Subject: LUSA: UNTAET To Seek Broader Mandate for Jakarta Atrocities Court

East Timor: UNTAET To Seek Broader Mandate for Jakarta Atrocities Court 9 Mai-13:08

East Timor's UNTAET administration will likely ask Indonesia to broaden the mandate of a special court set up to try human rights abuses committed in the territory, chief UN administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello told Lusa Wednesday.

Vieira de Mello said that "unfortunately" Jakarta had confirmed that the April 23 presidential decree establishing the court limited its scope to crimes committed after East Timor's Aug. 30, 1999, independence plebiscite.

"It is probable that we will ask the Indonesian government and the president, himself, to reconsider the text of the decree signed by him and to accept a suggestion we will make that a new decree be approved, without any temporal limit", he told Lusa in Dili.

"A fundamental and lamentable contradiction" existed, he added, between the investigations carried out by Indonesia's human rights commission and the special court's limited mandate.

The human rights commission had investigated crimes committed both before and after the plebiscite, he said, and identified suspects "from the bottom to the top of the Indonesian hierarchy".

The formal UN position is that if Indonesia fails to satisfactorily try those responsible for the wave of death and destruction in East Timor it would consider creating an international tribunal.

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