Subject: Age: E Timor-Indonesia: Extradition pact 'invalid to Jakarta'

The Age Tuesday 27 November 2001

Extradition pact 'invalid to Jakarta'


Indonesian authorities say they do not regard last year's Memorandum of Understanding between East Timor and Indonesia on transfer of prisoners as valid, East Timor's new Prosecutor-General has said.

The UN Transitional Administration in East Timor has made requests for Indonesians accused of crimes in East Timor during the 1999 referendum to be handed over, but all have been rejected.

Prosecutor-General Longuinhos Monteiro made his first official visit to Indonesia last week for talks with Attorney-General Muhamad Abdul Rachman. He said the two sides agreed to meet in Bali next month to draft a new accord.

"Indonesia says the agreement of April 6, 2000, is not legally binding because it was not approved by the Indonesian Parliament," he said.

Indonesian deputies say the memorandum, signed by the Wahid government, does not conform with an October, 2000, law specifying that all agreements on foreign dealings be endorsed by parliament.

Mr Monteiro said he was told that "no Indonesian citizen will be released" for trial in East Timor.

The UN administration last week filed its fourth indictment for crimes against humanity over the Liquica massacre in April, 1999. Those charged include Lieutenant-Colonel Kusumawandi, a district commander and the highest-ranked Indonesian formally accused.

Mr Monteiro said he also discussed the case of the five Australian journalists killed at Balibo in 1975. In March, the UN administration asked to question 19 Indonesians about the killings, without success. The prosecutor then asked Indonesia's Human Rights Commission to conduct a preliminary investigation.

Mr Monteiro said Mr Rachman had told him "they are still preparing investigations, and are thinking of setting up a joint team with people from the Attorney-General's office and one or two police, to start work in January or February".

He said he expected four more UN indictments for 1999 crimes against humanity to be filed next month.

His special adviser, Tanzanian lawyer Mohamed Othman, said the UN was examining other ways to carry out judicial decisions where extradition was not granted. "We are in contact with Interpol to disseminate arrest warrants on behalf of the East Timor Government," he said.

Back to November menu

World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu

Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from