Subject: AN: Eurico sues Habibie

Antara - The Indonesian National News Agency

December 6, 2001


Jakarta, Dec 6 (ANTARA) - Former deputy commander of the East Timorese pro-integration fighters (PPI), Eurico Guterres, on Thursday registered with the Central Jakarta court a class action against former president, BJ Habibie, to pay Rp1 trillion in indemnity.

The litigation pointed out that Habibie, who has been named defendant II, was personally responsible for agreeing with the implementation of a popular ballot in East Timor in August 1999, because he made the decision without asking for approval from the House of Representatives.

The suit said habibie's policy had inflicted moral and material losses to pro-integration East Timorese.

"After losing the popular ballot, pro-integration east timorese had been forced to flee to East Nusa Tenggara (284,148 persons) and Java (2,736)," THE SUIT NOTED.

The class action, where Eurico and Nicholas Lay acted on behalf and for the East Timorese refugees, also sued the Indonesian government under President Megawati Soekarnoputri as defendant I for violating the law.

The Indonesian government has been accused of allowing pro-integration East Timorese refugees to return to East Timor without proper legal protection, either according to the Indonesian law or international law.

The Indonesian government has also been charged with forcing the refugees to be repatriated.

The suit said the Indonesian government should relocate the pro-integrationists to one location in Timor island.

Government policy

Meanwhile, following the court session, habibie's legal counsel, Yan Djuanda, pointed out that the decision to agree with the holding of the popular ballot was a government policy.

"The government policy was not detached from the situation and condition at that time," Djuanda said.

He pointed out that, before the holding of the popular ballot, the East Timor issue had been a point of conflict at the international world.

Djuanda then referred to the existence of a resolution of the United Nations Security Council and eight decisions of the UN General Assembly on the status of East Timor.

"So, it is obvious that the holding of the popular ballot was directed to reach the legal certainty (on the status of East Timor) ," he said.

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