Subject: AFP: Indonesia rejects request to hand over killer of NZ peacekeeper

Indonesia rejects request to hand over killer of NZ peacekeeper

JAKARTA, April 4 (AFP) - Indonesian authorities will not reply to a request from the UN chief administrator in East Timor to hand over an East Timorese militiamen suspected of killing a New Zealand peacekeeper, an official said Wednesday.

"The letter has been received," attorney general's office spokesman Mulyoharjo told AFP.

"But as the person concerned is still undergoing trial in West Timor, we are unable to reply to the letter."

Mulyoharjo was unable to say what the militiaman, Jacobus Bere, was being prosecuted for.

UN administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello wrote the letter to Indonesia's Attorney General Marzuki Darusman, requesting Bere's transfer under a memorandum of understanding between the two countries dating back to last April.

Prosecutors in East Timor have accused Bere, a member of the former Laksaur militia group, of killing Private Leonard Manning on July 24 last year.

Attached to the letter to Darusman is an indictment filed against Bere, plus a warrant for his arrest and the search and seizure of evidence relating to the case.

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