|Subject: AFP: E. Timorese seeks international arrest
warrants for Indonesia generals
Date: Sat, 07 Aug 1999 10:01:00 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
E. Timorese seeks international arrest warrants for Indonesia generals
UNITED NATIONS, Aug 5 (AFP) - East Timorese independence leader Jose Ramos-Horta accused four Indonesian army generals on Thursday of recruiting criminals as militias to sabotage the August 30 referendum on the territory's future.
He told reporters that he had asked lawyers in several countries to study ways to put the four on wanted lists so they might be arrested like the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
Pinochet was detained in London on October 16 on a warrant from a Spanish judge seeking his extradition on charges of human rights abuses.
Ramos-Horta said he believed the government of Indonesian President B.J. Habibie was committed to the August 30 self-determination referendum, adding:
"The greatest danger is not after the ballot but between now and the ballot. If the Indonesian army fails to undermine the process and the ballot actually takes place in conditions of relative peace it will be far more difficult for them to challenge the results afterwards."
The referendum is being organised by the United Nations under an agreement signed in New York in May between Indonesia and Portugal, the former colonial power in East Timor.
Voters will chose between autonomous status within Indonesia or full independence.
Ramos-Horta, vice-president of the National Council of Timorese Resistance and joint winner of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, said that "hardliners in the Indonesian army who used to operate with total impunity" under former president Suharto wanted to undermine the ballot.
He named Tono Suratman, military commander in the East Timor capital Dili, the army chief of intelligence Zacky Anwar, the regional commander in Bali, General Adam Dimiri, who oversees East Timor, and Dimiri's deputy Colonel Simbolon.
"These four," Ramos-Horta said, "are the ones most directly responsible for the killings in East Timor by the army and militias."
They had issued "millions and millions of rupiahs in counterfeit money to pay for the militias," he said.
"They began to recruit thousands of individuals, most of them from West Timor, people who are unemployed, petty criminals, drug dealers."
West Timor, he explained, "has the highest unemployment and criminality rate in Indonesia, so it is easy with money, with bribes, with coercion, to recruit people there."
Ramos-Horta said lawyers in Australia, Britain, the United States and Spain were "looking into national legislations, national courts where we might be able to have these people declared as wanted on the lists of Interpol."
He added: "We hope they get the clear message that they cannot get away with these crimes with impunity.
"It might take some time, it might take one year, it might take three years, but as it happened with Pinochet one day when they least expect it, someone will have them arrested.
"It could be in London, it could be in New York, it could be in Australia. It could be anywhere in the world."
At the same time, he said, "we are working on identifying Suharto's assets around the world, to challenge them, to have them frozen so that when the courts seize the matter victims can be paid for through Suharto's wealth."
Time magazine reported in May that Suharto's family was sitting on a 15 billion dollar fortune. Suharto responded by filing a damages suit against Time.
In Jakarta on Thursday, Indonesia's acting attorney general Ismujoko said he would submit a final report on the official investigation into Suharto's wealth by the end of next month.
Ismujoko said his office had faced difficulties in getting people to testify against the 78-year-old former strongman who is now recuperating from a mild stroke in his Jakarta home.