Mon, 11 Sep 2000

East Timor suspects to meet summons: Marzuki

JAKARTA (JP): Attorney General Marzuki Darusman confirmed on Saturday that two ex-militia members, allegedly implicated in last year's East Timor mayhem, would appear for questioning on Monday.

He told reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of a new building at Surabaya University's School of Law in the East Java capital of Surabaya that the two were now under special police protection.

"We have located their whereabouts and have coordinated with the East Nusa Tenggara Prosecutor's Office to help facilitate their presence in Jakarta," Marzuki told Antara.

Earlier, on Friday, the head of a joint team investigating the rights abuses in East Timor, M.A. Rachman, said here that the Attorney General's Office would present the suspects residing outside Jakarta at the office's expense.

The two ex-militia members, Izidio Manek and Martinus Bere, are among the 19 suspects announced by the Attorney General's Office earlier this month, including slain militia leader Olivio Mendoza Moruk, who was found dead days after the announcement.

Marzuki earlier admitted that the protection of the two was to prevent them from being the target of an attack similar to what had happened to Olivio.

Olivio was reportedly killed following an argument between ex- militia members sheltered in refugee camps in Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara, and locals over a gambling issue.

Olivio's death was believed to be the catalyst for an attack on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Atambua, which resulted in the death of at least three relief workers and left dozens others injured.

Marzuki said his office intended to bring the East Timor rights offenders to court, now that the case was under the scrutiny of the international community.

"We cannot evade a trial of the case as we will have to face international reaction as a consequence. So, we have expedited and facilitated the summons to accelerate the investigation process," he said.

Separately, on Saturday, one of the 16 lawyers representing seven military and police officers, who are part of the 19 suspects in East Timor mayhem, confirmed their willingness to meet the summonses for questioning at the Attorney General's Office.

Lawyer Yan Djuanda Saputra said his clients were willing to cooperate with the ongoing investigation into the rights abuse case.

"Since the beginning of the investigation last April, our clients have never failed to answer the summonses, even once. They comply with the law and will never break their commitments," he told The Jakarta Post here on Saturday.

The seven include former Udayana Military Commander overseeing Bali, West and East Nusa Tenggara and then East Timor Maj. Gen. Adam Damiri; former East Timor police chief Brig. Gen. Timbul Silaen; former East Timor military chief Brig. Gen. Tono Suratman; Tono's successor, Col. M. Noer Muis; and former chief of the Tribuana Security Task Force Lt. Col. Yayat Sudradjat. (bby)