Subject: AN: Call for Border Shooting Investigation


September 29, 2003 9:47pm Antara

Atambua, E Nusa Tenggara, Sept 28 (ANTARA) - The East Timor Community Council has called on the Indonesian and East Timorese governments to set up a team soon to investigate the shooting of Indonesian citizen of East Timorese descent Vegas Biliatu.

Such action should be taken in an effort to maintain the existing close relations among the East Timorese people, a founder of the council, Hukman Reni, said here on Sunday.

"We call on the Indonesian and East Timorese governments to establish a joint team to investigate the shooting case to prevent suspicion and revenge among the East Timorese," Hukman said.

According to Hukman, the investigation team is expected to consist of police officers and other law enforcers of the two countries, ex-refugee representatives and East Timorese figures who reside in the border areas.

He said the joint investigation team should work all out to reveal all the motives behind the incident and settle the shooting case once and for all.

East Timorese police has yet to explain the shooting of Vegas Biliatu by Agustinho Barros, member of the East Timorese police, on the Tactical Coordination Line (TCL) situated on the border shared by East Nusa Tenggara province's district of Belu and East Timor's district of Bobonaro.

The council urged the East Timorese police to give a briefing on the shooting soon, he said, adding that his side got the impression that the East Timorese police were rather reluctant to solve the case.

Human said as the East Timorese have yet to provide an official explanation on the case, the Indonesian government should close all traditional markets in Turiskain, Mota'ain, Lakmaras and Laktutus, pending the completion of the legal process on the shooting case.

He however admitted that the council has set up a team to investigate the shooting of Vegas Biliatu, which was also expected to hold meetings with ex-refugee figures from whom the team would get responses on the shooting case.

"The council's call on the Indonesian and East Timorese governments to set up a joint investigation team soon has received support from ex-East Timorese refugees from a number of camps," he said.

Meanwhile, Nicolay, a former member of the team investigating the violent acts against the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)'s office in Atambua on September 6, 2000, said he also had a dialog with ex-East Timorese refugees to seek inputs on Vegas Biliatu's death.

"The former East Timorese refugees support the council's proposal on the establishment of a joint investigation team in the hope the shooting case could be settled thoroughly for the sake of peace among the East Timorese in the border areas," he said.

He also urged the East Timorese police to immediately disclose the result of an autopsy on Vegas Biliatu's body transparently, honestly and fairly, in order that the ex-East Timorese refugees would not be suspicious of the East Timorese police who have been considered reluctant to deal with the case.

A member of the East Timorese police, Agustinho Barros, on September 19, 2003, shot dead Vegas Biliatu, a resident of Turiskain village, Raihat subdistrict, Belu district.


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