Proudly supported by Wright Law & Justice

Featured Post

Kepolisian Indonesia menahan delapan dari kematian mahasiswa Timor Leste di Jogjakarta

Polisi Indonesia telah menangkap delapan orang yang dicurigai melakukan pembunuhan terhadap seorang pelajar Timor Leste, Joao Bosco di Pro...

25 July 2019

Perdagangan manusia: 9 orang Indonesia, 1 orang Vietnam ditangkap di klub malam di Dili

23 Juli 2019 - Sembilan warga negara Indonesia dan satu warga negara Vietnam telah ditangkap di sebuah klub malam di Dili dalam tindakan keras terhadap perdagangan manusia.

Petugas dari Dinas Informasi Kepolisian, unit investigasi polisi dan militer terlibat dalam pencarian di sebuah bar tak dikenal di Fatuhada.

Pencarian dilakukan setelah tip-off dari anggota masyarakat bahwa aktivitas perdagangan manusia ilegal terkait dengan tindakan seksual sedang berlangsung di klub malam.

Penyelidikan ini didasarkan pada kecerdasan yang tidak diketahui jumlah orang asing yang diperdagangkan ke Timor-Leste untuk tujuan seks.

Boavida Ribeiro, Direktur Kantor Imigrasi nasional, mengatakan perdagangan manusia dan eksploitasi adalah ilegal di Timor-Leste dan tidak akan diterima.

Sesuai dengang hukum yang berlaku, perdagangan seks dan penyelundupan seksual di Timor-Leste kena hukuman 8 sampai 25 tahun penjara.

Pada 2016, pemerintah melaporkan 176 kasus perdagangan manusia.

Pada 2017, angka ini meningkat menjadi 267.

Sampai kini, belum ada penuntutan yang berhasil.

The Social Problem of Energy Smuggling in East Timor

The social problem of smuggling in East Timor Law Justice Bulletin Warren L WrightETLJB 25 July 2019 - Smuggling in East Timor continues to be a not infrequent offence prosecuted in the Courts. Many cases involve fossil fuels smuggled into East Timor from Indonesia. A recent post recorded cases of smuggling that were heard in the Oecusse District Court.

On 31 January 2019, the Suai District Court announced its decision in another case of smuggling [Case No. : 0062/18.PDSUA] and found the husband and wife defendants guilty. Heavy financial penalties were imposed.

The public prosecutor alleged that the defendants went to Atambua in Indonesia to purchase 1,895 litres of kerosene.

After purchasing the kerosene they brought it into the country illegally via the beach in Sanirin Village.

When the two defendants were carrying the kerosene to their house, the defendants were arrested by a member of the Border Patrol Unit.

The actions of the two defendants were considered to be an attempt to avoid paying tax to the State which caused the State to suffer a loss.

The public prosecutor alleged that the defendant violated Article 316 of the Penal Code on smuggling that carries a maximum penalty of 2 - 6 years in prison or a fine.

During the trial, the defendants asserted that they rang and told an Indonesian person to bring the kerosene into Timor-Leste. They also stated that the Indonesian citizens did not bring the kerosene into the country via the Indonesian Border Post because it is expensive, so they decided to bring the kerosene in via the beach.

The public prosecutor stated that the two defendants regularly imported kerosene illegally. The public prosecutor also stated that the two defendants rang an Indonesian citizen and told that person to bring the kerosene into Timor-Leste.

The court ordered the female defendant to pay a fine of US$ 180 in daily instalments of US$ 2.00 for 90 days.

The court also imposed an alternative penalty of 60 days in prison if the defendant does not pay this fine.

The court imposed a prison sentence of 2 years and 6 months, suspended for 3 years, against the male defendant and ordered him to pay court costs of U$50.

A short ROCCIPI analysis of this social problem is set out in the first mentioned post.

ETLJB

Polisi militer bingung tentang peran sosialnya

The East Timor Defence force has been wrongfully involved in civil law enforcement. ETLJB Warren L Wright
Komandan kepolisian Angkatan Pertahanan Timor Timur (F-FDTL), Mayor Abel Niki Xavier, dilaporkan mengatakan bahwa polisi militer F-FDTL "tidak akan mentolerir kejahatan terorganisir yang mencoba untuk mengacaukan perdamaian dan stabilitas di negeri ini."

