Subject: In abrupt reversal, Jakarta rejects UN inquiry on East Timor
Date: Sat, 02 Oct 1999 09:36:54 -0400

Subject: In abrupt reversal, Jakarta rejects UN inquiry on East Timor

Jakarta rejects UN commission of inquiry on East Timor

JAKARTA, Sept 29 (AFP) - The Indonesian government on Wednesday said it rejected a UN Human Rights Commission resolution for an inquiry into alleged human rights atrocities in East Timor, State Secretary Muladi said.

"We reject the resolution, we reject the commission (of inquiry) as well," Muladi (eds: one name) said after a limited cabinet meeting at the Bina Graha presidential office.

The resolution was adopted in Geneva on Monday. It called for the international inquiry to be conducted in cooperation with the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM.)

"The reason is that the Komnas HAM has already set up a fact finding commission and a presidential decree number 39 has been issued to help the Komnas HAM fact finding commission," Muladi said.

The statement represented an abrupt reversal by Jakarta.

Indonesian officials said Tuesday they would cooperate with the commission of inquiry in East Timor but would not necessarily be bound by its findings.

Muladi said that international experts will take part in the Komnas HAM fact finding commission.

But he said he could not give further details of the international experts to be invited, saying that neither the government nor the military or police were involved in Komnas HAM decisions.

The minister also said that Indonesian President B.J. Habibie had called UN Secretary General Kofi Annan Tuesday evening and told him that under a 1999 law on human rights, Jakarta was planning its own special human rights court.

"In two days, the president will issue a government regulation that will separate the court on human rights violations from the general court (system)," Muladi said.

The reversal came a day after UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson said that an international tribunal similar to the warcrimes courts for Yugoslavia and Rwanda could be set up "if the evidence of the commission of inquiry warrants it."

International tribunals have been created under UN auspices to try cases of warcrimes and crimes against humanity committed during Yugoslavia's wars of secession from 1991 to 1995 and during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

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