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East Timor: UN mission files indictment for 1999 crimes in Oecussi

East Timor: UN mission files indictment for 1999 crimes in Oecussi

The Prosecutor General of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) today filed an indictment containing charges of crimes against humanity for acts committed by 11 people in 1999 in the Timorese enclave of Oecussi, in West Timor.

In a statement issued in Dili, UNTAET said nine of the accused were members of the Sakunar (Scorpion) militia, a pro-autonomy group "set up, trained, equipped and directed by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI)." The two other accused were TNI sergeants in Oecussi's Passabe sub-district.

The suspects are accused of extermination, murders, inhumane acts, persecution, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty, and the deportation or forcible transfer of population in different places in Oecussi from April to October 1999.

The Prosecutor General's indictment states that all the alleged criminal acts took place as part of an "orchestrated campaign of violence and crimes committed in East Timor in 1999."

The accused are the Supreme Commander of Sakunar militia, Simão Lopes, Sakunar Commander Laurentino Soares (alias Moko), Sakunar Commander and Passabe village Chief Gabriel Kolo, TNI sergeant and Commander in Passabe sub-district Anton Sabraka and TNI sergeant in Passabe village Andre Ulan. Sakunar members Florenço Tacaqui, Bonifácio Bobo (alias Bone), Tomas Bubun, Elvis Popes, Domingos Obe, and Júlio da Costa were also indicted.

All suspects remain at large, except for Florenço Tacaqui, who is held in Becora prison in Dili.