Komandan Niki menegaskan bahwa komando F-FDTL terus bekerja sama dengan polisi untuk melawan klub artes marciais terlarang yang terus aktif di negara ini.

Dia menambahkan bahwa jika geng muda menggunakan atribut artes marciais dan menciptakan masalah, otoritas keamanan akan menangkap mereka untuk proses hukum.

"Jika selama operasi, kita menemukan geng muda terlibat dalam konflik, terutama mereka yang berada dalam kostum sartes marciais, kita akan menangkap mereka," katanya.

Komentar

Ini adalah kesalahan serius melibatkan otoritas militer dalam penegakan hukum sipil.

Hal ini tidak demokratis.

Tidak menghormati pemisahan dan pembagian kekuasaan eksekutif; itu salah paham peran militer sepenuhnya.

Penulis, dan lain-lain, telah mengambil masalah dengan intervensi tidak patut yang tidak pantas oleh militer di Timor Leste yang telah dilakukan oleh berbagai pemerintah termasuk kesalahan mendasar dari penggabungan dua otoritas dalam penegakan hukum sipil.

Itu bukan peran militer. Ini adalah peran dan fungsi polisi. Isu juga telah diambil dengan kepala Angkatan Pertahanan campur tangan dalam politik dan kebijakan domestik dan menyatakan pandangan publik pada isu kritis.

Jenderal Lere tidak mengerti bahwa peran FALINTIL tidak ada lagi, dan tidak akan pernah lagi. Ia juga tidak memahami demokrasi dan atau bahwa ia harus tetap diam, sampai ada invasi eksternal atau perang.

Satu-satunya pengerahan sah lain dari Angkatan Pertahanan adalah pada saat bencana alam atau lengkap disintegrasi sosial; tidak lain.

Sangat disayangkan bahwa sebuah ideologi telah berkembang sejak kemerdekaan bahwa militer memiliki peran yang sah untuk dimainkan dalam masyarakat sipil. Tidak.

24 July 2019

Request for Assistance on English Translation of the Land Law of 2017

Dear Readers

I am seeking the assistance of Portuguese-English bilingual person to review a partly human-modified machine translation of East Timor Law No 13 of 5 June 2017 on the Special Regime for the Definition of Immovable Property.

I'd be much obliged if any one can assist me. ETLJB is a voluntary undertaking and receives no funding at all so we are unable to pay for this assistance. Your name will be accredited on the final translation if you assist.

Alternatively, if you already have an English translation, I would be much obliged if you were to make it available for publication on ETLJB.

Please contact me at warren@wrightlawyer.com.au if you are able to assist. It would be a significant contribution.

I look forward to hearing from anyone who can assist.


Best regards,





Warren L. Wright BA LLB

23 July 2019

Bus dilempari batu di beberapa tempat antara Venilale dan Assalaitula

East Timor District of Baucau administrative divisions Law Justice Bulletin
22 Juli 2019 Sebuah kelompok yang tidak dikenal menyerang sebuah bus di pos administratif di Venilale, kota Baucau pada hari Jumat menyebabkan seorang anak penumpang terluka dan kerusakan parah pada bus.

Bus sedang dalam perjalanan ke Viqueque dan ketika bus tiba di Venilale sekitar jam 9 malam, kelompok yang tidak diketahui merajam bus.

Bus itu dilempari batu di beberapa tempat antara Venilale dan Assalaitula.

Para korban melaporkan kejadian tersebut kepada polisi di pos administrasi Ossu di munisipalitas Viqueque.

Direktur Eksekutif Fundasaun Mahein, Joal Almeida, mengatakan bahwa serangan tersebut dianggap sebagai kejahatan terorganisir karena terjadi di beberapa lokasi sepanjang jalan menuju Ossu dan Kepolisian belum mengidentifikasi tersangka.

