Subject: AFP: Forwarding Wiranto warrant to Interpol not in E. Timor interest: Prosecut

Also: Gusmão Bali bound reportedly meeting wanted Gen. Wiranto

Forwarding Wiranto warrant to Interpol not in E. Timor interest: Prosecutor

DILI (AFP): East Timor's top prosecutor said on Tuesday it would not be in his country's interest to forward to Interpol an arrest warrant for Indonesian presidential candidate Wiranto.

"As an institution of the state, whatever I'm doing has to correspond with the policies of the state," prosecutor-general Longuinhos Monteiro told AFP.

His comments follow a meeting with President Xanana Gusmao, who says relations with former ruler Indonesia should take priority over United Nations-backed efforts to seek justice for atrocities in the territory in 1999.

UN-funded prosecutors in Dili have charged Gen. (ret) Wiranto, a former armed forces chief, with crimes against humanity. They say he bears command responsibility for murder and other crimes committed by Indonesian forces against independence supporters.

The Golkar Party has nominated Wiranto as its presidential candidate for the June 5 poll.

Judge Phillip Rapoza on May 10 issued an arrest warrant for Wiranto but Monteiro at the time accused his foreign deputies of exceeding their authority and said he wanted to review the evidence.

Indonesia refuses to hand anyone over for trial in East Timor.

Forwarding the warrant to Interpol, the global police support agency, could make Wiranto liable to arrest if he travels overseas.

Monteiro said he met Gusmao and other national leaders separately about one week ago. He said the consensus was that it is not in East Timor's interest to prosecute Wiranto or other indicted senior Indonesian officers.

Asked specifically whether he would forward the warrant to Interpol, Monteiro said: "I cannot do anything before I get clearance."

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East Timor: Gusmão Bali bound reportedly meeting wanted Gen. Wiranto

Dili, May 26 (Lusa) - East Timorese President Xanana Gusmão travels to the Indonesian island of Bali this weekend, officials confirmed Wednesday, and several media have reported he will meet Indonesia's General Wiranto, who is sought by a Dili court for crimes against humanity.

"The president, accompanied by his wife and children, will travel to Bali this weekend for rest", a source in the presidential office replied to Lusa on being questioned over the reported meeting with Gen. Wiranto.

Indonesian state news agency Antara cited Wirato`s attorney, Muladi, as saying his client "wants reconciliation" with Timor and would meet with Gusmão Saturday.

Earlier Wednesday, Australia's ABC broadcaster quoted Muladi as saying the Indonesian presidential candidate and Gusmão would hold an "informal meeting" in Bali Saturday.

ABC said the meeting aimed to discuss the indictment and arrest warrant issued by a UN-backed court in Dili against Wiranto on charges of crimes against humanity committed in East Timor in 1999, when the general was Jakarta's defense minister and armed forces' chief.

An UN-appointed judge on Dili's Serious Crimes Unit issued an arrest warrant for Wiranto on May 10, an initiative that has embarrassed Timorese leaders seeking to normalize pivotal relations with its giant neighbor and former occupier.

Gusmão and Foreign Minister José Ramos Horta met in Bali with their Indonesian counterparts on May 15 to discuss bilateral relations, including tensions raised by the issuance of the arrest warrant.

Dili's attorney general, Longuinhos Monteiro, who reacted angrily to the court's action, told Lusa Wednesday he was delaying formally informing INTERPOL, the international police agency, of the warrant to avoid sparking a "political confrontation" with Jakarta.

"The question of informing INTERPOL is on standby", Monteiro told Lusa. "I will not cancel it. I+ll just wait".

When the arrest warrant was issued, Monteiro said it served unnamed "foreign interests" rather than East Timor.

Wiranto, who has denied any responsibility for atrocities committed by Jakarta's forces and proxy militias at the time of East Timor's 1999 independence plebiscite, is a leading candidate in Indonesia's July 5 presidential election.

EL/SAS/CJB Lusa


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