Subject: Indon gov't establishes ad hoc human rights tribunal

The Jakarta Post April 24, 2001

Ad hoc human rights tribunal established

JAKARTA (JP): President Abdurrahman Wahid on Monday issued a decree on the establishment of an ad hoc tribunal to prosecute two major cases of human rights abuses, the 1984 Tanjung Priok violence and the massacres in East Timor in 1999.

In his decree No. 53, issued on Monday, the President stated that the establishment of the ad hoc court was based on the proposal of the House of Representatives (DPR) as mandated by Law No. 26/2000 on human rights abuse trials. The House itself formally endorsed the plan last month.

According to the decree, the ad hoc court will sit at the Central Jakarta District Court's headquarters. This district court also shares its courthouse with the Commercial Court.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights will cover all of the expenses involved in the establishment of the tribunal and the procurement of all of the necessary equipment and facilities.

"The Ad Hoc Human Rights Tribunal has the authority to try and to hand down verdicts on the gross human rights violations that occurred in East Timor after the self-determination vote and in Tanjung Priok in 1984," said the President in the decree.

The House endorsed the establishment of the court late last month.

After receiving a National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) report that at least 24 people had been killed in the Tanjung Priok incident, the President last July ordered Attorney General Marzuki Darusman to probe the case. Marzuki is expected to announce the results of his nearly one-year-long investigation next month.

Last month, a number of the families of the victims signed a peace compact with the Military, which was represented by, among others, former vice president Gen. (ret.) Try Sutrisno, who was then the Jakarta Military Commander.

Others, however, continue to press the government to try Sutrisno and Gen. (ret.) Benny Moerdani, the former Minister of Defense/Armed Forces Commander, for their roles in the tragedy.

In a separate investigation in January last year, the Commission also implicated former Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Wiranto and four other military and police generals, plus 28 civilians, as being involved in the East Timor bloodshed in 1999.(prb)

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