UN investigators begin legal inquiry into 1999 East Timor violence

[JURIST] UN legal experts met with Indonesian leaders Thursday to launch an inquiry [JURIST report] into the violence and pro-Indonesian militia killings that followed the 1999 independence vote in East Timor [Wikipedia backgrounder] and eventually led to the territory's emergence in 2002 as a fully independent state under the name of Timor-Leste [government website], after a brief period of direct UN administration [UNTEAT website]. The UN is concerned because so far almost all of the defendants tried for their role in the disturbances in Indonesian courts have been acquitted. Others have not faced trial [Washington Post report]. Indonesia and Timor-Leste recently set up a Commission on Truth and Friendship [terms of reference] to review issues related to the 1999 violence, but the Commission, which starts work in August, is not authorized to punish perpetrators. Reuters has more. Meanwhile, the last UN peacekeepers [UMISET website] will leave East Timor on Friday. A scaled-down down staff will remain for another year. AP has more.

 

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