|Subject: Prosecutor General files request
with Supreme Court for declaration on applica
REPÚBLICA DEMOCRÁTICA DE TIMOR LESTE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF TIMOR LESTE MINITÉRIO PÚBLICO PROCURADORIA GERAL DA REPÚBLICA PROSECUTOR -GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC
INFORMATION RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PROSECUTOR-GENERAL
On 23 July 2003, the Prosecutor General of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste filed an application with the Supreme Court of Justice in Timor Leste requesting a declaration clarifying the issue of applicable law in Timor Leste. The application follows recent decisions of the Court of Appeal in three appeal cases that Portuguese law was the applicable law in Timor Leste rather than Indonesian law.
The position of the Prosecutor General is that under UNTAET regulations and the Constitution of Timor Leste, Indonesian law is the applicable law in Timor Leste and has been applied in the justice system of Timor Leste since Courts of Law were established in Timor Leste during the UNTAET transitional period.
The Prosecutor General is of the opinion that the recent decisions of the Court of Appeal render illegal the decisions of the Courts in all the cases of Crimes against Humanity, serious crimes or of ordinary crimes which have been heard in the previous three years in Timor Leste. Acting under the powers of the Prosecutor General in Section 150 and 152 of the Constitution of Timor Leste, the Prosecutor General filed the application with the Supreme Court of Justice to seek the implementation of the Constitution of Timor Leste in terms of the issue of applicable law and to ensure that the rights of those convicted in recent years be protected.
The application of the Prosecutor General to the Supreme Court of Justice in Timor Leste is further motivated by the concern that the recent Court of Appeal rulings will have far-reaching implications and consequences for the present system of justice in Timor Leste and the governance of Timor Leste as a whole.
The Prosecutor General hopes that the Supreme Court of Justice will hear the case expeditiously in order that the issue of the applicable law in Timor Leste is resolved with judicial finality.
24 July 2003
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