TIMOR POST: YOUTH SHOT DEAD ALLEGEDLY BY POLICE; FAMILY DEMANDS INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION

Timor Post 30th December 2009 (Translation from Tetum)

FAMILY DEMANDS INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION TEAM

Dili – During this 2009 holiday season, the population of Dili were
startled by the news that young Baldir César do Nascimento Lebre
Correia, aged 25, was killed by a policeman’s bullet, from the PNTL,
which sadly is the very same institution that is supposed to protect
the people.

Kuka, known by his friends from the cultural performance group
Lé-Zeaval and his family as Baldir, is now a memory, after his life was
taken on th early hours of Tuesday morning, following police
intervention on the night before, Monday, about 11 o’clock, during a
physical confrontation that took place in New Delta Comoro. The actions
of the police during the incident are still to be ascertained. It will
be needed in order to bring the situation to a calm.

Despite there being witnesses it is still uncertainty what happened at
the party. It is however known that people at the party were attacked
by a group of party crashers.

There were three attempts to attack and finally they managed to enter.
Due to the situation, the police station from Comoro intervened.

According to some sources, they said that soon after arriving the police
began firing shots directly into crowd, and Kuka was shot in the stomach
with the bullet exiting through the back. The same bullet hit another
youngster, who is in Unit Intensive Care, at the Guido Valadares
National Hospital (HNGV).

Kuka was not taken immediately to the hospital, because the party venue
New Delta was blocked by police officers. He could only be taken to the
hospital at about midnight, but was then already in a coma.

Dr. Nilton Tilman, who attended to the victim, said he was already in a
coma when he arrived at the hospital, but despite this he tried to
undertake an emergency operation. He attempted to save him but Kuka
could not be saved and died on the operating table during the operation.

HNGV had said that the victim, Kuca’s injuries were as a result of a
stabbing, but doctor Nilton said his injuries were caused by a bullet.
The bullet hit the upper right part of his stomach and exited through
the back of the hips.

When the victim arrived at the hospital his blood pressure was very low,
meaning he had lost a lot of blood. When doctor Nilton started
operating he had already lost almost three liters of blood, so he had
almost no blood in his veins.

According to the autopsy the spleen of the victim was injured, the large
intestine was perforated, the kidney on the left side was ruptured and
the spine had damaged.

Nilton who works at the Department of Surgery HNGV said the shot was
fired from about three meters distance and for this reason the bullet
left his body and could again hit another person.

INDEPENDENT TEAM

The older brother of the deceased, Lino Correia, said his younger
brother died because the police shot him.

He demands an investigation to find out the truth. He said that as far
as he could see the police have forgotten about other similar
incidents, such as the recent one at Delta Nova, because this is not
the first time this has happened.

For this reason he demands an investigation, but not one by the PNTL or
any of its officers. It needs to be an independent team, so that the
truth is ascertained. “Otherwise, if the police do the investigation,
they will only blame it on the victims.” And so the people will
continue to be the victims, while the institution and its officers
remain unreformed,” said a saddened Lino, home of the deceased in
Bemori last night.

Lino also called for police to follow the law so that they perform their
role in a professional way, such as first using tear gas, then rubber
bullets, and as a last resort to defend themselves to shoot to the feet
as a warning “The actions of the police were inhumane,” said Lino.

He said that the police said a day later, that Kuka died but not
because of a bullet but rather because of something else. The victim’s
family vows to continue and to take this case to court to seek the
truth.

For this reason, the victim’s family was to meet yesterday with the
Vice-President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres, to demand
an investigation of the police officer who targeted the victim.

During the meeting between Vicente Guterres and the family of the
deceased Baldir, Guterres stressed that there had to be a fair
investigation to find out what the fundamental reason was for the
shooting of the victim.

“There must be a thorough investigation to understand how something like
this can happen, find out who shot, to follow the path that the state
must follow,” said Vicente.

The defense and security (committee) have to look at this case, because
this has happened many times.

* *

“I think the Defense and Security Committee has to look at this, at the
police reaction in these cases, practically legally using big weapons
and ammunition, and so we have to see how the Government can react
without using these weapons, but what else can be used to neutralize
certain situations,” said Vicente.

Vincente added that the officers can use their weapons to react to
situations, but cannot use the weapons to take the lives of people.

“I think this is what we must demand from our government, to used
weapons only to neutralize, but not to kill someone, I think it is this
that we must demand that our government fix, this is the crux of what
must be looked at, “said Vicente.

INVESTIGATIVE PROCESS

When interviewed, the Commander of the National Investigation Police,
Inspector Eugenio Pereira, said the motive for the shooting is still
unknown. Thus, for their part of the investigation team is still
waiting for the autopsy process and questioning of other parties. Only
then will they know who fired the shot and from which gun the shot was
fired.

Commander Eugenio explained that this confrontation, according to what
the Police Investigators have ascertained thus far, there were a group
armed with sharp objects such as knives, who started attacking the
group that was at the party at the Nova Delta Hall.

Police statements of the incident, as well as other facts have been made
public that confirm thus far ascertained that there was one wounded and
one deceased on arrival at hospital.

Eugenio also said that the general command had ensured that the criminal
investigation, which is currently ongoing, be commenced and last week
procedures were taken to ensure that the crime scene was sealed off.

“We’ve started working on this process this morning, and have already
secured the crime scene, we have investigated the crime scene,
collected the facts, are ensuring they are accurate and will then refer
to the foprmal process of investigation,” said Eugenio reporters.

In another spot, the police commander of Dili, Inspector Pedro Belo
said to TVTL that the police officer who fired the shot, is currently
being held in a police cell in order to continue the investigation
process.

Similarly, the police have arrested two persons suspected of being
responsible for the physical confrontation at Delta Nova.

Similarly, the Secretary of State for Security Francisco Guterres, said
that if as a result of the investigations any police officer is found
guilty then he will be subjected to a heavy penalty.

RECEIVED WITH HONORS

Baldir was also a senior member of the group Le-Zeaval, and after the
autopsy on HNGV, the body was received with honors by his peers last
night at his residence in Bemori. At the family home, members of the
group Le-Zeavel alternated to stay by body in wait for burial.

Le-Zeaval was founded in 1998 in Jogya, Indonesia. In this group
Le-Zeaval (which translates to four poles) Baldir took with him to his
final moments.

This group participated in the Christmas Gathering held by the Ministry
for Social Solidarity, held in Dili at the GMT, last Monday afternoon,
28/12, where he also danced. When the time came, Baldir was was at the
party as an invited guest.

According to Lino, the brother of the victim, Baldir was lazy to go out
or go out to parties. It was a burden for him, but because he was
invited by a colleague, and because he was also looking for ways to go
to the ceremony, he agreed to go out that night. Lino did not expect
his younger brother to become a victim in this tragedy. When he heard
that Baldir was in the hospital he went there immediately. According to
some conversations he heard later, his brother shouted, “it really
hurts.” Lino has followed all his suffering, till he died and said his
brother stopped breathing at about 1:20 on 29 November.

Baldir left a brother and five smaller, three girls and two boys, he is
the son of Etelvina Correia and the Birth of Julio Lebre Correia. (ENDS)

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