"Saya pikir polisi di kota Dili, Baucau dan Viqueque harus berkolaborasi satu sama lain untuk mengidentifikasi tersangka, untuk mencegah terjadinya insiden semacam itu lagi di masa depan karena kejadian ini menyebabkan trauma pada banyak penumpang".

22 July 2019

ETLJB Top 10 Page Views by Country

ETLJB Page views by Countries

United States: 607,761

Australia: 145,134

Germany:109,717

Norway: 108,272

United Kingdom: 92,545

Timor-Leste: 84,461

Russia : 62,508

Ukraine: 60,870

Indonesia: 57,111

China: 41,023

Page views all time history: 1,946,316

Kepolisian Indonesia menahan delapan dari kematian mahasiswa Timor Leste di Jogjakarta

Polisi Indonesia telah menangkap delapan orang yang dicurigai melakukan pembunuhan terhadap seorang pelajar Timor Leste, Joao Bosco di Provinsi Jawa Tengah, Jogjakarta, Indonesia.

Mayat siswa ditemukan oleh penduduk setempat tiga hari setelah ia dilaporkan hilang pada tanggal 2 Juli.

Ayah yang berduka dari almarhum, Costancio Suni, mengatakan ia telah menerima informasi bahwa tubuh yang ditemukan oleh masyarakat setempat memang anaknya dan polisi telah menangkap delapan orang yang diduga membunuh anaknya.

Baca Mahasiswa percaya dibunuh di Indonesia oleh sesama warga Timor

Polisi tidak membocorkan identitas para tersangka karena kasus tersebut masih dalam proses penyidikan, namun ada informasi bahwa polisi telah menangkap kamar-pasangan Bosco

Dia bilang mereka sedang menunggu kembalinya jenazah almarhum untuk dimakamkan.


Mahasiswa percaya dibunuh di Indonesia oleh sesama warga Timor

Diyakini bahwa mahasiswa Timor Leste yang dikenal dengan namanya João Bosco Baptista Colo, yang tubuhnya ditemukan di Provinsi Yogyakarta, telah dibunuh oleh mahasiswa Timor Leste lainnya.

Perdana Menteri Timor-Leste Taur Matan Ruak mengatakan, "saya sangat prihatin bahwa warga Timor Timur saling membunuh.

Aku hanya bisa memanggil generasi muda untuk mencintai satu sama lain dan menghargai kehidupan yang telah diberikan kepada Anda karena kita datang untuk hidup di dunia ini dengan penderitaan orang tua kita.

"Biarlah Allah mengambil nyawa kita; dan tidak dengan kami membunuh satu sama lain, "kata Ruak setelah pertemuan dengan Presiden Republik.

PM Ruak mengatakan ada banyak orang muda Timor yang baik, hanya satu atau dua yang selalu melakukan hal buruk seperti itu untuk menghancurkan nama baik bangsa.

Almarhum dilaporkan hilang pada tanggal 2 Juli namun kemudian ditemukan tewas di hutan di Jogjakarta, Indonesia.

Pemerintah Indonesia telah menahan delapan siswa Timor Leste yang dicurigai telah membunuh Bosco.

Mayat almarhum dijadwalkan tiba di Timor-Leste pada Kamis 25 Juli untuk pemakamannya.

Presiden Timor Leste menghadiri Parade LGBTQ ketiga, Desak menghormati keragaman

Gay East Timor Pride Flag Law Justice Bulletin gay homosexuality
Presiden Timor Leste, Francisco Guterres Lu-OLO, menghadiri Parade LGBTQ ketiga di Dili onpada tanggal 12 Juli dan menyampaikan pesan kebanggaan penghormatan terhadap keragaman.

Berbicara kepada ribuan orang, Presiden Francisco menyerukan rakyat Timor-Leste untuk bersatu dan saling menghormati.

Dia mengatakan negara "kebebasan sejati hanya mungkin ketika semua orang bisa hidup bebas dari kekerasan dan penganiayaan. "

Dia menyerukan rakyat untuk bergabung dengan negara dalam upayanya untuk memastikan inklusi politik dan sosial yang universal.

