Subject: AAP: Indonesian Timor probe draws fire Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 10:35:07 -0500 From: "John M.Miller" <fbp@igc.org> (by way of "John M.Miller" <fbp@igc.org>) To: etposts@ffitz.com

Indonesian Timor probe draws fire By Karen Polglaze, South East Asia Correspondent

JAKARTA, March 22 AAP - A team to be set up to pursue the investigation of massive human rights violations in East Timor last year has already drawn criticism over its composition and focus.

Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman has promised the make-up of the 50- to 70-member team will be announced by next week at the latest

The team, which will question the 33 people named by an independent investigation (KPP HAM) into the violence in East Timor, will concentrate on five high-profile incidents despite the independent report outlining 20.

Six high-ranking military and police officers were named in the report including the then Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief General Wiranto.

While the team would include representatives from human rights organisations, there are fears that most members will be from Marzuki's department and the number of police and military (TNI) participants will be disproportionate.

Marzuki, previously chairman of the National Commission of Human Rights, is widely seen as a reformist, but his department has been criticised over its failure to mount effective cases against family and cronies of the New Order regime of former president Suharto.

KPP HAM team member Munir had little hope that the attorney-general's investigation into the independent report he had a hand in would be impartial

"The composition is really, really unhealthy," Munir told AAP,

"I'm pessimistic. Most of the people in it are still people from the New Order regime.

"I doubt that the investigation team will be objective if the police and TNI are still involved."

Three human rights groups have been named as taking part in the team.

A member of one of them, Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation chairman Bambang Widjojanto, also had doubts over its make-up.

"If the proportion of police and TNI people is high and the other experts is very small then that would influence the independence and impartiality of the team," Bambang told AAP.

"I am very pessimistic about the independence and impartiality of the investigation team."

Bambang and Munir were also concerned that the team would concentrate on five incidents: the April massacre in Liquica; the April attack on the house of independence leader Manual Carrascalao; the massacre at a church in Suai in September; the September attack on the house of East Timor's spiritual leader Bishop Carlos Belo and the murder of Dutch journalist Sander Thoenes.

Munir said the independent investigators had recommended further action on more than 20 cases of human rights violations they uncovered in East Timor.

"The team should not concentrate on the five big cases only," he said.

"It should be extended to all the important cases that happened there so we can see the chain of events."

Bambang reminded authorities that failure to satisfy international concerns over the events in East Timor could trigger a United Nations investigation

National Council of Timorese Resistance vice president Jose Ramos-Horta called for the international community to press ahead with its plans for an international tribunal at the same time as the process was under way in Indonesia so that it was ready to open should Indonesia fail to meet international norms of due process.

KPP HAM found pro-Indonesia militia groups aided and supported by military and civilian groups had killed, tortured, raped, enforced large-scale deportation and burned property across the former Indonesian province of East Timor after the August 30 independence ballot.

Wiranto was last month forced to step aside from his senior position of Coordinating Minister of Political and Security Affairs in the government of President Abdurrahman Wahid after parts of the report were made public.

The senior officers named in the KPP HAM report included the two East Timor military commanders Tono Suratman and Nur Mois, former military intelligence chief Zacky Anwar Makarim, former East Timor police commander Timbul Silaen and military commander of the region supervising East Timor Adam Damiri.

More than 230 bodies of those believed to have died in the violence have been found in East Timor.

Also implicated were militia leaders Joao Tavares and Eurico Guterres and former East Timor governor Abilio Soares.


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