Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Indonesia Frees War Criminal: Goff Urged To Act

Indonesia frees war criminal Abilio Soares, the only person held in Indonesia for the 1999 East Timor Crimes.

Goff urged to take action on to bring about the International Tribunal he has previously supported

On Friday November 5, Abilio Soares, the only person to be held in custody in Indonesia following the orgy of violence, murder and destruction that took place in 1999 was released. Mr Soares, the last Governor of East Timor to be appointed by the Indonesians was released after just 111 days.

At the gates of the jail to greet him was notorious militia leader Eurico Guterres. He was also convicted in the shonky Jakarta ad hoc Human Rights Court but remains free while he pursues an appeal against his five year sentence..

Based on precedent it is likely that the court will also be exonerate him. If that happens then all of the 18 tried before the court will have been found to be innocent.

The entire Jakarta court process has been a travesty of justice from start to finish. Terrible crimes against humanity were committed and those responsible must be held accountable.

This is not solely a matter for the victims of East Timor's tragedy or for their grieving families, it is about upholding the international rule of law and about seeking to prevent an arrogant and unaccountable military from going on to commit new crimes against those in Aceh and West Papua who are also seeking self-determination.

Letter urging Foreign Minister Goff to act follows.

Hon Phil Goff,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Parliament Buildings,

7 November, 2004.

Dear Phil Goff,

As you will be aware the former East Timor governor Abilio Soares was released from jail on Friday , 5 November, after winning an appeal against his three-year sentence
for human rights abuses committed in 1999.

The news reports about his release say that the notorious militia leader Eurico Guterres was there to greet him at the time of his release. Eurico Guterres recently had his 10 year sentence reduced to five years but he remains free while another appeal is pending.

Mr Soares, who spent just 111 days in prison, was the only person toserve any time in an Indonesian jail for the shocking crimes against humanity that took place in the period surrounding the United Nations-organised independence referendum of August 30, 1999.

The appeal court has ruled that Soares was unable to stop the violence because the power to do so was in the hands of the Indonesian military and police.

Of course the responsibility for the 1999 crimes should be borne collectively by the military , police and civilian officials who were involved. However, Governor Soares openly gave his support and backing to the militia on crucial occasions, such as the rally on April 17 which led directly to the murders of 17 people including the son of pro-independence figure Manuel Carrascalao.

On August 8 this year you called for the establishment of an International Crimes Tribunal so that there could be justice for those responsible for the crimes committed in East Timor.

We would like to know what steps you will take now to pursue this essential objective. Does the Government plan to support the proposal for the establishment of a United Nations commission of experts, charged with reviewing the processes for prosecuting serious crimes in East Timor?

We urge you to pursue the issue of justice for the crimes against humanity committed in East Timor for the sake of the victims and the sake of the innocent people in Indonesia who continue to suffer under oppression from an unaccountable military.

Yours sincerely,

Maire Leadbeater
(for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee)

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election