Prosecutor won’t probe Timor’s PM

Jan 18, 2008 8:45 PM

East Timor’s prosecutor general will not investigate claims the
country’s prime minister was behind deadly unrest that erupted in
2006, saying the allegations are “too political”.

Former prime minister Mari Alkatiri has called on current Prime
Minister Xanana Gusmao to resign, amid claims he orchestrated the
violence that plunged the country into crisis.

Alkatiri quit as prime minister in June 2006 after a request Gusmao,
who was then the president, amid claims Alkatiri and some of his
ministers gave instructions to arm civilian militia during the crisis.

But last week, rebel leader Alfredo Reinado alleged Gusmao was the
“mastermind” who had fomented the 2006 unrest, which left 37 people
dead and drove 100,000 from their homes.

Gusmao has refused to respond to Reinado’s claims, saying he won’t
engage in a war of words with the rebel leader.

Prosecutor General Longuinhos Monteiro has told local media his
office will not be investigating Reinado’s claims about Gusmao’s
alleged involvement in the unrest because they are “too political”.

He said his office would see how the situation with Reinado
progresses before initiating any investigation.

East Timor’s current President Jose Ramos Horta told ABC radio it was
up to the prosecutor general, the ombudsman, and the parliament to
investigate the claims.

He said he would not ask for Gusmao’s resignation.

Ramos Horta met with Reinado last Sunday in Maubisse, 70 kilometres
south of the capital Dili.

Reinado is refusing to disclose details of the meeting, saying it is
up to Ramos Horta to inform the public.

Ramos Horta’s office have confirmed the meeting took place, but are
yet to comment on the details.

Last December, Gusmao announced he would give Reinado “one last
chance” to engage in dialogue after the rebel army leader failed to
turn up to a meeting.

Security forces have previously failed to apprehend Reinado – a key
figure in the 2006 unrest who escaped from jail in August that year –
in the hope of starting a dialogue.

Reinado led rebel soldiers after Alkatiri’s government sacked more
than a third of the country’s defence force that year, sparking
factional violence.

Source: AAP

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