7 arrested for last week’s violence in Timor-Leste – UN mission

13 December 2002

United Nations police have arrested seven suspects in the burning of the house of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri during the violence that erupted last week in Timor-Leste, the UN mission in the country announced today.

Kamalesh Sharma, the chief of the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), said that UN police have also arrested 10 people for looting and that a quantity of stolen property – including three vehicles, television sets and refrigerators – has been recovered. The police are in the process of identifying the owner of the goods.

Mr. Sharma said that some discipline problems were evident within the Timor-Leste Police Service (TLPS) during the riots that took place 4 December, and immediate steps have been taken to deal with it. They include the suspension, pending investigation of conduct, of six TLPS officers, three of who were members of the National Security Coordination Unit, one from the Dili District Investigation Unit, one from the Marine Unit and one from the Police Headquarters Security Unit.

Meanwhile, the UNMISET chief announced that the UN probe into the violence continues and that UN police have requested the public to share any information it has – including film and still pictures – in order to advance its investigation. Mr. Sharma thanked those witnesses who have already come forward to provide information to investigators.

 

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