Lindsay Murdoch, Darwin
August 5, 2008
AN OFFER by a notorious Jakarta gangster to develop the site of a
refugee camp in Dili has been accepted by the East Timor Government.
The Timorese-born man, Hercules Rozario Marcal, had close links to
Suharto-era generals in Indonesia, including one charged by the
United Nations with orchestrating the destruction of East Timor after
the 1999 independence ballot.
The Timor Post has confirmed that Hercules has been given the
go-ahead to build a mini-mart and swimming pool on the site opposite
Dili’s main wharf.
The Government had not made public who was behind the development or
what it would cost.
Investigators have established that Hercules had contact with, and
may have met, rebel leader Alfredo Reinado just days before Reinado
led the February 11 attacks on President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime
Minister Xanana Gusmao.
Reinado’s mobile telephone had a listing for “Hercul”.
Two rebels involved in the attacks were arrested at Hercules’ Jakarta
residence in April.
Hercules has denied any involvement in the attacks.
He gained notoriety in Jakarta in the 1990s doe running protection
rackets. His gang also served as enforcers for the Soeharto regime,
intimidating dissidents and East Timorese independence activists.
His military patrons were reputed to include former general Parbowo
Subianto, Suharto’s son-in-law.
At one stage he lived in the house of major-general Zacky Anwar
Makarim, who in 2003 was indicted by a UN war crimes tribunal for
crimes against humanity.
Hercules told Timorese journalists in January he was looking at
investing in hotels and real estate in East Timor.
East Timor’s Office of Prosecutor-General has not yet made public the
findings of its investigation into the February 11 attacks.