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East Timor prosecutor issues new indictments, including one for 1999 murder of local UN staff

28 June The East Timor prosecutor's office has issued four indictments for crimes against humanity committed in 1999, including the murder of two local United Nations employees after the popular consultation that year.

The indictments, issued over the past month, cover crimes committed in the districts of Bobonaro and Oecussi. In the first Bobonaro indictment, issued on 11 June, three militia members were charged with 13 counts of crimes against humanity, including rape and torture, for their alleged involvement in a widespread or systematic attack against the civilian population over the course of 1999.

The indictment further alleges that one aspect of their attack was the abduction, beating and/or rape of women suspected to support independence, or of women whose husbands were suspected of supporting independence or being supporters of the independence group FALINTIL.

Arrest warrants have been issued for the three, who were believed to be in West Timor, and investigations into other militia activities in Bobonaro are continuing.

The second Bobonaro indictment, issued on 21 June, charges 10 individuals with one count of murder and one count torture for the killing of two employees of the UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) on 2 September 1999 in the village of Raifun.

The indictment alleges that the accused militia members carried out a widespread or systematic attack against the civilian population, and further alleges that the UNAMET employees were attacked because they were perceived to be supporters of independence.

Arrest warrants have been secured for these 10 accused and one arrest has been made. The remaining nine suspects were believed to be in West Timor.

Meanwhile the two Oecussi indictments charge three people for crimes against humanity, the first relating to an incident that occurred in Passabe sub district on or around 10 September 1999 and the second covering a double murder and an attempted murder committed against members of the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT) and independence supporters by two militia members during an attack on Nakome village the day before.

All three accused are in custody in Becora prison in Dili and the Prosecutor has requested that the Panel of Judges extend their detention throughout the trial.

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