Apa yang dimulai pada 2017 dengan beberapa ratus peserta sekarang menyambut beberapa ribu bersama dengan prosesi mengapung dan marching band semua untuk merayakan inklusivitas dan mendukung bangsa queer masyarakat.

Parade hanyalah salah satu bagian dari perjuangan berkelanjutan masyarakat LGBTQ untuk penerimaan.

Lebih dari 85% populasi LGBTQ Timor-Leste telah mengalami kekerasan psikologis dan fisik.

English Translation of East Timor Law No 13 of 5 June on the Special Regime for the Definition of Immovable Property

REGIME ESPECIAL PARA A DEFINIÇÃO DA TITULARIDADE DOS BENS IMÓVEIS or, in English, Law N. º 13/2017 of 5 June SPECIAL REGIME FOR the DEFINITION OF OWNERSHIP OF IMMOVABLE Property
ETLJB 22 July 2019 - I have compiled a full English translation of the East Timor Land Law of 2017 formally entitled in the original Portuguese as Lei N.º 13/2017 de 5 de Junho REGIME ESPECIAL PARA A DEFINIÇÃO DA TITULARIDADE DOS BENS IMÓVEIS or, in English, Law N. º 13/2017 of 5 June SPECIAL REGIME FOR the DEFINITION OF OWNERSHIP OF IMMOVABLE Property

This translation was basically effected using the Microsoft machine translation then reviewed by a human.

The English text is aligned to the original Portuguese text for comparison.

The English translation is too literal in the present translation and will be further reviewed from the grammatical and semantic perspectives.

I seek assistance in improving the translation from an English-Portuguese bilingual persons (no need for a legal back ground).

If you are able to assist in this process, I would be very much obliged to you and will share with you any proceeds from the sale of the perfected English translation.

If you simply want to read the present imperfect translation, I ask that you make a donation via the Paypal Donate button in the right hand column. Upon payment, I will email you a PDF version of my translation.

The full improved English translation will then be published by ETLJB in full and made accessible for a fee.

You may use the Contact Us form to the right or email me directly at warren@wrightlawyer.com.au

-ENDS-

Xanana: Timor Leste dan Australia akan bertukar MOU pada tanggal 30 Agustus

Image Copyright ETLJB An Arte Moris painting of revolutionary hero Xanana Gusmao East Timor Law Justice Bulletin Warren Leslie Wright
17 Juli 2019 negosiator kepala batas Maritim, Xanana Gusmao, dilaporkan telah mengatakan bahwa ratifikasi Perjanjian perbatasan Maritim antara Australia dan Timor-Leste pada 30 Agustus mendatang akan menjadi kesempatan bagi kedua negara untuk secara langsung pertukaran MOU.

Bapak Gusmao menyampaikan komentarnya dalam sambutannya saat debat di Parlamento Nasional Timor-Leste, Rabu (17/7).

Ia menegaskan bahwa 30 Agustus adalah hari di mana akan menandai sejarah baru Australia dan Timor-Leste sebagai tetangga dalam mengesahkan Perjanjian perbatasan Maritim.

"Kita akan membahasnya dengan benar, sehingga Perdana Menteri Australia dan Perdana Menteri Timor-Leste dapat bertukar MOU," ujarnya.

30 Agustus adalah tanggal yang paling signifikan bagi rakyat, menjadi tanggal dengan konsultasi popular dalam pemisahan Timor Timur dari Indonesia diadakan pada 1999.


21 July 2019

East Timorese student believed murdered in Indonesia

Sleman police in the Province of Jogjakarta, Indonesia, believe that a student from East Timor,  Joao Bosco Baptista (21), was murdered. The victim's body was found lying on the slopes of Cemorosewu Gorge, Ngancar village, Plaosan subdistrict, Magetan Regency, East Java.

"The team has conducted investigations in order to pursue and find the suspects who caused his death" said director of Reskrimum Polda DIY, Kombes Pol Hadi Utomo, at a press conference at the DIY Mapolda, North Ringroad Padjajaran Street, Sleman, Thursday (18/7/2019).

Police have identified the Bosco body by deploying Inafis and DVI teams who found a number of injuries to his body.

