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Oz Journalist Detained Over Subversion Allegations

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DILI (AL/Pacific Media Watch): Dili prosecutors ordered Thursday that an Australian reporter living in East Timor, who is already threatened with expulsion from the country, is detained for 30 days for questioning over alleged ''subversion''.

Julian King, also an independence activist, was arrested by police on 5 May 2004 near his home in Dili. He was held for two days before being released and given 48 hours to leave Timor.

Police said they found ammunition in King's home, a charge denied by the journalist, who has lived in Timor for four years.

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri made several strong and public criticisms of King, saying he was not a journalist and accusing him of taking part in the torching of his Dili home during rioting in December, 2002.

Meanwhile, the international press freedom watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, has asked President Xanana Gusmâo to intervene in King's case, which it described as a "violation of freedom of expression".

Police found United Nations documents in King's house, said Reporter Without Borders, which cited sources as saying that his arrest could be linked to his investigation into corruption in the carving up of Timor`s territorial waters.

A police source told Lusa Thursday that King had been arrested and taken to Becora jail, near Dili, and would appear before an investigative judge.


Copyright © 2004 Agencia Lusa. Todos os direitos reservados.



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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