Subject: I was responsible for security in E. Timor: Adam

The Jakarta Post September 19, 2000

I was responsible for security in E. Timor: Adam

JAKARTA (JP): The former head of the Udayana Military Command, Maj. Gen. Adam Damiri, said on Monday he and then Indonesian Military chief Gen. (ret) Wiranto, were responsible for security in East Timor following the announcement of the results of the UN-sponsored East Timor referendum.

"Me and Pak Wiranto held the responsibility for making the policies to maintain security in East Timor during that specific short period of time," he said after being questioned for six hours at the Attorney General's Office.

He was questioned as a suspect in the alleged human rights abuses committed during last year's mayhem in East Timor. The Udayana Military Command at the time of the violence oversaw Bali, West and East Nusa Tenggara and East Timor.

Adam, however, said he was not responsible for the violence in the territory, blaming the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) for the post-ballot mayhem.

"I believe that I'm innocent. In my opinion, all the unrest should be blamed on UNAMET, which organized the ballot.

"We'll see what the court says about this," he said, while declining to state whether he believed any of his superiors should be held responsible for the violence.

Adam said he took the initiative, with Wiranto's knowledge, to take over control of security from the East Timor Police on Sept. 5, 1999, one day after the ballot results were announced.

Soon after the announcement of the poll results, in which 79 percent of the East Timorese rejected the Indonesian government-proposed special autonomy, clashes between proindependence and prointegration camps erupted throughout the region.

One of the lawyers representing Adam, Yan Djuanda Saputra, said the unrest was triggered by UNAMET's failure to remain neutral during the lead- up to the vote and the ballot itself, and its ignorance of the locals' rejection of the ballot results.

"Judging from the situation, which was beyond the police's control, the military chief (Adam) consulted with Pak Wiranto, who was in the region on Sept. 5, 1999, about whether it was necessary to take over control of security from the police," Yan Djuanda said, adding that Adam was asked 21 questions during the questioning on Monday.

Wiranto and several Cabinet ministers and other officials, including then minister of foreign affairs Ali Alatas, then minister of justice/state secretary Muladi and then National Police chief Gen. Roesmanhadi, visited the East Timor capital of Dili immediately following the ballot to meet with military and government officials in the region.

Adam, who is one of 19 suspects named in connection with the violence, was due to be questioned two weeks ago, but the questioning was delayed because he was out of the country.

Several witnesses also were questioned on Monday, including the former operational command chief with the East Timor Police, Sr. Supt. Leo Pardede, former Liqui‡a Police chief Supt. Adios Salova and the former chief of the Tribuana Security Task Force, Lt. Col. Yayat Sudradjat.

Another suspect in the case, militia leader Izidio Manek, failed to appear at the Attorney General's Office, with no explanation being given for his absence

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