There is no description of the perpetrator," explained Hadi. Kabid Humas Polda DIY, Kombes Pol Yuliyanto. He added that the Bosco family had reported the victim missing on July 2, 2019 from Banguntapan area, Bantul.

The day after the family again made reports that the victims were allegedly kidnapped.

"Then there was the discovery of the body of Mr. X in Magetan on July 14 (previously written July 12), the results of identification ensured the body of Joao Bosco's brother," he explained.

Original Indonesian source: https://news.detik.com/berita-jawa-tengah/d-4629734/mahasiswa-timor-leste-yang-tewas-di-lereng-lawu-diduga-korban-pembunuhan

A Note on Sexuality and Land Rights in East Timor

LGBT Pride East Timor 2017 East Timor Law Justice Bulletin Warren L Wright
ETLJB 21 July 2019 -  When the Constitution was being drafted, an early draft included in the non-discrimination provisions, a reference to sexuality. This clause was subsequently omitted and does not appear in the Constitution.

Homophobia, discrimination and marginalisation of gay East Timorese are being transformed not only by the gay community itself through public self-expression and assertion of identity but also in enlightened law and policy enacted subsequently.

In this regard, the provisions of the Land Law of 2017, are most worthy of note.

In the definitions section of the law, there is a definition of “vulnerable groups” in Article 2:

i) "vulnerable groups" means all persons who, because of questions relating to ethnicity, religion, provenance, condition social, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, are less likely to exercise their rights as citizens.

The original Portuguese text reads:

i) “Grupos vulneráveis”, o conjunto de pessoas que, em virtude de questões relacionadas com a sua etnia, religião, proveniência, condição social, género, orientação sexual, idade, incapacidade física ou mental, está numa posição mais suscetível de ver violados os seus direitos como cidadãos.

The inclusion of sexual orientation in this law is an important advance in the liberation of gay citizens from oppression, exclusion and stigmatisation, and not infrequently, violence.

See also
Homosexuality in East Timor
HIV-AIDS and Homophobia in Timor-Leste

Warren L. Wright BA LLB

20 July 2019

The Crime of Mistreatment of a Spouse

JSMP reported on a case in the Oecusse District Court that was heard in February this year concerning the crime of mistreatment of a spouse. Case No. 0150/17.OESIC was heard before Judges João Ribeiro, Sribuana da Costa and Eusébio Victor Xavier who were accompanied by Alexandre E. Brige Viega (mentor judge).

In the end the Court’s decision on penalty was 3 years in prison, suspended for 4 years.

This short note concerns the offence itself and the criminal behaviour of the defendant towards women to demonstrate the exact nature of the acts of violence perpetrated in this case; similar to many other reported cases of spousal assault in East Timor.

JSMP recorded the particulars of the violence:

Smuggling dominates Oecusse District Court proceedings

Oecusse District Court Smuggling East Timor Law Justice Bulletin Warren L. Wright
ETLJB 20 July 2019 On 15 May 2019, JSMP published the Case Summary from the Oecusse District Court for the month of February 2019. Of the ten cases monitored by JSMP:

- one case involved the crime of attempted sexual abuse of a minor [Articles 177, 23 and 24 (PC) as well as Articles 2, 3, 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence Article 154 of the PC];

- two cases of the crime of mistreatment of a spouse [Articles 177, 23 and 24 (PC) as well as Articles 2, 3, 35 of the Law Against Domestic Violence]; and

- seven cases of the crime of smuggling. [Article 316 of the PC]

There follows a brief summary of the facts from the JSMP report in each of the smuggling cases.

1.    Crime of smuggling  Decision: 2 years in prison, suspended for 2 years

The public prosecutor alleged that on 20 August 2017, at approximately 11pm, the two defendants illegally imported some goods through the Poto border. The goods were 2,360 litres of petrol, 1,445 litres of diesel and 275 litres of kerosene.

19 July 2019

Chapter 1 East Timor Land Law 2017 Objects and Definitions

WARNING HUMAN_MODIFIED MACHINE TRANSLATION - Law No. 13/2017of 5 of June SPECIAL SCHEME FOR THE DEFINITION OF OWNERSHIP OF PROPERTY

CHAPTER I General provisions

Article 1 Objects

1. The present law establishes the special regime for the definition of ownership of land through recognition and attribution of the first property rights.

