Six Militiamen Fail to Answer Timor Probe Summons as Deadline Passes
Six East Timorese militia leaders have failed to answer summons to testify before Indonesian prosecutors over their alleged involvement in last year's violence in East Timor, a spokesman said Tuesday.
The whereabouts of the six leaders, named as suspects by the attorney general's office for involvement in last year's rampage, was unknown, the spokesman for the office, spokesman Antasari Azhar, told journalists.
"Up until now they have yet to show up at the attorney general's office. We are wondering (what happened to them)," Azhar said as the deadline for their questioning passed on Tuesday.
The six, who include Manuel Sousa, leader of the notorious "Red and White Iron" militia group, had been scheduled to be questioned on October 12.
Azhar said Piet Tallo, governor of East Nusatenggara province, which includes West Timor, had notified the investigators by fax that the six left West Timor for Jakarta last week by boat and plane.
The questioning period has now been extended by another week, Azhar said.
Indonesia has named 23 suspects in its own inquiry into the carnage surrounding the independence ballot in East Timor last year.
These include the leader of the feared Dili-based Aitarak (Thorn) militia, Eurico Guterres.
Three generals and eleven middle to low ranking officers are among the suspects, but the military commander at the time, General Wiranto, is excluded.
The attorney general's office said earlier this month that there was no indication Wiranto was involved in the crimes.
Pro-Jakarta militias, backed by the military, went on an orgy of wanton killings and destruction after East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence on August 30 last year.
Indonesia has so far managed to avoid an international war crimes tribunal for the violence in East Timor by pledging to prosecute those responsible -- JAKARTA (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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