|Subject: JP: Timor prosecutors indict
Indonesian officers for 1999 atrocities
Jakarta Post April 09, 2003
E. Timor prosecutors indict Indonesian officers for 1999 atrocities
DILI (Agencies): Prosecutors in East Timor said on Wednesday they have
indicted 16 people including eight Indonesian army officers for crimes
against humanity before and after the territory's bloody breakaway from
Jakarta in 1999.
The Serious Crimes Unit said in a statement that an indictment filed
Monday accuses the 16 of 31 counts of crimes against humanity against
civilians including "murder, extermination, enforced disappearance,
torture, deportation and persecution."
It is the second attempt in less than two months by the United
Nations-funded unit to bring Indonesian officers to justice, AFP reported.
In late February it indicted Indonesia's former defence minister and
military chief, Wiranto, for crimes against humanity along with six other
senior officers and the then-governor.
Indonesia refuses to hand over any suspects. And East Timor's President
Xanana Gusmao criticised the February indictments, saying good relations
withthe former ruler should take priority.
Indonesia's military and their proxy militias waged a savage
intimidation campaign before East Timorese voted in August 1999 for
independence, and a revenge campaign afterwards.
At least 1,000 people were murdered. The territory finally gained
independence last May after a period of UN stewardship.
The latest indictment covers crimes in Covalima district between
January and October 1999, including the massacre at Suai church on
September 6 in which at least 31 people including three Catholic priests
Apart from the eight officers, those charged are the former Indonesian
district civilian administrator, the former Indonesian district police
chief and six ethnic East Timorese serving with the military.
Among the former district comanders and officials to be indicted are
Colonel Herman Sedyono, the ex-district administrator; Lt. Col. Achmad Mas
Agus; Lt. Col Lilik Kushardianto; police Lt. Col. Gatot Subiaktoro; Lt.
Achmad Syamsuddin and Lt. Lt. Sugito.
The indictment accuses Sedyono of personally taking part in the church
attack along with Kushardianto, Subiaktoro, Sugito and Syamsuddin.
It says Sedyono and Agus helped set up and fund the notorious Laksaur
militia while Agus gave them military weapons.
Between January and August 1999 troops and militiamen are alleged to
have colluded in over 35 cases of torture, four "disappearances"
and 10 cases ofmurder in Covalima.
After August, soldiers and militiamen in the district are accused of 36
The Serious Crimes Unit said all the accused are believed to be in
Indonesia. Prosecutors there would be asked to arrest them and the
warrants would also be forwarded to Interpol.
Sedyono, Kushardianto, Subiaktoro, Syamsuddin and Sugito have already
appeared before Indonesia's human rights court and been aquitted.
The Jakarta court was set up in response to international demands for
justice but has acquitted 11 out of 16 defendants in widely criticised
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