Subject: JP: Dutch journalist murder case likely to close, says Indon military

The Jakarta Post [online] May 16, 2002

Dutch journalist murder case likely to close, says military

JAKARTA (JP): Prosecutors investigating the murder of a Dutch journalist in East Timor two years ago have not found sufficient evidence to bring the alleged murderer to court, a military source claims.

An investigation into Fr. Lt. Camilo dos Santos, who was accused of murdering Sander Thoenes in East Timor, has failed to establish a link to the victim, Antara reported.

Thoenes, 30, a journalist of London's Financial Times was found dead with multiple wounds in the village of Becora on Sept. 21, 1999.

The investigation has been jointly conducted by prosecutors Abdul Muis Gassing from Indonesia, Gerrit Thyri from the Netherlands and Attorney General Longginus Monteiro from the United Nations Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).

The team of prosecutors was established in January as the murder case was one of a number of other human rights cases slated to be brought to the human rights tribunal now being heard in Jakarta.

Col. Moeswarno Moesanip, military commander in East Nusa Tenggara, which borders East Timor, said in Kupang on Wednesday that he learned about it from Monteiro.

"It is increasingly clear that dos Santos was not theperpetrator of the murder, hence the case is likely to be declared closed," he said, quoting Monteiro.

Dos Santos, who is still an active soldier based in Kupang, was an adjutant to Maj. Gen. Willem da Costa, chief of the Udayana Military Command, which was overseeing Bali and Nusa Tenggara when the killing occurred.

Dos Santos was accused by two of his colleagues, Sgt. Abilio Gutteres and Sgt. Hermenio Guido, of murdering Thoenes.

Dos Santos and his troops, including the two sergeants, were patrolling Becora, where Thoenes's body was found, on their way from Los Palos to Kupang at the time of the murder.

Investigations into dos Santos began after the two sergeants unveiled to the international media that dos Santos was the actual killer.

Dos Santos said he would sue the two sergeants in an Indonesian court to clear his name.

Dos Santos told Antara that he was questioned by the Attorney General's Office on August 2001, but has not been resummoned, due to lack of evidence.

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