Subject: LUSA: Dili, Jakarta to investigate border killings incident together

Also - AFP: Ex-militiamen rally against killing of comrades by East Timor police

East Timor: Dili, Jakarta to investigate border killings incident together

Dili, Jan. 9 (Lusa) - East Timorese and Indonesian officials were expected to begin a joint inquiry Monday into the border killing of three men described by Dili as former anti-independence militiamen trying to enter the country illegally from Indonesia.

Foreign Minister José Ramos Horta met with foreign diplomats in the Timorese capital to explain Dili's version of what it termed the "grave" incident Friday and a senior Foreign Ministry official said the three bodies would be autopsied Monday before being returned to relatives.

In a communiqué Saturday, the Foreign Ministry rejected an Indonesian protest over the killings that charged Timorese police had used "excessive force" in trying to detain a group of Indonesian "fishermen" on a river that serves as the border between the two countries.

Dili identified all of the slain alleged intruders as former pro- Indonesian militiamen, saying one, José Mausorte, was wanted for crimes against humanity committed during atrocities at the time of East Timor's 1999 independence plebiscite.

In its contrasting account, the Foreign Ministry said a police patrol came across a group of seven men trying to cross the border illegally Friday and ordered it to halt.

The intruders hid in the bush and later assaulted, trying to disarm, three officers before the police opened fire killing three of the intruders, the statement said.

Four others escaped and were being hunted by Timorese police.

Three officers were injured in the incident, with one requiring medical treatment for injuries to face and hands, the ministry said.

Foreign Minister Ramos Horta said at the weekend that the Indonesian embassy in Dili was invited to participate in the inquiry that was expected to begin Monday.




Agence France-Presse

January 9, 2006

Ex-militiamen rally against killing of comrades by East Timor police

ATAMBUA, East Nusa Tenggara (AFP): Around 1,500 protesters burned pictures of East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao on Monday following the killing of three former pro-Jakarta militiamen by East Timor police near the border with Indonesia.

Most protesters were fellow former militiamen or refugees who picketed a parliamentary office at Atambua in Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara or West Timor, demanding justice over the killings on Friday.

Wearing headbands in Indonesia's red-and-white national colors, they hoisted placards condemning the shooting.

The three former members of the Red and White Iron militia took Indonesian citizenship after East Timor voted for independence from Jakarta in 1999.

Local Indonesian military officials said they intended to fish in a river near the border but had crossed 50 meters into East Timorese territory when they were killed by border police.

Two other people with them managed to escape. East Timorese police had taken the bodies of the three men to the town of Maliana.

"We are going to seal off the border line should our demands for compensation for relatives of the three not be met by the East Timorese government," said protest leader Dominggus Pareira.

The crowd disbanded peacefully and left for the nearby border town of Mota'on trucks and motorcycles to pick up the bodies of the three men, which were due to be returned from East Timor later Monday.

In Jakarta, Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda described the incident as "an excessive use of violence" and urged East Timor to prosecute the policemen who carried out the shooting.

He said Jakarta and Dili may form a joint investigation into the incident.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono also called for an investigation and hoped the incident would not mar reconciliation efforts through a Commission of Truth and Friendship, Hassan told reporters.

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