Subject: AKI: No Arrest Warrant for Major, Chief Prosecutor

Also Reinado says troops tried to arrest him at a UN meeting last week


Dili, 23 Jan. (AKI) - The office of East Timor's prosecutor-general has not issued a warrant to arrest fugitive Major Alfredo Alves Reinado. In an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI) chief prosecutor, Longuinhos Monteiro, said that the news circulated in the last few days is just a rumor and that Major Reinado has showed willingness to solve the standoff. "Those people spreading these rumors are the ones creating trouble and confusion among the people in the country," Monteiro told Adnkronos International (AKI) Tuesday.

"Any arrest must be based on the penal code and on the Constitution of East Timor. And Major Alfredo has shown good intentions to improve the judicial system of this country," he added, without elaborating.

The rumors of a warrant of arrest against Major Reinado spread in Dili after East Timor's minister of justice, Domingos Sarmento, told AKI that the renegade soldier is considered a criminal and will be brought to justice.

Meanwhile, contacted via phone, Major Reinado said that he will resist arrest and that he will consider discussing the accusations levied against him, only after the authorities resolve the case of April 28, 2006.

“The authorities must find those accountable for the April 28’s case, before trying to catch me,” Major Reinado told AdnKronos International from his hideout in the district of Ermera.

On April 28 former East Timor Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, ordered the Army to quash a protest that was taking place in front of the government palace. Five civilians were killed in the clashes that ensued.

Major Reinado abandoned the army on 4 May 2006 to join approximately 600 former soldiers who had been dismissed two months before, after complaining of ethnic discrimination over promotions. He was then arrested for his role in the violence. He escaped from prison on 30 August, 2006.

The authorities want to question him in particular for the facts of May 23, 2006 when Major Reinado, and other renegade soldiers, confronted members of the regular army and police in Fatuahi hill, near Dili. The clash left two soldiers and one police officer dead.

Major Reinado’s stance is supported by The National United Movement for Justice [Muvimento Unidade National ba Justicia ­ MUNJ], a powerful lobbyist group established by Major Augusto "Tara" de Araujo and which counts on the support of part of the country’s intellectual community. The MUNJ was very active in protesting against Alkatiri, last June.

“The Prosecutor-General should not arrest Major Reinado. Instead he should arrest Alkatiri and [former interior minister] Rogerio Lobato,” MUNJ spokesperson Augusto Junior said, during a press conference held in Dili on Tuesday.

“If he [the Prosecutor-General] will not arrest Alkatiri and Lobato, then the people will have to hold popular justice against these two former leaders,” he added.


Jan-23-07 11:57


ABC News Online

Last Update: Sunday, January 21, 2007. 7:09pm (AEDT)

Reinado says troops tried to arrest him at a UN meeting last week

Reinado issues death threat to Aust troops

East Timorese rebel leader Alfredo Reinado has warned that Australian troops will be killed if they try to force him to surrender.

He made the threat on Friday at his camp in a village four hours' drive west of Dili, where he is under restricted movement.

Australian soldiers have set up roadblocks to the area to limit his movements.

United Nations (UN) officials and East Timor's Government have held talks with Reinado in recent days to try to persuade him to hand himself in to face charges of attempted murder.

He has been on the run since he broke out of Dili's Becora jail with 56 other inmates in late August.

The rebel leader's charges follow a gunfight between soldiers and police not far from the jail in May.

Reinado says he cancelled a meeting with the UN last week because UN and Australian troops were trying to arrest him.

"I think they are so powerful, they're well-trained as they are and I'm ready for it, as I am myself also," he said.

"This is my country. I am proud to be die for my country, to defend the right of my country and my people.

"But my promise is, whenever you bring the thousand, I will take some with me."

Reinado has consistently refused to surrender, even though authorities - including Australian forces in East Timor - have known his whereabouts for much of that time.


Back to January menu

December 2006 menu  
World Leaders Contact List
Main Postings Menu