2. The purpose of the special regime for the definition of ownership of land is to clarify the situation of legal representation of real estate, promote the ownership of property to citizens and ensure universal access to land.

3. The recognition and attribution of the first property rights have as guiding principles the respect for rights, the recognition of possession as a basis for the attribution of the right of ownership and compensation in cases of duplication of rights.

Article 2 Definitions 

For the purposes of this law, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) “Aforamento” means the right of the user to the enjoyment of land by means of payment of a rent, with possible right of renewal recognised as such in the applicable law during the Portuguese administration;

(b) "Land" means the soil and everything that is a permanently attached building, in accordance with the provisions in the Civil Code;

17 July 2019

Community Land in the East Timor Land Law of 2017

Communal land tenure - East Timor - Protection of Customary Rights - Land Law

There follows a human-modified machine translation of Chapter 4 of the East Timor Land Law 2017.

CHAPTER IV Areas of Community Protection and Land

Article 23 Areas of Community Protection

Community protection zones are areas protected by the State for the purpose of safeguarding the common interests of a local community through special protection areas, agricultural areas, cultivated or fallowed, forests, cultural importance, places of sacred worship or linked to local tradition, pastures, water sources or areas where there are natural resources whose use is shared and necessary for their subsistence.

Article 24 Protection

In the community protection areas, the State shall:

a) Ensure that customary practices respect the Constitution, are participatory, not discriminatory and ensure gender equality;

b) Promote environmental sustainability and sociocultural use of natural resources and livelihoods of the local community;

c) Protect community land from land speculation.

Article 25 Use of Land in Community Protection Areas

16 July 2019

Courts must be "firm and strict" in sentences for sexual violence against minors, says JSMP

Image by Arte Moris East Timor Law Justice Bulletin Warren L. Wright Timor-Leste

ETLJB 16 July 2019 - The Judicial System Monitoring Programme, JSMP has called on the Courts to be strict and firm on sentences for sexual violence against minors. This follows the decision by the Dili District Court in Case No. 0059/14.PDDIL on 15 May 2019 to refuse a request for the conditional release of a convicted person who had served only one-half of his 10 year prison sentence (5 years) for the crime of aggravated sexual abuse against the victim.

In a press release dated 7  June 2019, JSMP congratulated the Court on its decision to keep convicted persons in jail to serve their entire sentence, especially for crimes characterised as rape. 

The "courts must be firm and strict in their decision making because these crimes have serious consequences for victims and destroy their future,” said Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, then the Executive Director of JSMP.

The court decided to order the defendant to serve his full sentence with consideration that the crime committed by the defendant not only destroyed the future of the victim who is a minor, but this sentence is proportional to the defendant's behaviour. 

The decision to keep the convicted person in prison was also aimed at strengthening the perception in society that crimes characterised as rape are serious crimes that cannot be tolerated in society.

Rape of Minors Prevalent in All Jurisdictions

JSMP monitoring has found that cases characterised as rape against minors continue to be prevalent in all jurisdictions. 

According to JSMP, "if the court grants such a request from a convicted person, it can create a precedent in the future, and society might believe that crimes characterised as sexual violence are simple or minor crimes and therefore the courts can release convicted persons who have not served their full sentences and grant them conditional release."

JSMP Overview of the Justice Sector Report 

JSMP's annual Overview of the Justice Sector Report demanded the courts impose heavy penalties against defendants in cases of rape. 

"This is a concrete step towards protecting women and minors. JSMP has also regularly recommended for the courts and the public prosecution service to establish ‘guidelines’ for charging and sentencing in these cases to ensure consistency in their decisions." 

Due to its concern about the rising number of cases of sexual abuse against minors, in January 2016 JSMP presented an opinion to the National Parliament on Procedures for Pardons.  

In that submission, JSMP posited that "pardons should not be given for crimes characterised as rape, such as the sexual abuse of minors and incest. These recommendations were given consideration by the National Parliament in Law No. 05/2016 dated 25 May on the Procedure for Granting Pardons and Commuting Sentences that excludes crimes against physical integrity or personal freedom with a prison sentence of 8 years and above."

