Subject: SMH: Gusmao backs Jakarta's search for justice

Sydney Morning Herald September 4, 2000

Gusmao backs Jakarta's search for justice

By MARK DODD in Dili and LINDSAY MURDOCH in Jakarta

The East Timor independence leader Mr Xanana Gusmao says it is too early to criticise Jakarta over names missing from the list of people suspected of involvement in last year's violence.

"We want to state our confidence, our trust in the Government of President Abdurrahman Wahid and our support to Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman," he said yesterday. "We are not asking for revenge. We are only asking for justice."

Mr Wahid will tell world leaders this week that Indonesia is sincere in its promise to prosecute the military officers and militia commanders behind last year's violence in East Timor.

The Government is worried that the absence of high-ranking and powerful officers from the list released by Mr Darusman's office on Friday will prompt new attempts to establish an international war crimes tribunal to try those responsible.

Missing from the list were the former armed forces chief, General Wiranto, the militia commander Eurico Guterres and others accused in a report by the National Human Rights Commission.

But Mr Wahid will stress in talks in New York during the millennium summit this week that the list is not complete and that prosecutors are continuing to collect evidence.

He will also tell the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, and other leaders that a recent constitutional amendment banning the retrospective application of laws will not block East Timor prosecutions.

Mr Gusmao, who leads the National Council for Timorese Resistance, said the judiciary, by showing it could deliver justice, would be helping to strengthen Indonesia's fragile democracy.

"It is not in our competence to ask Mr Marzuki Darusman why Wiranto or someone else is not in their [list]," he said. "What he needs now is our total support, and we support all these processes. We believe this is a very, very important process in the history of justice in Indonesia."

Few East Timorese were surprised that some of the main names in the earlier human rights commission report - including General Wiranto and the intelligence chief, General Zacky Anwar, were not included in Friday's list of indictments. They remain sceptical about seeing any justice at all from Jakarta.

East Timor's UN administrator, Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello, said after meeting Mr Wahid and senior ministers on Friday that he had been told the list was incomplete. "We have medium-to-senior-level names on that list," he said. "More will follow, I understand ... It is a very good beginning, but only a beginning."

Mr Wahid is scheduled to meet at least 12 world leaders, including the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, in New York.

One of Mr Howard's main priorities at tomorrow's talks will be Jakarta's failure to disband the pro-Indonesian militia based in West Timor

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