Subject: JP: Eurico Guterres's lawyers seek party backing


The Jakarta Post

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Eurico's lawyers seek party backing

JAKARTA: Lawyers for jailed former East Timorese militia leader Eurico Guterres sought help Monday from the National Mandate Party (PAN) for a reduction of their client's 10-year jail term.

Eurico, the provincial head of PAN's East Nusa Tenggara branch, began serving his sentence on Thursday, just a few weeks after a panel of judges at the Supreme Court overturned his appeal and upheld an earlier verdict by an ad hoc human rights tribunal.

That court gave Eurico a 10-year sentence for his role in the violence following East Timor's vote for independence from Indonesia in 1999.

"We want PAN to put a political pressure on the government and set up a legal team to help Eurico, otherwise he will be given a more severe punishment; a life sentence," lawyer Supriyadi said.

After speaking to Eurico's lawyers, PAN leaders pledged to create up a team to explore legal strategies to reduce Eurico's jail term. -- JP



Jakarta, May 9 (ANTARA) - A number of members of the House of Representatives' Commission I dealing with security, political and foreign affairs paid a visit to former commander of the pro-integration fighter force PPI Eurico Guterres in the Cipinang state penitentiary here on Tuesday.

"It is a visit to show our sympathy to Gueterres for his past struggle in support of East Timor's integration into Indonesia," House Commission I member Yuddy Chrisnandi told newsmen when asked about their mission to visit Gueterres in the prison.

Besides Yuddy, other members of the commission from various factions were Permadi, Ali Mochtar Ngabalin, Untung Wahono, Boy Saul, Shidki Wahab and Markus Silano.

In a meeting in the room of the prison's warden, Guterres said he would present new evidence to support his request for a judicial review of his prison sentence.

"I want to seek justice and I'm ready to serve this jail term although it runs counter to my sense of justice," he said.

Yuddy of the Golkar party faction said he had extended his sympathy dor Gueterres' struggle. "It's ironic. He is a civilian who was sent to jail while the accuseds from the military were acquitted," he added.

Permadi of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) also expressed his sympathy for Gueterres' contributions to East Timor's integration into Indonesia.

Gueterres, a civilian, was sentenced to 10 years in jail by an ad hoc human rights court which found the former militia leader guilty of atrocities in East Timor, now Timor Leste, before and after the 1999 independence referendum in the former Indonesian territory.

Dozens of military, including former commander of the Indonesian Defence Forces (ABRI) Gen Wiranto, who was also accused in the same case, were freed by the court.

Timor Leste gained independence from Indonesia in 1999.

The pro-Jakarta militias which the United Nations has said were recruited and directed by the Indonesian Military, went on an arson and killing spree before and after the East Timorese voted for independence in a UN-sponsored ballot in August 1999.

Members of the pro-Jakarta militias were denied citizenship by the Timor Leste government and many former militia members are now living along the border between Timor Leste and Indonesia.

Earlier, Henry Simarmata of the Indonesian Legal Advocacy Association PBHI) said Gueterres could not have committed human right violations in East Timor on his own accord.

"It's impossible for Gueterres to have carried out the offences all by himself, yet he was tried and sentenced alone," he added.

He said the court had failed to administer justice on those who were also responsibie for the atrocities in East Timor that killed, caused the missing and physically disabled thousands of people.

The Sumpreme Court endorsed the ad hoc court's verdict n Guterres.


Back to May menu
April menu     
World Leaders Contact List
Main Postings Menu