15 July 2019

Crime of Manslaughter: One Year Imprisonment Suspended for Two Years

Image of the East Timor District Court's Coat of Arms East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin Warren L. Wright
There follows an extract of a notable case from the JSMP Summary of the trial process at the Baucau District Court for the month of March 2019. 
Case No.                                 : 0016/18.MNSTR
Composition of the Court       : Single Judge
Judge                                       : Ersilia de Jesus
Prosecutor                               : Remizia de Fatima da Silva
Public Defender                      : Sidonio M. Sarmento
Decision                                  : 1 year in prison, suspended for 2 years, and civil compensation of US$3,000

On 8 March 2019 the Baucau District Court conducted a hearing to announce its decision in a case of manslaughter involving the defendant Teofilio Pinto and the victim Lourenco Soares that allegedly occurred in Manatuto District.

Charges of the public prosecutor

The public prosecutor alleged that on 18 May 2018, at 10am, the defendant was driving a yellow truck bearing the number plate 51-458 Tls from Dili to Uatulari at normal speed. The defendant was taking his wife and a child. When they arrived in Manatuto near the salt production area, the victim was crossing the road. The defendant sounded the horn and yelled out but the truck struck the victim who fell down and was shaking on the road. The defendant got out of the truck and jumped over the victim's body seven times so the victim wouldn't die, but the victim actually died.

When he saw that the victim was dead, the defendant, together with his wife and child, got on a bus heading from Baucau to Dili to hand himself over to the Manatuto police but on the way they met with the police so the defendant handed himself over to the police who took him to the Manatuto police station.

The defendant made an agreement with the family of the victim in relation to this incident, that firstly the defendant would give US$2,000 and a pig to the victim's family. Then for the funeral ceremony and the 6 month anniversary of the death, the defendant would give another US$1,500 and a buffalo. Meanwhile, for the ceremony to end the mourning period, the defendant would give another US$1,500 and a pig.

The public prosecutor alleged that the defendant violated Article 140 of the Penal Code on manslaughter that carries a maximum penalty of 4 years in prison or a fine.

Presentation of evidence

During the trial the defendant fully confessed to all of the facts in the indictment and stated that the defendant was driving the vehicle at 70 kilometres per hour and when the front of the car was level with the victim the victim suddenly started crossing the road and the defendant was startled. For this reason the defendant swerved and the vehicle slid into a gutter and the defendant saw the victim fall on the road. In relation to the agreement between the defendant and the victim's family, the defendant stated that he gave US$2,000 and a pig. The defendant was supposed to give a buffalo at the ceremony to end the mourning period but he decided not to do so because based on the agreement if the defendant complied with the conditions the case would not be taken to court, but in reality this case ended up at the court. In addition, the defendant's truck, that he needs to make a living, is still at the Manatuto Police Station.

The witness Julia Soares, who is the victim's wife, testified that she was at home and the victim left to check on his buffalo. Suddenly she heard a vehicle strike the victim killing him instantly. When the witness and other families arrived at the scene they saw that the victim was already dead and his head was split open and broken hip. Meanwhile, the witness Filomena da Silva, who is the defendant's wife, chose the right to remain silent.

Final recommendations

The public prosecutor stated that the defendant confessed to all of the facts in the indictment and stated that the defendant was driving the vehicle at a higher speed than normal. In addition, there were no unfavourable conditions because it was nice weather and the road was in good condition. Therefore, he requested for the court to impose a suspended sentence against the defendant and to order the defendant to pay civil compensation based on his economic capacity.

The public defender requested for the court to apply a more lenient sentence against the defendant, and to return the vehicle to the defendant and for the court to use its discretion to determine civil compensation. The public defender stated that the defendant confessed to all of the facts in the indictment, regretted his actions, and stated that nobody wanted the accident to occur, and the defendant had been driving the vehicle for a long time and this was his first accident and the defendant was a first time offender.

