Australia co-operating with Timor

May 26, 2008 4:32 PM

AAP

Australia is providing all possible assistance to East Timorese
authorities investigating rebel attacks on the nation’s leaders, a
Senate committee has been told.

East Timor’s president Jose Ramos-Horta, badly wounded in the
February attacks, has criticised Australian Federal Police (AFP) for
not fully co-operating with his country’s inquiry.

At issue is the Darwin bank account of rebel leader Alfredo Reinado,
killed by troops after his attack, a large number of calls he made to
Australia and claims that some individuals fled to Australia
following the attacks on Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao
on February 11.

AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty declined to tell the Senate’s legal and
constitutional affairs committee whether police had investigated the
bank account, saying it was an operational matter.

Neither could he comment on suggestions that some individuals had
fled to Australia following the assassination attempts.

“Suffice to say that we are giving the East Timorese authorities, the
Prosecutor-General and the East Timorese police and the UN our
fullest co-operation and assistance where we can,” he said.

Reinado’s Darwin account, held jointly with Australian woman Angelita
Pires, reportedly contains more than $800,000.

Keelty said he had not spoken to Dr Ramos-Horta about the issue.

The AFP had provided substantial assistance to the president in terms
of his own close personal protection while he was hospitalised in Australia.

“As far as I am aware the relationship between the AFP and President
Ramos-Horta is a very positive one,” he said.

“We are providing resources to the United Nations mission in East Timor.

“Prior to the shooting, in December last year, I had very positive
discussions with President Ramos-Horta about development of the
police in (East Timor) and that is now going to occur through the
budget announcements.”

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