Sat, 29 Apr 2000

East Timorese man cleared of spying

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: Police said here on Friday they did not have enough evidence to charge an East Timorese man with spying, Antara news agency reported.

"He has been declared innocent because we have been unable to find enough evidence to indicate espionage," East Nusa Tenggara Police spokesman Capt. I Wayan Dana was quoted as saying.

Paul Tallo Alberto, 25, was arrested on the Indonesian side of the border with East Timor on April 6 on suspicion of spying.

After his arrest, officials said Alberto, a former member of the Besi Merah Putih prointegration militia in East Timor, had been paid by an Australian sergeant serving with the U.N. Peacekeeping Force in East Timor to spy on militia activities in East Nusa Tenggara.

Dana said Alberto was handed over to the U.N. Migration Organization in Atambua, Belu, on April 24. (byg)