Subject: East Timor to form state council for legal matters

East Timor to form state council for legal matters

May 31, 2004 4:39am

JAKARTA, May 31, 2004 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao will form a state council within a couple of months to deal with serious legal matters facing the country, the attorney general said in Bali Monday.

"The state council will be established in the near future. In the afterwards, the state will have an absolute authority to determine the direction of our policies, primarily on legal matters," Attorney General Longuinhos Monteiro was quoted by Detikcom online news service as saying.

Lead by the president, the council will consist of the prime minister, the chief justice and several top-ranking officers from the East Timorese armed forces.

The council will also deal with the allegation on serious human right abuses involving Indonesian presidential candidate Wiranto, who was the Indonesian military commander and defense minister during the 1999 East Timorese independence referendum, which was followed by massacres in the tiny territory.

Wiranto, already indicted by a UN-backed East Timorese court for crimes against humanity in the former Indonesian territory, met with Gusmao in Bali on Saturday.

"The East Timor government is ore serious in handling this ( Wiranto's) case. The East Timor government doesn's want to have political confrontation with the Indonesian government," Monteiro said upon his departure to East Timor at the Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali.


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