought the rice from the storehouse per sack $9,00, and they supposed to sell it with $12,00 per sack, but in the field, they sold it with $13,00 until $15,00, therefore, the court also notify me as defendant because I was the one that signed off the aid,” Da Conceição explained.
The Alliance of Change for Progress’s (AMP) Parliamentarians have called on the President of the National Parliament Arao Noe de Jesus to reschedule discussion of the official visit of the President of Republic Francisco Guterres “Lu-Olo” to the Vatican – which was cancelled recently during the plenary.
President of the National Congress for Timor-Leste Reconstruction (CNRT) Duarte Nunes said that they previously decided to cancel the official visit of the president due to the political deadlock reason, yet they had changed their position therefore they called on the main leader of the Parliament to reschedule discussion of the president’s official visit to Vatican.
“AMP is composed of three parties therefore their leaders need to discuss and consult. We had recently received information from the council of AMP that there is a change of position of AMP towards the official visit of President Lu-Olo.
We have time to discuss this matter,” Nunes said. On the other hand, President ofthe Fretilin Bench at the National Parliament Aniceto Guterres said that it would be important for the AMP to be consistent with their decision to cancel official visit of the president. He said that they would walkout from the plenary if there were no agreement from President Lo-Olo whether or not the Parliament should re-discuss his official trip to the Vatican.
In response to the concerns of Fretilin, the President of the National parliament Arao Noe de Jesus said that they would send an official letter for the president asking or consulting with him if he wants the parliament to re-discuss his visit or not.
There are around 50 children whose right to education is denied due to economic difficulty in their families. An Independente’s investigation revealed there were 50 children who did not go school and usually scavenged in Tiabr Rubbish Tip.
According to Fundasaun Forum Komunidade Juvetude Oratorio Don Bosco (FCJ), some of those children are orphans and others have financial difficulty, therefore, they scavenge in Tibar to pick types of rubbish that could be sold to sustain their families.
These children spend their days in Tibar Rubbish Center picking up certain types of rubbish to be sold and exposing to smoke, reek, and other unpleasant things that might affect their healths.
Responding to the situation, First lady Cidalia Mouzinho Guterres, paid a short visit these children’s families and gave humanitarian aids and school needs to these children.
“I could only tell the situation of this people to the government, hopefully, the government could respond to this situation, and my visit here is to see their condition and give some basic necessities,” the First Lady said.