Support for legal aid for Angelita Pires, Timor Leste

Dear Friend,

Angelita Pires is an important person in the investigation of the
killing of Alfredo Reinado and his deputy and the near killing of
President Ramos Horta, and the shooting at the convoy of Prime Minister
Gusmao, on February 11, 2008, in Dili.

Despite many months passing since these shocking events, the Prosecutor
General is yet to lay charges or make a plausible report about the many
troubling aspects of those events.

However, President Horta has made many statements placing Angelita
Pires at the centre of these events. She and her family have been
alarmed at these allegations, fear for her life, and have appealed for
the Australian government to provide her with legal representation,
since she is an Australian citizen.

Whatever Ms Pires may have done in her two year relationship with
Alfredo Reinado, it is very important that the facts are established
through a proper legal process in which her rights are upheld, and that
the investigation is not diverted from the truth by efforts to
scapegoat her.

Ms Pires has received legal aid from the Australian government only
recently, but needs a specific further measure from the Australian
government – a formal request by the Dept of Foreign Affairs to the
Brazilian government to enable her well informed and Portuguese-speaking
lawyer, Dr Zeni Alves Arndt, to continue to represent her. Dr Ardnt is a
Public Defender and needs a new term from the Brazilian government to
continue to work in Timor Leste.

Please consider writing a short email to Australia’s Consul and Second
Secretary in Dili, Brian Diamond, to ask that Australia request the
Brazilian government to allow Dr Zeni Alves Arndt to continue to work
as a Public Defender in Timor Leste to enable her to continue to
represent Ms Angelita Pires. His email address is

Ms Pires’ own email to Mr Diamond is reproduced below.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Murphy

Subject: Official Request
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2008 04:50:13 +0000

Brian Diamond
Second Secretary and Consul
(Senior Administrative Officer – SAO)
Australian Embassy
Dili, East Timor

Dear Consul,

Firstly, I would like to thank the Australian Government, the Attorney
General’s Department and Your Office for the permitting me to access an
effective legal defence for my case. However, it is necessary that an
urgent official request be made to the Brazilian Government, via
diplomatic means, to authorize my Public Defender to remain in TL in
order to render her services to my case.

I want to express that Dr. Zeni Alves Arndt, can only remain working in
TL if she is authorized by her Government. I insist that Dr. Arndt
continue to be my Legal Representative because we must take into
consideration that Dr. Arndt has all the necessary qualifications as
well the complete knowledge of the legal realities related to the cases
of the 2006 Crisis and 11the February 2008, not to mention the fact
that she speaks the official Portuguese language. Dr. Arndt has been
working in Timor Leste for 2 years and has direct legal contact and
representation with those involved in both the 2006 and 2008 cases as
well as all the other judicial agents.

However, it is very important to my case, that the Australian
Government, DFAT, complete the process and make the official request of
the Brazilian Government. Given the (just in) developments of the
situation/case, it would make this next stage of cooperation from the
Australian Government very crucial and urgent.

Therefore, I continue to require yours and the Australian Governments
assistance in officially requesting the Brazilian Government to grant
Dr. Arndt permission to remain in Timor Leste as my Legal Defender for
the period necessary to resolve my case. We are both available to meet
with you to discuss this urgent issue at your earliest convenience.

Thank you and best regards,

Angelita Pires

SEARCH Foundation
Level 3, Suite 3B, 110 Kippax St,
Ph: 02 9211 4164; Fax: 02 9211 1407

ABN 63 050 096 976

promoting democracy, social justice and environmental sustainability

This email is provided by the SEARCH Foundation as an information
service. Any views expressed are those of the author(s) and not
necessarily those of the Foundation.


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