Tue, 04 Jan 2000

KPP HAM team to question Feisal over East Timor debacle

JAKARTA (JP): The government-sanctioned Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations (KPP HAM) in East Timor will question former coordinating minister for political affairs and security Feisal Tanjung next week about violence in the territory after the Aug. 30 self-determination ballot.

Munir, a member of KPP HAM, said on Monday that the inquiry would try to obtain information from Feisal as the latter was the founder of the Indonesian Task Force for the Implementation of the Popular Consultation in East Timor.

"We have yet to set a date, but it is sure that he will be questioned after the Idul Fitri holiday," Munir, who is also coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence, told The Jakarta Post.

The inquiry would also try to obtain information from Feisal about the "Garnadi Paper", a document urging systematic destruction in East Timor which was allegedly signed by Feisal's former assistant, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Garnadi, Munir said.

The inquiry will also question Dili Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo concerning the outbreak of violence perpetrated by prointegration militias in the territory in September, he said.

"It is still being studied whether to fly Belo to Jakarta, or for us to go to East Timor," Munir said.

Belo, a 1996 Nobel peace laureate, was driven from his residence and church in Dili during the violence and fled to Australia.

Munir said the decision to summon Feisal and Belo was taken during the commission's plenary meeting on Monday afternoon.

KPP HAM in a midterm report said that based on a preliminary investigation and witnesses accounts, the Indonesian Military (TNI) was directly or indirectly involved in the East Timor violence.

Former TNI chief Gen. Wiranto and six Army and police generals were questioned last month by KPP HAM, with all of them contending the violence was an emotional outburst which was neither premeditated nor controllable.

The generals also denied the alleged strong links between TNI and the prointegration militia groups.

KPP HAM secretary Asmara Nababan said on Sunday that the generals were shifting the blame for the East Timor mayhem to low-ranking officers.

The inquiry was established in September by then president B.J. Habibie after the government rejected calls for an international inquiry that would look into the possibility of setting up war crime tribunals for Indonesian officers.

Munir said that the inquiry planned to question former military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Zacky Anwar Makarim on Tuesday, while former head of the Restoration Operation Command in East Timor Maj. Gen. Kiki Syahnakri, former East Timor military commander Col. M. Noer Muis and former foreign minister Ali Alatas would be questioned on Wednesday. (byg)