Subject: LUSA: UN inquiry team promises report on violence by 1st week October

04-07-2006 10:26:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-8140699 Temas:

East Timor: UN inquiry team promises report on violence by 1st week October

Geneva, July 4 (Lusa) - The UN-mandated investigation into the outbreak of violence in East Timor will be ready by the first week of October, the inquiry commission's chairman told Lusa Tuesday.

"Having a deadline is important, otherwise it would be an ingredient for despair", Paulo Sergío Pinheiro, a Brazilian human rights expert, said in Geneva, where his three-member team was discussing the "terms of reference" for its investigation.

Pinheiro said support personnel for the Independent Special Commission on East Timor would travel to Dili by week's end and that the three commissioners would follow soon after.

The commission, created by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan last week at Dili's request, would center its investigations on the fratricidal clashes between rival security force factions on April 28- 29 and May 23-25 that sparked weeks of bloody communal gang violence in the Timorese capital, Pinheiro said.

According to UN officials, the violence that forced Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri to resign June 26, amid allegations he armed civilian bands, killed 37 people, injured more than 100 and displaced nearly 150,000 from their homes.

The commission "will try to reconstruct the events in the most precise manner possible and attempt to point out responsibilities", he said, underlining, however, that it was not an "international court".

Questioned whether his team, which includes South African Zelda Holtsman and Briton Ralph Zacklin, would also tackle the allegations of the illegal arming of civilians, Pinheiro said these charges could be considered but that the "exact terms of reference" for the inquiry were still be worked out.

The UN inquiry, he added, would be "totally separate" from investigations under way in Dili by Attorney General Longuinhos Monteiro into the allegations, repeatedly denied by Alkatiri, that the ousted prime minister had ordered the arming of civilians, including a political "death squad".

Monteiro has indicted former Interior Minister Rogério Lobato on the charges and, according to a judicial source, the ex-minister has implicated Alkatiri in the affair.

Alkatiri has promised to aid the local investigation but has claimed immunity as a member of parliament, a role he re-assumed on stepping down as head of government eight days ago.

The UN commission "has no intention of intervening in processes underway" in Dili, Pinheiro told Lusa, adding, however, that his team would "dialogue with other ongoing investigations" without overstepping local judicial authorities.

The commission, he said, would have "full freedom of movement, unlimited access to places and establishments, free access to sources of information and security guarantees for personnel and documents".

Dissident army officers have insistently blamed the weeks of bloody and destructive violence in Dili on Alkatiri's having ordered the army into the capital's streets on April 28 to put down demonstrations by hundreds of sacked soldiers protesting alleged discrimination in the 1,500-strong military.



Copyright © 2003 Agencia Lusa. Todos os direitos reservados.

Back to July menu 
World Leaders Contact List
Main Postings Menu