|Subject: AU/JP: Indonesian Timor Massacre
also: Eurico facing life sentence for murder, torture
The Australian June 28, 2002
Massacre prosecutors 'failing'
By Don Greenlees, Jakarta correspondent
AN Indonesian human rights court yesterday launched the prosecution of notorious former East Timorese militia leader Eurico Guterres â€“ one of the crucial tests of justice over the violent campaign waged by militias and Indonesian military against East Timor's bid to gain independence in 1999.
Mr Guterres will stand trial in connection with the massacre of 12 people in the Dili home of prominent independence leader Manuel Carrascalao on April 17, 1999, by members of his Aitarak (Thorn) militia and out-of-uniform soldiers.
But the prosecution case accuses Mr Guterres, 28, of doing no more than making provocative public remarks and failing to intervene before the massacre.
"The defendant gave a provocative speech and did not take sufficient measures to prevent or stop his subordinates from attacking Manuel Carrascalao's house and murdering people who were in Carrascalao's house," the indictment says.
Critics of the judicial process, launched by Indonesia over the orchestrated campaign of violence in East Timor, say prosecutors have failed to address the role of militia leaders and military officers in directing the violence, instead suggesting "little more than criminal negligence on the part of the accused".
An analysis of the trials, produced by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, said the indictments played down the extent of planning behind the violence and the nature of the violence, leaving the impression that the masterminds were "failing to prevent violence rather than actively orchestrating it".
The heart of the indictment against Mr Guterres involves a speech he gave to a militia show of strength in front of the East Timor governor's office, shortly before the attack on the Carrascalao house. The parade was witnessed by senior civilian officials and army commanders.
At the Jakarta hearing, prosecutors said Mr Guterres made a call to arms against the leadership of the National Council for Timorese Resistance (CNRT), including Mr Carrascalao.
"All leaders of CNRT must be eliminated. All pro-independence people must be killed," prosecutors quoted Mr Guterres as telling the crowd.
Later, militiamen and plainclothes members of the security forces embarked on a two-day spree of violence and harassment in Dili that left as many as 20 people dead. The indictment names 12 people who died in the Carrascalao house.
Three years after the events, Indonesian courts are yet to convict anyone over what the UN and Indonesia's human rights commission said were crimes against humanity.
The Jakarta Post June 28, 2002
Eurico facing life sentence for murder, torture
Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Eurico Guterres, former commander of the pro-Jakarta Aitarak militia in East Timor, stood trial at the Central Jakarta District Court on charges of murder and torture in the attacks on East Timorese leaders before the 1999 ballot.
The camouflage-clad Guterres was charged with torture and murder, which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
According to the court's proceeding, Eurico was responsible for the attacks on the residences of proindependence East Timor leaders Manuel Viego Carrascalao and Leandro Isaac which killed 12 civilians and the son of Carrascalao on April 17, 1999, some four months before the ballot was conducted.
The government prosecutors said that the defendant was held responsible for the attack because he failed to prevent his followers from attacking and delivered an address before the militiamen, inciting them to violence against East Timorese supporting the territory's separation from Indonesia.
Eurico who wore his prointegration fighters (PPI) uniform in court, pled not guilty to the prosecutor's charges.
"The indictment makes me laugh," he told the court which was packed with his fellow militiamen, "I was only a deputy commander of PPI. It is not me but former president B.J. Habibie who should be held responsible for all crimes against humanity in East Timor because the crimes were caused by his controversial decision."
The former president was applauded by pro-democracy people here and the international community, but came under heavy fire from the military and nationalists when he made an agreement with the UN for the East Timorese people to conduct a ballot, in which some 80 percent voted for freedom.
In its other session, the ad hoc court examined former East Timorese provincial police Insp. Gen. Timbul Silaen, a defendant in the 1999 post-ballot mayhem in East Timor and also subpoenaed several former government officials to testify about the violent rampage.
Judge Andi Samsan Nganro who presided over the court session, ordered prosecutor James Pardede to bring former foreign minister Ali Alatas, former coordinating minister for political and security affairs Feisal Tanjung and Agus Tarmizi of the Foreign Ministry to the next session to testify about the multilateral deals that preceded the ballot.
"We ask Your Honor to summon the three witnesses because their statements will be crucial in unraveling the diplomatic deals concerning the East Timorese ballot. We bear the consequences on our shoulders should their testimony implicate the defendants," he stated.
Feisal, who established the former task force to publicize the East Timor ballot (P3TT), had been questioned by the former inquiry committee (KPF) established by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) early in 2000 due to the existence of the "Garnadi Paper", a document urging systematic destruction in East Timor signed by Feisal's former assistant Maj. Gen. (ret) Garnadi.
Garnadi admitted that it was his signature on the document but denied knowledge of the content.
Timbul told the court that the expedited announcement of the result of the independence ballot from the scheduled Sept. 7 to Sept. 4, had been the main reason for the consecutive attacks by the prointegration militia on proindependence supporters which the security forces failed to curb.
He expected the court to find the reasons why the Indonesian government agreed with the decision to expedite the announcement date.
The police, he said, who was in charge of security, had commenced Hanoin Lorosae operations to publicize the ballot and to secure the announcement of the ballot.
Komnas HAM member Koesparmono Irsan, who was coordinator of the Commission for Peace and Stability, testified in defense of Timbul, claiming that the violence was partially a result of the commission's failure to disarm the militia groups.
"The riots were inevitable but there was not massive destruction," he said, adding that UNAMET should also be responsible for the failure because it was also tasked to disarm the militiamen.
According to the May 5 tripartite agreement, UNAMET was responsible only for the administration of the ballot, while the Indonesian National Police were responsible for all security concerns, including disarming the people.
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