Ramos-Horta names gunman

The Sydney Morning Herald.

Lindsay Murdoch in Darwin

March 13, 2008

THE President of East Timor, Jose Ramos-Horta, identified the rebel
who shot and seriously wounded him in the February 11 attacks as a
man he helped nurse back to health two years ago.

Marcelo Caetano shot Mr Ramos-Horta at the front gate of his villa
overlooking the Dili harbour, the President’s brother, Arsenio, told
the Herald last night.

“The President recognised him,” Arsenio Ramos-Horta said. “This man
must be brought to justice.”

Two years ago Caetano, one of 600 disgruntled Timorese soldiers who
were sacked after going on strike, was shot in the chest during a gun
battle on Dili’s outskirts.

Arsenio Ramos-Horta said his brother took Caetano into his house and
arranged care for him while he recovered. Caetano stayed at the house
for two weeks.

Caetano is believed to be on the run in East Timor’s central
mountains with other rebels who were involved in the Dili attacks,
including the former army lieutenant Gastao Salsinha.

The rebels have told negotiators they will surrender only to the
President, who is recovering in Darwin Private Hospital after six operations.

But a force of 350 heavily armed Timorese soldiers have surrounded
the area where the rebels are believed to be holed up and have orders
to hunt and, if necessary, kill them.

Salsinha missed several earlier deadlines to surrender.

Arsenio Ramos-Horta spoke to the Herald about Caetano while in the
President’s hospital ward last night.

He said he had not spoken directly with his brother about the
shooting but said he knew he had identified Caetano, a low-ranked
former soldier.

Arsenio Ramos-Horta said he confirmed Caetano was the gunman when he
spoke to security guards who were at the house on the morning of the attacks.

Investigators already have the testimony of the rebel Amaro Da Costa,
who saw Mr Ramos-Horta being shot as he hurried to his house after a
morning walk.


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