Thu, 30 Nov 2000

Suspects in UNHCR attack and Eurico to be tried

JAKARTA (JP): Six suspects in the September mob attack on the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara, and prointegration militia leader Eurico Guterres will soon be tried, according to an official.

The spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, Muljohardjo, said on Wednesday prosecutors in East Nusa Tenggara had submitted to the Jakarta Prosecutor's Office two dossiers on the mob attack, and another one on Eurico, who will be charged with instigating a crime.

"The state prosecutors received the dossiers on Wednesday and will soon file the cases with the North Jakarta District Court. The six suspects have been detained at Salemba prison in Central Jakarta since Tuesday evening," Muljohardjo said during a media conference.

Three of the suspects -- Xisto Pareira, Serapim Jimenez and Joao Markin -- will be charged with violating Article 170 of the Criminal Code. The article carries a maximum punishment of 12 years imprisonment.

The three other suspects -- Julius Naesama, Jose Fransisco and Joao Alves da Cruis -- will also be charged under Article 170, as well as Article 351, Paragraph 3 for assault, which carries a maximum punishment of seven years in jail.

Julius, Jose and Joao also will be charged with violating Emergency Law No. 12/1951 on the possession of firearms.

Eurico, who is currently being detained at a house in the Jakarta Police Headquarters compound, will be charged with violations of Article 160 of the Criminal Code for instigating a crime against the government, and Article 214 for a forceful and belligerent act.

Guterres allegedly ordered his followers to take back weapons they had handed over to the police.

Attorney General Marzuki Darusman said on Wednesday the trials would be held in Jakarta rather than Atambua because of security concerns.

"We need to ensure nothing disrupts these trials," he said after installing Bachtiar Fachri Nasution as the new deputy attorney for special crimes. Bachtiar replaces Ramelan, who was moved to the office's expert staff.

The six East Timorese militia members were transported by East Nusa Tenggara provincial authorities to Jakarta aboard a commercial flight on Tuesday, accompanied by personnel from the provincial police and prosecutor's office.

They were taken directly to Salemba prison upon their arrival in Jakarta at about 6:30 p.m.

On Sept. 6, a mob attacked the UN humanitarian aid office, located about 25 kilometers from the border with East Timor, killing three of the agency's workers.

The incident was believed to have been triggered by the death of Olivio Mendoza Moruk, a former militia leader, a day earlier. Moruk was one of 23 suspects named by the Attorney General's Office for human rights violations in East Timor last year.

The UN Security Council responded to the incident by issuing a resolution calling on Jakarta to disarm and disband the militias in West Timor, and to bring those responsible for the attack to justice.

A delegation of the UN Security Council recently visited East Nusa Tenggara, which is now sheltering some 120,000 East Timorese refugees who fled the territory soon after the self-determination referendum there, whose results favored the proindependence camp. (02/bby)