Subject: IO: Retired general criticizes plan to pardon Wiranto

Also: Timor inquiry team grilled by parliament, 'Wiranto Needs to Accept Some Responsibility'

Indonesian Observer February 12, 2000

Retired general criticizes plan to pardon Wiranto

JAKARTA (IO) ó An outspoken retired general has blasted President Abdurrahman Wahidís plan to pardon General Wiranto if he is found guilty of responsibility for last Septemberís carnage in East Timor.

The Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Abuses (KPP HAM) has said Wiranto knew about the human rights abuses being conducted by military-backed militia gangs but did nothing to stop them.

Retired Lieutenant General Hasnan Habib yesterday said the offer of a pardon to Wiranto will not please the international community, which has expressed a desire for Indonesia to prove that it can take legal action against human rights violators.

Habib, who had a successful career in the military and then in the diplomatic corps, said the pardon contradicts the international communityís efforts to prevent generals from being above the law.

"Even though it is presidentís privilege to issue [a pardon], it was improper for him to say it, because people will now say ĎThen why bother holding a trialí," he told the Observer on the sidelines of a seminar here entitled ĎCivilian-Military Relations: the Military and Democracyí. Habib warned that the international community will be angry if human rights abusers from the Indonesian military are allowed to walk free. "If they are pardoned before the trial process, people who committed such crimes can repeat their misdeeds because they assume they will pardoned again," he said.

"The prior goal of the international community to eliminate impunity will not be achieved. It will also nullify the upcoming investigation of the alleged suspects." Habib said he supported parliamentís plan to hold a meeting with the president after he returns to Jakarta following a tour of countries in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. He urged them to ask Wahid to explain the pardon for Wiranto. ----

Indonesian Observer Feb 10, 2000

Timor inquiry team grilled by parliament

JAKARTA (IO) ó The Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Abuses (KPP HAM) has been grilled by the House of Representatives Commission I over its report that stated six senior generals were responsible for last Septemberís carnage in East Timor.

Members of the government-sanctioned investigative team were summoned to the House to explain apparent "discrepancies" in the January 31 report, which named 33 military personnel and civilians deemed responsible for the East Timor mayhem.

KPP HAM later yesterday delivered a more detailed report to the Attorney Generalís Office. The full report contains the names of about 2,000 people involved in the violence that followed East Timorís August 30 vote to secede from Indonesia.

Team members yesterday refused to publicly name separatist fighters who are mentioned in the full report as being partly responsible for some incidents of unrest.

KPP HAM Chairman Albert Hasibuan said only the Attorney General, Marzuki Darusman, has the right to name pro-independence supporters implicated in the violence.

Thatís a very different attitude from earlier this year when the commission courageously named the generals suspected of masterminding and failing to halt the carnage.

In a bid to mollify its critics, KPP HAM has said three groups conducted the unrest: pro-Jakarta militias, pro-independence supporters and the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI). But Hasibuan was unwilling to name the accused pro-independence supporters.

"I canít say it at this moment. It is all written up in our final report, which is expected to be presented to the attorney general this afternoon. He is the one who then has the right to name the [pro-independence] suspects," he told the Observer on the sidelines of the hearing, which was also attended by members of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

The final report is to be used by the Attorney Generalís Office to initiate further investigations of the suspects.

"It contains at least 2,000 names, from either the pro-integration groups, pro-independence groups or TNI. The documents consist of evidence, cassette recordings of interviews with eye-witnesses and the identities of those witnesses," said Hasibuan.

Komnas HAM members H.S. Dillon and Asmara Nababan went to the Attorney Generalís Office at 3:00 p.m. to present the report, which was contained in four large boxes. The evidence was accepted by Junior Attorney for Crimes, A. Rahman.

Komnas HAM formed KPP HAM following an instruction from the government of former president B.J. Habibie on September 13.

House members maintained criticism of KPP HAM for publicly naming the errant generals allegedly behind the East Timor terror. During the hearing led by Astrid Susanto, deputy chairman of Commission I, legislators questioned KPP HAMís smooth access to visit East Timor.

The commission blasted KPP-HAMís "discriminative" inquiry for only targeting human rights abuses that occurred after August 30.

It also said the commission should have investigated acts of violence committed by the International Force for East Timor [Interfet].


TIME-Asia Web-only interview February 8, 2000

'Wiranto Needs to Accept Some Responsibility'

Interview with Albert Hasibuan, head of Jakarta's inquiry into human-rights abuses in East Timor

From his office in central Jakarta, Albert Hasibuan, the chairman of the Commission Investigating Human Rights Violations in East Timor, spoke with TIME reporter Jason Tedjasukmana on Feb. 2 about the commission's three-month investigation into alleged atrocities committed in East Timor. The report, released Jan. 31, holds at least 30 military officers, district chiefs and militia leaders responsible for "gross violations of human rights." Excerpts from the interview:

TIME: The military's legal defense team says the inquiry does not have the evidence or facts to support your conclusions.

Hasibuan: We have plenty of proof. The proof is primarily in the form of testimonies and documents and clearly show links between the military and the militias in the provision of arms, payments, logistics and leadership. Our proof is to be used as a starting point for the Attorney General's Office.

TIME: The commission is also being accused of violating the rights of those implicated in the report by prematurely publishing their names. Are you prepared for the legal consequences?

Hasibuan: Of course we are prepared. We have not broken any laws and the naming of names is clearly legal and in accordance with Indonesia's civil and criminal codes. We had to be accountable to the public and they have a right to know who and what was responsible. People are tired of hearing about "provocateurs" and "third parties." That said, we have not accused those named of anything and we assume they are innocent until proven guilty.

TIME: Why did the report ultimately hold General Wiranto responsible for what happened after East Timor's referendum?

Hasibuan: We stopped at Wiranto because he was in charge of security in East Timor at the time. Wiranto needs to accept some responsibility because he did not take effective steps to stop the violence. He claimed that "psychological constraints" prevented him from taking action, but I don't think that is a term that exists in the military's dictionary.

TIME: Why not go all the way to the top?

Hasibuan: (Former President) Habibie had been named by a number of those who were disappointed with his decision to offer the referendum option, but we did not have proof that his decision resulted in acts of destruction or that he violated any human rights. If his name comes up in court, however, he could be implicated.

TIME: There is some controversy as to where the commission's allegations will be heard. Where will trials take place?

Hasibuan: A Human Rights Court is still being discussed. If that idea is not accepted for technical reasons--such as whether the court will have the "retroactive" right to hear violations that occurred in the past--we could form a Cambodia-style court where you have a national court with international judges.

TIME: How critical is it that the report be followed up seriously?

Hasibuan: It is very important that we see some follow-up action. If we take the wrong step, no one will believe in us. If we fail this time, faith in our ability to uphold the law will be lost at home and overseas. These people must be prosecuted. If not, the whole thing will look like a game.

TIME: Did President Abdurrahman Wahid assist the commission in any way?

Hasibuan: The President allowed us to question ministers and certain military officers. He supported us but was not involved in the investigation.

TIME: Is this report an attack on the military?

Hasibuan: Not at all. The figure of Wiranto is seen as representing TNI [the Indonesian Military] but we are not going after TNI. He is not TNI, only part of it.

TIME: Should the report's conclusions be viewed as a beginning to reducing the power of the military in Indonesia?

Hasibuan: The military's tremendous power is being returned to where it belongs--as a professional body that secures the country against external threats and not as a political player. If their role is not changed civil society will never take root and the military's dual function [in politics and security] will never be curtailed.


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