UN panel recommends criminal probe of former East Timor government

UN panel recommends criminal probe of former East Timor government

[JURIST] An independent United Nations [official website] commission released a report [PDF, official press release] on Tuesday calling for criminal investigations into the former prime minister of East Timor [JURIST news archive], Mari Alkatiri [BBC profile] and four other former government officials in relation to armed confrontations between the government and military that left 37 dead earlier this year. The report claims to have found no support for allegations that Alkari armed local militia groups [JURIST report] to kill his political opponents, but it recommended he be investigated for weapons offenses and for illegally using armed forces to control protests in April. The report also implicated the former head of military police Alfredo Reinado, former interior minister Rogerio Lobato, former defense minister Roque Rodrigues, and head of defense Taur Matan Ruak. In addition to potential individual wrongdoing, the report cited "institutional weaknesses and divisions within and between institutions" as a cause of the violence.

Alkatiri resigned in June after his dismissal of hundreds of striking members of the armed forces led to rioting [BBC report] in April and continued violence throughout May [JURIST report]. The UN commission, formed at the request of Secretary General Kofi Annan [official website] in June, released its report to the Timorese Parliament in Dili. AFP has more.