Subject: AFP: Suspected killer of UN soldier to be tried in West Timor

Suspected killer of UN soldier to be tried in West Timor

JAKARTA, Jan 18 (AFP) - A man accused of killing a New Zealander serving with UN forces in East Timor will be tried in West Timor and not handed over to the East Timorese authorities, a report said Thursday.

Yakobus Bere, 29, will not be tried outside Indonesian territory, said the police chief for East Nusa Tenggara, Made Mangku Pastika, quoted by the state news agency Antara.

The Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara covers West Timor, bordering the territory of East Timor which voted in 1999 to break away from Indonesia.

"According to Indonesian law, we cannot extradite our nationals. That is what our extradition law says. So, there will be no extradition," Pastika said after talks with a visiting UN official in the provincial capital Kupang.

Pastika did not say when the trial in the West Timor border town of Atambua would be held.

Bere is a former commander of the "Laksaur" pro-Indonesian militia in East Timor. He has been on the wanted list for the murder of Leonard Manning, a 24-year-old peacekeeper from New Zealand near the border with West Timor in July.

After being on the run, he surrendered to soldiers at a border military post in Atambua on January 10.

Indonesian troops searching for weapons, found Manning's missing automatic rifle at Bere's hideout near the East Timorese border during a raid in October.

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