Indonesian Chief Prosecutor to Brief MPs on Timor Probe Pact
The government will try to allay concerns about an accord between Jakarta and UN officials over a joint investigation into last year's violence in East Timor, Indonesia's top prosecutor said Wednesday.
"The memorandum of understanding, which was signed by Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab, will be explained to the People's Representative Council (DPR) tomorrow," said Attorney General Marzuki Darusman, after a cabinet meeting.
The DPR, backed by the armed forces, has strongly criticized the accord signed by Shihab and the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in February in East Timor.
And they have rejected several attempts by Darusman's office to quiz 22 suspects and witnesses, including military and police officers, objecting to UNTAET investigators joining the questioning.
The accord allows for an UNTAET investigator to be present at the session without being able to direct question suspects and witnesses.
Darusman has said the accord was intended to "prevent an international tribunal" for Indonesian military and police officers.
But the lawyers for the suspects, MPs and the military have said the accord was "illegal and unpatriotic."
Human rights activists and international community have said top-ranking Jakarta military officers -- including then army chief General Wiranto -- have exact knowledge and masterminded the massive devastation in East Timor.
Hundreds of people were killed in the wave of violence and arson, led by militias raised and trained by the Indonesian army, which erupted after the territory's independence vote on August 30, 1999.
More than 250,000 East Timorese fled to neighboring West Timor and around 120,000 are still believed to be in squalid camps there where the militias reportedly continued to rule.
The militia followed the refugees to West Timor when international troops arrive in the East to halt the rampage.
UN human rights chief Mary Robinson has warned that if Indonesia fails to bring those responsible to trial, the suspects could be tried by an international tribunal -- JAKARTA (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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