Monday, May 05, 2008

Immigration around the Globe: Indonesia. Indonesia deports four over Timor attack.

Four former East Timorese soldiers deported from Indonesia face jail terms of up to 25 years if they are convicted over attacks on East Timor's leaders, prosecutors say.

Indonesia on Monday deported the four men under heavy security, two weeks after they were caught in Indonesia's West Timor and the capital Jakarta.

The men fled East Timor after the February 11 attacks on East Timor President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.

East Timor's Prosecutor General Longuinos Monteiro said the men would be interrogated in Dili later Monday.
They are Jose Gomez, 28; Edigio Lay Kalfayo, 26; Ismael Sansao Monis Soares, 26 and Tito Tilman, 25.

Their cases would be presented to a Dili court on Tuesday to determine their detention status, he said.

"We haven't investigated them here. After they arrive in Dili then they will be questioned," Monteiro told reporters in Bali, where the group transited before flying to East Timor.

"This case has a maximum penalty of 25 years for main perpetrators, and less for the accomplices.

"The charges we will go with are premeditated murder."

Monteiro said the men were former soldiers under the command of slain rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, who was shot dead in the February attack on the president's house.

He said the group crossed illegally into Indonesia using the "mice route", along the 239km border.

"They went through the land border, which is very long (and) without security," Monteiro said.

The men's deportation comes almost a week after 12 other rebels, including their leader Gastao Salsinha, surrendered in Dili.

Ramos Horta, who was shot twice in the attack on his home, said last month that some others involved in the attempt on his life may also have fled to Australia.

The 58-year-old head of state also said "elements" outside the country had provided support to fugitive rebel leader Reinado for at least a year, including money, communications equipment and clothing.

Ramos Horta has made a fresh appeal for his countrymen to stop messing about with violence and weapons in East Timor, which has been plagued by instability since gaining independence from Indonesia in 2002.

Meanwhile, East Timor's major opposition party Fretilin has taken steps to form a government in the future.

Fretilin said one of the government's ruling political parties, the Timorese Social Democratic Association (ASDT), had quit the governing coalition, and formed an alliance with Fretilin instead.

In a joint statement, the two parties branded the current government, headed by Gusmao, as "full of nepotism, corruption, collusion and injustice

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