Subject: Indonesia Prosecutors Argue UN Murder Case Should Proceed

Associated Press January 30, 2001

Indonesia Prosecutors Argue UN Murder Case Should Proceed

JAKARTA (AP)--Indonesian prosecutors said Tuesday the trial of six Timorese militiamen accused in the murders of three U.N. aid workers should proceed despite defense arguments that the case was illegal.

"This case, as well as the charges, are very clear," prosecutor Ardan Rahim said.

Last week defense attorneys said their clients did not understand the charges filed against them.

They had also argued that the trial should not be held in Jakarta, but rather in the West Timor border town of Atambua, where the killings took place last September.

Rahim said it was not safe to hold the trial in West Timor, a stronghold for pro-Indonesian militia groups as well as home to 120,000 refugees.

The gangs moved there after they went on a rampage of destruction in neighboring East Timor in 1999 after it voted to break free on Indonesian rule.

The killings of the three foreign aid workers by a pro-Indonesia militia mob on Sept. 6 was the worst attack ever on the world body's civilian staff. It led to the evacuation of all aid workers from Indonesian-governed West Timor.

Judge Anak Gede Dalem adjourned the trial until next Tuesday.

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