Decision

After evaluating all of the facts, the court found that the defendant committed the crime based on the facts set out in the indictment. Based on the facts that were proven and all of the mitigating circumstances, namely that the defendant confessed the alleged facts, regretted his actions, has reconciled with the family of the victim, was a first time offender, the court concluded the matter and imposed a prison sentence of one year against the defendant, suspended for one year, and ordered him to pay civil compensation of US$3,000 to the victim (the remaining amount that the defendant has not yet paid to the family of the victim) as well as court costs of US$20. The court also decided to return the defendant's vehicle.

Members of East Timor’s Parliament concerned about seizures and pre-trial detentions that have exceeded time limits

Image of the East Timor National Parliament East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin Warren L Wright
ETLJB 15 July 2019 - Members of East Timor’s Parliament have expressed their concerns about State agents seizing cars, passports and other goods for indefinite periods of time and cases that have not moved forward and have seriously undermined the ability of individuals to conduct their activities, and this poses a threat to foreigners who wish to invest in Timor-Leste.

East Timor’s peak law and justice civil society organisation, JSMP, “believes that the concerns presented by members of parliament are very important because the Constitution and the law grant wide ranging competence to examine and deal with issues that not only include human rights violations and good governance, but also issues of constitutionality and also issues linked to the legislative process to ensure that the legal framework does not contradict human rights principles enshrined in international conventions and the Timor-Leste Constitution itself”, said the Acting Director of JSMP, Casimiro dos Santos, in a press release dated 4 July 2019.

In relation to the abstract review of constitutionality provided in Article 150 of the Timor-Leste Constitution, this has never been carried out to date because the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights and Justice (PDHJ) did not sufficient resources.

“The PDHJ received 203 complaints in 2018, comprising 81 cases relating to human rights violations and 122 cases relating to issues of good governance. From this total, proceedings were initiated in 44 cases comprising 23 cases relating to human rights and 21 cases relating to good governance. Meanwhile, the human rights violations recorded included 3 violations of the right to life, 18 violations of freedom, integrity and security, 1 violation of the right to access justice and 1 and violation against women”, the JSMP press release noted.

East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin


East Timor’s Peak Law & Justice CSO demands courts include civil compensation in final decisions


Logo East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Programme Law Justice Warren WrightETLJB 15 July 2019 - East Timor’s peak law and justice civil society organisation, the Judicial System Monitoring Programme, has called on public prosecutors and the courts to include civil compensation in cases involving the crime of rape.

On 29 June 2019 JSMP observed that the Suai District Court convicted a defendant for committing the crime of sexual abuse against the victim, aged 13, and did not order the defendant to pay civil compensation.

"An order for the defendant to pay civil compensation is a way of compelling the defendant to redress the psychological suffering of the victim who has been affected by the actions of the defendant. This provides justice to victims who have suffered psychological pressure, especially in cases of a sexual nature involving minors," said Casimiro dos Santos, Acting Director of JSMP.
  
The Criminal Procedure Code provide for the right of a victim to obtain civil compensation from a defendant. Article 430 of the Civil Code states that when a victim's suffering relates to violence, civil compensation must be provided. “Therefore, for certain crimes, especially those characterised as rape, defendants must be ordered to pay civil compensation to victims. This article does not provide an option to consider the inclusion of civil compensation, but states that civil compensation must be included,” stated in a press release dated 9 July 2019.

JSMP demands that  prosecutors and judges to include civil compensation in their respective final recommendations and sentences.

“JSMP believes that the prosecutors and the courts have failed in this regard, because they have not been sensitive and have not thoroughly explored the relevant provisions that guarantee the rights of the victim. JSMP has always believed that the approaches used in such cases and the methods of resolution, as well as the sentences applied by the courts in each case, should contribute to deterring other cases from occurring in the future.”

JSMP observed that “in nearly all decisions the courts have not imposed civil compensation in cases involving rape. In its annual report in 2018 JSMP reported that during 2018 there were 25 rape cases where defendants received a prison sentence. From these 25 cases, only in 2 cases the court asked the defendant to pay civil compensation to the victim.”


East Timor Law &Justice Bulletin
Supporting the rule of law in Timor-Leste