Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review - 22 May 2008

[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list ( have been removed.]


(International news reports and extracts from national media. UNMIT does not vouch for the accuracy of these reports)

Xanana: agrees to three month reduction of Rogerio's sentence – Timor Post

Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato said that Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão agrees with President José Ramos-Horta to reduce the sentence of former Minster of Interior, Rogerio Tiago Lobato by three months.

"I had discussions with the Prime Minister on this matter. He agrees to give a three month reduction of sentence to Rogerio Lobato and other 82 prisoners," said Minister of Justice on Wednesday (21/5) in the Becora prison, Dili.

Minister Lobato said that the Government had recommended that the president also commute the time in jail of prisoners who have served half of their sentences by 6-12 months. Prisoners who were sentenced for domestic and sexual violence would receive a two month reduction.

Alkatiri dreams of early election. PD: Fretilin creates bad precedent – <Timor Post

Fretilin Secretary-General Mari Alkatiri stated that in the near future Fretilin will assume the power to govern in order to improve peoples' lives as AMP is not capable of solving the country's problems and so must face early elections.

"We [Fretilin] will be back to govern. It wouldn't be too long, " stated Mr. Alkatiri in speech on the ceremony of 34th anniversary of ASDT/Fretilin held in the Central Committee of Fretilin (CCF) on Tuesday (20/5) in Comoro, Dili.

Alkatiri said that Fretilin will show that it is different from the Alliance Majority in Parliament (AMP).

Alkatiri also said that when Fretilin is back in power, he will reappoint the directors and administrators who have been removed by AMP.

"Fretilin will reappoint those people as what AMP did to them is against the law and the constitution.

Fretilin is only asking for early elections for the legislature, not the presidency. If it happens, then we will win all of them," he said.

Even though Mr. Alkatiri strongly criticized PM Gusmão, he continues recognize that he and the Prime Minister have to work together to solve the country's problems.

He said that he wants to sit with PM Gusmão as political leaders, not as a commander with his soldier.

"If he [PM Gusmão] does not think of himself as a commander, I am ready to sit with him to improve people's life," added Mr. Alkatiri.

At the same function, Fretilin President and former President of the National Parliament Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo said that early elections are really needed to improve the bad performance of the AMP Government.

"We are not satisfied when we won the election, only to become the opposition," said Mr. Lu-Olo.

Democratic Party (PD) MP Adriano Nascimento said that early elections might happen but certain criteria must be in place. For example, most of the MPs in Parliament must oppose the Government's programs, the State must be malfunctioning, the situation was unstable -- at this point the president could dissolve the government and call for early elections.

MP Nascimento said that if Fretilin wants to destroy AMP midway in the implementation of its programs, this would be a bad precedent for the future.

He also said that AMP should have 2-3 years to implement its programs. If at that time they were not successful, then one could say it was incompetent.

President of Republic asked the Government to respect the rights of the prisoners - Televisaun Timor-Leste

During the visit to Becora prison yesterday President Jose Ramos Horta said he does not have the authority to interfere in the judicial process but he will make recommendations to the Government to help solve their problems.

"Today I came here to show you my love and respect. I have no authority to take part in the judicial process but I will keep asking the Government through Ministry of Justice to pay attention to you", the President said.

He also asked the Government to respect the rights of the prisoners. At the same time, Minster of Justice Lucia Brandão Lobato said the Government is now improving the process of justice in order to defend rights of prisoners.

The Court will extend the time for Rogerio Lobato to return until June – Televisaun Timor-Leste

Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato yesterday said the Court will give prisoner Rogerio until June to return to Timor Leste. If he does not return by then, the Government will implement the Court's decision against him.

"The Government is ready to help him whatever he needs, such as an airline ticket and accommodation in Bali. He has to obey the decision from the Court. Suppose he does not come back in June -- the Court will take action.

Based on plan, the Court will ask the Interpol to get him back if he does not obey the decision," explained Lucia.

According to the doctor who has been treating Rogerio during this time, he needs one month more to operate on Rogerio's leg.

Public Ministry: 24 suspects identified as being involved in the attack of 11 February – Televisaun Timor-Leste

The Public Ministry has positively identified 24 suspects who were involved in the attack on 11 February. General Prosecutor Longuinhos Monteiro said the investigation process into the attack on 11 February is going smoothly.

"The investigation is running well and we have positively identified 24 suspects in connection with the incidents of 11 February," said Mr. Monteiro.

Of the 24 accused people, eighteen of them are currently in preventive detention and the others are under house arrest. Most probably, there is still one suspect more, a civilian at large.

In relation to this case, last week I sent the Prime Minister a letter requesting him to make sworn statement.

"I asked to him to specify the exact date when he would submit his statement. This is the second request that we have made for his deposition", said General Prosecutor.


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