Subject: Indonesia to name main suspects in Timor violence

Indonesia to name main suspects in Timor violence

JAKARTA, Aug 7 (AFP) - Indonesia's attorney general said here Monday that his office should be ready to name those on a list of suspects in the violence that ravaged East Timor last year within a month.

"The investigation is well underway, and the investigation team has returned from East Timor. I think we'll begin to finalize their findings in one or two weeks," Attorney General Marzuki Darusman said.

"Then we'll come out with the announcement of the the list of suspects. And then of course a full investigation will be undertaken and this will be finalized in one or two months."

Darusman was speaking after meeting for more than an hour at an airport hotel here with UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson.

Robinson was on her way back to Geneva after a week-long trip to East Timor, which was devastated by Indonesian military-backed militia in retaliation for its vote for independence from Indonesia last year.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting with Darusman, Robinson again made it clear that if Indonesia does not bring the main culprits of the Timor violence to trial, the UN will unilaterally call an international war crimes tribunal.

"We are both aware of the importance of a credible system of justice," Robinson told reporters.

"I brought a very strong message to the attorney general of the deep concerns of the people of East Timor and the growing sense of frustration and impatience that justice must be done.

"I am confident that we'll be very much on top of the agenda of the attorney general in the coming weeks."

Asked if she was also sure that those guilty would be brought to trial, she replied: "Yes, I am confident.

"I have made it clear that the important thing is to have a credible system of trial of the worst of the perpetrators. The process here in Indonesia is underway.

"I have offered, and the offer had been accepted, to send further technical support and expertise in this very imnportant and difficult task of the establishment of the human rights tribunal and the process of the trial.

"In the event of all of that going ahead as I hope and believe, then that's the preferred solution for the international community (rather than an international war crimes tribunal)."

The Timor tribunal issue is ultra-sensitive in Indonesia, especially because a preliminary probe named former armed forces chief General Wiranto (eds: one name) as "morally responsible" for the bloodshed.

Also, Indonesia lost thousands of soldiers during and after its invasion of the former Portuguese colony in 1975. At the time, shortly after the end of the Vietnam war, both the United States and neighbouring Australia were believed to have supported the invasion.

Asked if he feared a backlash from elements of the armed forces if he pushed ahead with the probe, Marzuki said that so far he had not run into insurmountable obstacles.

"So far we're showed there's continuing support from the armed forces and from the leadership of the armed forces," he said.

"And (the fact) that we have been able to get this far shows that support is sustained. We expect we'll be given continued support from the armed forces."

Many of the main militia leaders implicated in earlier reports of the bloodshed, which left more than 600 hundred dead and the infrastructure of the small half-island's economy in ruins, are currently in Indonesian-controlled West Timor.

The militia mayhem, and the flight or forced expulsion of up to 250,000 people from East Timor, prompted the UN to authorize the dispatch of international peacekeepers to halt it.


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