Subject: Viva: Culprit of Slaughter repatriated to Indonesia


[Note: this article has some errors in background -- Bere has not been "convicted" and the post-referendum massacres were not a "riot." Nevertheless, it contains some information absent from the AP report. -- Charlie]

Culprit of Slaughter Repatriated to Indonesia The repatriation was done secretly and tightly guarded by Timor Leste police officers. Jum'at, 30 Oktober 2009, 16:45 WIB Elin Yunita Kristanti

VIVAnews - Former Laksaur militia commander, Maternus Bere, who was arrested by Timor Leste police for his alleged involvement in the massacre at Suai Church, was repatriated to Indonesia.

The convict in the post-election riot in 1999 which killed more than 200 civilians returned to Atambua, Belu regency.

The repatriation was done secretly and tightly guarded by Timor Leste police officers.

An official source from the office of Timor Leste Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, said Bere was no longer within Timor Leste’s territory.

“Please check with his family in Atambua. He was repatriated in the beginning of this week. Please check with the Indonesian Embassy in Dili,“ the source who wished to be unnamed said on Friday, October 30.

Indonesian Territory Security Guard Commander, Let. Col. Yunianto, who was contacted on his mobile phone, refused to comment on the report.

Dili Indonesian Embassy Public Relations Officer Neson Simorangkir would not also issue any statement.

Maternus Bere’s repatriation to Atambua made headlines in some of local media in East Nusa Tenggara. However, there is not any government nor the police and the military official source who was willing to comment.

According to the information obtained from Atambua, Bere was repatriated by the Indonesian Embassy in Dili via a cross-border door in Motaain in north Belu regency. “Maternus went home on Thursday, October 29, in the morning,“ an immigration officer said.

“He was picked up by the Indonesian military. For security reasons, he might be guarded by the police,” the source said.

Bere’s son, Elyseus Kehi said he still did not know his father’s whereabouts.

The former commander of Laksaur militia company, one of the pro-integration groups in East Timor, was arrested by the country’s police officers while attending a family event in Leorge Suai village, Covalima District in August.

Earlier, Xanana Gusmao spokesperson, Antonio Ramos and Timor Leste Consulate in Kupang, Caetano de Sousa Guterres, said Bere was released in order to maintain a good relationship between the two countries. Even at a press conference in Dili, Gusmao said he was ready to accept the court’s verdict if Bere’s repatriation is considered improper.

“I’m ready if I have to be jailed because I’m the one who gave the order to free Maternus Bere. If the verdict was coming from the Tribunal, I would immediately go to the prison. I know where Becora prison is,“ Gusmao said.

-- Translated by: Nataya Ermanti


Charles Scheiner La'o Hamutuk (The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis) P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste (East Timor) Telephone: +670-3325013 or +670-734-0965 mobile email: website: skype: cscheiner

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