Subject: AP: Former militia commander sentenced to 7 years in jail

see also Serious Crimes Unit Information Release: Former Batugade Saka Loromonu Militia Village Commander Sentenced To 7 Years After Pleading Guilty To Murder As A Crime Against Humanity []

Former militia commander sentenced to 7 years in jail

February 17, 2004 6:46am AP Online

DILI, East Timor_A former militia commander was sentenced to seven years in jail Tuesday for killing a pro-independence leader during East Timor's bloody break from Indonesia in 1999.

Lino de Carvalho, of the pro-Indonesian Saka Loromonu militia, plead guilty to his role in the kidnapping and fatal stabbing of Sabino Pereira on Sept. 6, 1999, a week after Timorese voters approved a U.N.-sponsored independence referendum.

Lawyers for the 40-year-old Carvalho said they would appeal the verdict, though the former militiaman told reporters that he would accept it.

During the trial, Carvalho apologized for the killing and relatives of Pereira said they forgave him during a village reconciliation ceremony.

Carvalho is the 48th suspect convicted by the U.N.-funded court since it was set up in 2001 to try Indonesian soldiers and their proxy militias responsible for the violence that left 1,500 dead and the half-island in ruins.

Of the 369 charged in East Timor, 280 remain free in Indonesia and the government there has refused repeated request to extradite them to face trial. They include 32 senior commanders and the country's former military chief Gen. Wiranto.

Indonesian efforts to try those responsible for the Timor violence have been dismissed a sham. It convicted just six of 18 accused Indonesian military and government officials. All six remain free pending appeal.

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