Subject: RT: Indonesia opposes UN-backed tribunal on E.Timor

Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:50 AM ET

Indonesia opposes UN-backed tribunal on E.Timor

VIENTIANE (Reuters): Indonesia has brushed off a call in a United Nations report for an international tribunal to try Indonesian and militia leaders blamed for a bloody 1999 rampage in East Timor.

"We continue to oppose an international tribunal, which we find totally unnecessary," Foreign Ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa said on Thursday, a day after a report issued by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan recommended one.

The UN and the international community should support joint Indonesian and East Timor investigations, Natalegawa told reporters in Laos on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific security conference.

On Wednesday, Annan formally issued a delayed expert panel's report which called deficient a special court Indonesia set up to hear cases of crimes against humanity during a rampage in which about 1,500 civilians were killed.

Another 250,000 people were left homeless and others raped and tortured as the Indonesian military and allied militia razed much of mainly Roman Catholic East Timor after it voted for independence in a referendum.

The UN report said Indonesian officials and gang leaders should be tried by an international tribunal if the Jakarta government did not agree to prosecute them under international supervision within six months.

The experts submitted their findings on May 26 to Annan, who gave their report to the 15-nation council in June.

But the council decided to delay its release, saying members feared offending a new Indonesian government at a time its ties with East Timor were improving.

East Timor finally won independence in May 2002 after 2-+ years of UN administration, putting behind it centuries of Portuguese colonial rule and Indonesian occupation. (**)

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