Fri, 17 Nov 2000

Atambua murder suspects may be tried in Jakarta

JAKARTA (JP): The North Jakarta District Court is scheduled to hold the trial of the seven suspects of the Sept. 6 murder of three UN humanitarian workers in Atambua, West Timor, an official said in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara on Thursday.

"Due to the security situation in Atambua, legal institutions in the Belu regency have requested the case be handed over to the Minister of Justice (Yusril Ihza Mahendra) via the Supreme Court, so that the case can be tried in North Jakarta," chief of East Nusa Tenggara Prosecutor's Office, Sudhono Iswahyudi, told reporters in Kupang as quoted by Antara.

Sudhono added that there are two dossiers on the seven suspects, all of them East Timorese who are now residing in West Timor.

"The first dossier is on suspect Sinto Parera and his friends. The second is on suspect Joze Fransisco and his friends," Sudhono said, without elaborating.

Police have said that the slaying of the three UN workers on Sept. 6 had been triggered by the murder of ex-militia leader Olivio Mendoza Moruk. Seven suspects have so far been named in Olivio's murder.

The UN workers were killed after a mob stormed the UN High Commissioner for Refugees office in Atambua, just hours before the opening of the UN Millennium Summit in New York which was attended by some 150 world leaders, including President Abdurrahman Wahid.

At the time, Abdurrahman said the attack, which prompted international condemnation of Indonesia, was a well-organized scheme to humiliate him at the international event.

Sudhono added on Thursday that the venue for the trial of Olivio's murderers had not been fixed as yet.

"There are also two dossiers here on all the seven suspects in Olivio's murder. The first dossier is on suspect Octavianus Pere and his friends, while the second dossier is on suspect Yulianus Bere and his friends," Sudhono said.

Article 85 of the Criminal Code Procedures stipulates that should security conditions prevent a district court from hearing a case and based on the recommendation of the concerned district court or prosecutor's office, the Supreme Court can suggest that the minister of justice appoint another district court to hear the case.

Attorney General Marzuki Darusman said last month that Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel were implicated in the deaths of the former militia leader and the UN aid workers.

Marzuki said "elements in the military" were among the suspects arrested for their alleged involvement in the killings. (ylt)