13 August 2013

Crime of arson and property damage heard in Dili District Court June 2013

Crime of arson and property damage - Case No.182/C.Ord/2009/TDD

Composition of judges: Panel

Judges: Ana P. Fonseca, Paulo Texeira, Francisca Marques (trainee judge)

Public Prosecutor : HipĆ³lito Santa

Public Defender: Manuel Exposto

Conclusion: Ongoing

On 20 June 2013 the Dili District Court conducted a hearing against 7 defendants who were involved in the crime of arson and property damage that occurred during the 2006 crisis.  This case allegedly occurred in June 2006, in Akadiruhun, Dili. The charges were made against the defendants PdA, JM, PAN, FNSC, JF, VdC, MPR, as well as FdS and FO (who were not present). The defendants formed a group named BAMBOLA that aimed to engage in creative activities such as soccer.

The public prosecutor alleged that the defendants (in June 2006 or during the crisis) were involved in the crime of burning civilian homes, property damage, stone throwing at homes in Akadiruhun, Dili, where the defendants reside.

On 17 June 2006 the defendants threw stones at and burned the homes of the victims AF and AxF and the victims had to flee empty handed because they were afraid and couldn’t do anything.

The aforementioned actions caused the goods of the victims to go up in smoke. In addition to the victims AF and AxF, another victim DM was inside the house when the defendants were burning the homes, but he was able to flee from inside the house. The goods of the victim DM were completely damaged because of fire.

The public prosecutor charged the defendants with violating Articles 187 (3), 338 and 53 of the Indonesian Penal Code.

During the trial only four of the defendants wanted to testify in relation to the charges of the public prosecutor and the other 3 exercised their right to remain silent.

The four defendants testified that they were not involved in the crime of arson and/or throwing stones at civilians in 2006. The defendants testified that they were involved in the BAMBOLA group, but the group was formed in their area after taking the name from a football team.

The defendants also added that at that time the Australia troops took their photograph and promised to give some footballs to them, but until now they have never received the footballs.

The victims AF and AxF as well as the witness HSF (who was the Village Chief in 2006) testified that their homes were burnt and destroyed, their goods were destroyed by fire, but they did not see who burned their homes.

After hearing testimony from the defendants and the witnesses the court adjourned the trial until 10 July 2013 at 3pm. Source: JSMP Press Release 12 August 2013

Full report on cases monitored in Dili District Court in June 2013 are on the East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin

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