Subject: LUSA: Aussie 'undressing' of police "unacceptable", says minister

28-08-2006 15:00:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-8288913 Temas:

East Timor: Aussie 'undressing' of police "unacceptable", says minister

Dili, Aug. 28 (Lusa) - East Timorese Interior Minister Alcino Baris has described a weekend incident in which Australian police ordered Timorese officers to remove their uniforms as "unacceptable", while the head of the UN's new police contingent has ordered an investigation into the episode.

In comments to Lusa Sunday, Baris said Australian police had shown disrespect for their Timorese colleagues and the laws of a sovereign state when they ordered members of Timor's police force to take off their uniforms on Saturday.

The Timorese officers, including the director of the national police academy, Júlio Horney, had been instructed by the Interior Ministry to attend a Dili meeting in their uniforms with senior UN officials on the future of the new nation's paralyzed force, noted Baris.

Also at the meeting in question was Portuguese police commissioner Antero Lopes, head of the UN's new 1,600-strong international police force for Timor, due to arrive in the new nation in coming weeks to provide security during the process of rebuilding Dili's national force.

Lopes told Lusa Sunday that he had instructed UN investigators to draw up a report on the weekend incident and take statements from all involved, noting that the matter was "very sensitive".

The Portuguese UN official also said that bilateral directives were in existence between Dili and the four-nation international police and military force that arrived in Timor in May to quell violent turmoil and bloodshed.

Australian police in Timor had "advised Timorese police not to wear uniforms in public for security reasons" and during the investigations underway by Dili authorities into which officers will face discipline or criminal charges for their role in the disorder earlier this year, noted Lopes.

JCS/CJB.

Lusa

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