Subject: Solidamor demands Wiranto be charged

Indonesian Observer May 2, 2001

Solidamor demands Wiranto be charged

JAKARTA - A pro-East Timor human rights group yesterday met state prosecutors here yesterday to question why former military commander General Wiranto, now retired, was not included in the list of suspects in militia violence that devastated East Timor in 1999.

The Solidarity Without Borders (Solidamor), led by its chairman Bonar Tigor Naipospos, was received by senior prosecutor Rahman, who chairs a Attorney General’s Office (AGO) team investigating human rights abuses in East Timor.

The AGO last week named 18 suspects in the destruction of East Timor by pro-Jakarta militias after the East Timorese people voted for independence from Indonesia on August 30, 1999.

However, the list sparked outrage from human rights activists as it excluded Wiranto and other former high-ranking officers, such as Lieutenant General Johnny Lumintang, Major General Zacky Anwar Makarim and Major General H.R. Garnadi. Former militia commander Joao Savares was also not among the suspects.

A team of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) investigating the 1999 carnage in East Timor had earlier recommended that the AGO charge 22 militia leaders and military officers, including Wiranto, as suspects.

The Solidamor accused the AGO of not being serious in its investigation of human rights abuse in the territory illustrated by the exclusion of key military figures in the list of suspects.

Prosecutors said Wiranto was not charged in the violence because there was no clear evidence indicating his involvement in the case.

However, Rahman yesterday said he believes that more suspects could be declared during trials of East Timor human rights cases, where new evidence is expected to be found.

The trials for the 18 suspects are expected to commence in July in a newly- established ad hoc court in the Central Jakarta District Court.

The Solidamor urged the AGO to appoint credible prosecutors to charge the suspects.

It also proposed several names, including human rights lawyers Frans Hendra Winarta, Nur Syahbani Katjasungkana, Todung Mulya Lubis and Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara, be named as prosecutors at the ad hoc trial.

In a response to the proposal, Rahman said the AGO has agreed to appoint credible prosecutors for the trials but said they must be experienced.

The Solidamor also said it opposes a presidential decree limiting the jurisdiction of the ad hoc court which is authorized only to deal with the violence which took place after the independence vote in East Timor.

"It should be revised," Naipospos told journalists after his meeting with the AGO prosecutors. He said the court should also be allowed to try human rights cases which took place since January 1998, when then President B.J. Habibie offered East Timorese the vote to choose to separate from of stay a part of Indonesia.

The United Nations has also expressed concern over the limit of the jurisdiction of the trials. However, it hailed Jakarta to start prosecuting the cases.

During yesterday's meeting, Naipospos was accompanied by other Solidamor activists, including Yenny Rosa Damayanti, Tri Agus Siswomiharjo, Gustav Dupe and Adrianto.

Also present were AGO spokesman Muljohardjo and other prosecutors Umar Bawazier and M.X. Manoy.

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