UN to Protest to Indonesian Officials Over Car Attack
UN administrators in East Timor are to lodge a protest with the Indonesian foreign ministry after one of its vehicles was attacked by demonstrators, an official said Monday.
"We are going to lodge a protest to the foreign ministry," said Elizabeth Moorthy, political affairs officer for the Jakarta office of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
She said that no one was injured in the incident at the parliament complex earlier on Monday.
A sedan carrying several UNTAET officials, who had just met with parliamentary leaders, was pelted with small stones and halted by Indonesian protesters.
The car was later allowed to continue, following the intervention of a lone policeman, SCTV television said.
Reports showed footage of protesters surrounding the UN car, yelling "out, out" while one clambered onto the vehicle's roof.
They were said to be making a statement against foreign intervention in Indonesia internal affairs.
The campaigners were also opposing attempts by UN investigators to question Indonesian officers who allegedly masterminded last year's post-ballot terror in East Timor.
Hundreds of people were killed in the wave of violence that followed the territory's independence vote on August 30, 1999. Indonesian army-trained militia were said to have led the violence.
More than 250,000 people were forced to flee to neighboring West Timor, where 120,000 still remain.
Lawyers representing the Indonesian officers have already rejected any UN questioning of their clients.
A team of UN investigators is currently in Jakarta, but Indonesian Attorney General Marzuki Darusman said on Monday that so far the questioning has been conducted by Indonesian prosecutors with UN officials merely following the process.
The arrangement was made based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on April 5 by the Indonesian attorney general's office and UNTAET.
UN human rights chief Mary Robinson has warned that if Indonesia fails to bring those responsible to trial, the suspects could face an international tribunal -- JAKARTA (AFP)
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