Subject: Wahid says rights group may summon top military over E Timor

Deutsche Presse-Agentur Saturday, November 27, 1999

Wahid says rights group may summon top military over East Timor


Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid has agreed that the independent rights commission may summon top military leaders for allegedly colluding in an orgy of murder, rape and arson in East Timor, the commission's secretary-general Asmara Nababan said Saturday.

Nababan told the SCTV private network that Wahid supported having the Commision for the Investigation of Human Rights Abuses in East Timor (KPP HAM) continue its work objectively.

Nababan, along with the KPP HAM's chairman Albert Hasibuan and his deputy Todung Mulya Lubis, met with Wahid on Saturday to reports on its fact-finding and seek the president's permission to summon the country's military leaders.

Hasibuan had said early this week that evidence indicated that the Indonesian military (TNI) had colluded with the militias in the "earth-scorching, shootings and killings of the East Timorese people".

He said the destruction of East Timor, in the wake of the August 30 U.N.-organised election in which a majority voted to break away from Indonesia, had been planned during a meeting in the regional capital Dili between Indonesian military intelligence and the militias.

Hasibuan mentioned in this connection among others General Wiranto, the former military commander, Major-General Zacky Anwar Makarim and Major General Adam Damiri.

Makarim is a former head of military intelligence, while Damiri is chief of the Bali-based Udayana military command, which previously oversaw East Timor.

Another fact-finding mission discovered on Thursday at least 26 decaying bodies - including those of three Catholic priests - believed to be victims of militia attacks, in three mass graves in Oeluli beach, Kobalima district, three kilometres from the East Timor border.

Rights investigators who made the gruesome discovery believed the victims were sheltering in a churchyard in East Timor's port of Suai when the military-backed militias attacked on September 6.

Hundreds of people are thought to have been massacred in the church compound, but most of the bodies have not been found.

Indonesia's nine-member commission was set up by the independent Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) on September 22 and has until the end of the year to complete its job.

The group has powers of subpoena which can be enforced by the police and has been touted by the Indonesian government as its official East Timor investigation.

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