Subject: E Timor Sentences Militia Leader To 7 Yrs Jail For Murder

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

E Timor Sentences Militia Leader To 7 Yrs Jail For Murder

JAKARTA, June 9 (AP)--An East Timorese court sentenced a pro-Indonesia militia leader to seven years in jail Monday for the 1999 killing of an independence supporter after the country voted to end 24 years of Indonesian occupation.

Quelo Mauno is the 32nd person convicted by the Dili District Court. In contrast, courts in Jakarta have convicted only five of 18 Indonesian military and government leaders tried for the violence that killed 1,500 and left 250,000 homeless.

Mauno pleaded guilty to one count of crimes against humanity for murdering Domingos Kolo, a pro-independence supporter, on Sept. 8, 1999. The indictment alleged that Mauno stabbed Kolo to death.

East Timorese overwhelmingly voted for independence in August 1999, triggering violence by the Indonesian military and its proxy militias that left the former province in ruins.

Prosecutors in Dili have indicted more than 260 people including the former chief of the Indonesian military Gen. Wiranto. But many of the defendants have already escaped to Indonesia, which has so far ignored extradition requests from Dili.

As a result, most of the defendants convicted of crimes ranging from murder to rape in Dili have been former East Timorese militiamen like Mauno.

In Jakarta, the rights courts have been criticized for failing to convict top ranking officers on trial for atrocities in Timor. Last week, prosecutors took the unusual stance of asking judges to acquit the last defendant on trial, Maj. Gen. Adam Damiri, who was the highest-ranked officer indicted for the violence.

-Edited by Genevieve I. Soledad


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