Subject: AP: E. Timor Charges Indon Army Chiefs For '99 Massacre
Received from Joyo Indonesia News
E Timor Charges Indonesian Army Chiefs For '99 Massacre
DILI, East Timor, Oct. 7 (AP)--East Timor on Tuesday indicted 13 former members of the Indonesian military and four militia commanders for allegedly playing a role in the killing of independence supporters during the country's bloody break from Jakarta's rule in 1999.
The accused members of the military, including then commander of Baucau district Lt. Col. Richard Hutadjulu, were charged with crimes against humanity. Some were accused of killing five independence supporters and torturing five others.
The indictments, filed at the Dili District Court, bring to 367 the number of Indonesian security officials and local militia members charged over the 1999 violence.
Of those, only 35 have been convicted and nearly 280 remain free in Indonesia - including all those indicted Tuesday. Among those previously indicted is Gen. Wiranto, who was Indonesia's military chief in 1999 and has since said he will run for president next year.
Indonesia is under no obligation to hand over the suspects, and has already said it won't respond to earlier indictments. East Timor, for its part, hasn't aggressively pushed to have the defendants returned to the country, insisting it is more important to have good relations with its larger neighbor and former occupier.
Indonesian troops and their military proxies killed more than 1,500 Timorese and laid waste to the country in 1999 before and after voters approved a U.N.-sponsored independence referendum.
Courts in Jakarta were set up to prosecute top Indonesians responsible for the violence but have been widely criticized by rights groups as a failure. They only convicted six of 18 suspects and all remain free on appeal.
In the latest indictment, the defendants are accused of terrorizing the coastal community of Baucau from March 1999 until September 1999. The indictment also accuses the military of arming, training and financing the pro-Indonesian Tim Saka paramilitary group and then ordering its members to kill independence supporters.