Subject: Habibie to testify in rights trial

The Jakarta Post June 21, 2002

Habibie to testify in rights trial

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A number of former high-ranking government officials are to give testimony in the ongoing trial of former East Timor police chief Brig. Gen. Timboel Silaen to explain their policies on the country's former 27th province.

The defense team told the Ad Hoc Human Rights Tribunal on Thursday that they would present former president B.J. Habibie, former coordinating minister for political and security affairs Feisal Tanjung, and former minister of foreign affairs Ali Alatas on June 27 to shed light on government policies in East Timor prior to the referendum.

Members of the Commission for Peace and Stability (KPS) and the Indonesian Task Force for the Implementation of the Popular Consultation in East Timor (P3TT) would also appear in the court hearing, lawyer Tommy Sihotang said.

"We will summon KPS members Djoko Soegianto and Koesparmono Irsan and the task force's Agus Tarmidji," Sihotang said.

Djoko is currently chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), while Koesparmono is one of its members.

Sihotang said the KPS had reported that peace had been reached between pro-Jakarta and pro-independence groups with the help of local civilian authorities, the military, and the police ahead of the 1999 referendum.

Timbul Silaen has been charged with crimes against humanity for failing to prevent human rights abuses prior to, during, and after the 1999 United Nations-sponsored referendum that led to East Timor's independence.

Earlier in the day, prosecutors read out the testimonies of four witnesses. Three of the witnesses are now East Timor citizens, while the other one is residing in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.

They testified that armed militia, military and police personnel deliberately fired at pro-independence supporters taking refuge at the Dili Diocese compound and the residence of East Timor Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo on Sept. 6, 1999.

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