Subject: Gangster nets key Dili project
Gangster nets key Dili project
Lindsay Murdoch, Darwin
August 5, 2008
AN OFFER by a notorious Jakarta gangster to develop the site of a refugee camp in Dili has been accepted by the East Timor Government.
The Timorese-born man, Hercules Rozario Marcal, had close links to Suharto-era generals in Indonesia, including one charged by the United Nations with orchestrating the destruction of East Timor after the 1999 independence ballot.
The Timor Post has confirmed that Hercules has been given the go-ahead to build a mini-mart and swimming pool on the site opposite Dili's main wharf.
The Government had not made public who was behind the development or what it would cost.
Investigators have established that Hercules had contact with, and may have met, rebel leader Alfredo Reinado just days before Reinado led the February 11 attacks on President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.
Reinado's mobile telephone had a listing for "Hercul".
Two rebels involved in the attacks were arrested at Hercules' Jakarta residence in April.
Hercules has denied any involvement in the attacks.
He gained notoriety in Jakarta in the 1990s doe running protection rackets. His gang also served as enforcers for the Soeharto regime, intimidating dissidents and East Timorese independence activists.
His military patrons were reputed to include former general Parbowo Subianto, Suharto's son-in-law.
At one stage he lived in the house of major-general Zacky Anwar Makarim, who in 2003 was indicted by a UN war crimes tribunal for crimes against humanity.
Hercules told Timorese journalists in January he was looking at investing in hotels and real estate in East Timor.
East Timor's Office of Prosecutor-General has not yet made public the findings of its investigation into the February 11 attacks.