30 August 2007
Illegitimate government attacks senior judge
TimorLestes new illegitimate government has again struck at the independence of the judiciary with Minister for Justice Ms Lucia Lobato attempting to smear a UN appointed District Court judge who issued a court order she did not like.
FRETILIN Member of Parliament Jose Teixeira, an Australian-trained lawyer, said the Justice Minister deliberately misled to parliament about the actions of Justice Ivo Rosa who ordered that former Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato be permitted to travel to Malaysia for medical treatment on the advice of three foreign doctors.
Teixeira today said Ms Lobato misled parliament when she claimed Justice Rosa was at Dili airport on the same day the Minister interfered with the court order regarding Rogerio Lobato.
Justice Rosa was not at the airport that day as the Minister for Justice well knows, Teixeira said.
She has tried to dishonestly imply that Justice Rosa somehow authorised her to prevent Rogerio Lobato leaving Timor Leste.
This is contemptible from a Minister who is trying to smear the name of a United Nations-appointed judge who issued a court order she did not agree with. In only one month the Minister has developed a reputation for having absolutely no respect for the independence of the judiciary.
On the very first day of the new government, it illegally interfered with a court order by preventing Rogerio Lobatos aircraft from taking off. Then the Justice Minister tried to insist that Rogerio Lobatos two children remain in Timor Leste as virtual hostages pending his return from treatment.
Justice Rosa had to issue a new direction saying the Justice Minister could be in contempt of court if she prevented Rogerio Lobato from travelling.
"FRETILIN in government never interfered with the justice system including when Rogerio Lobato, a senior FRETILIN figure, was arrested, tried, sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison, and failed to win his appeal."
Teixeira said the Justice Ministers assault on the judiciary is just one of many examples of members of the illegitimate government showing contempt for judicial processes.
During the recent parliamentary election campaign, the Gusmao-led CNRT party appointed disgraced former army sergeant Vicente de Conceicao (aka Railos) to head their campaign in Liquica district despite Railos having been recommended for prosecution by the UN Independent Special Commission of Inquiry last year for alleged murder.
In July this year, Judge Rosa warned there was compelling evidence to launch a criminal investigation into the issuing of a letter of safe passage for the fugitive Alfredo Reinado who also was recommended for prosecution by the UN for his role in last years crisis, including for alleged murder. The letter of safe passage was issued by the Gusmao-appointed Prosecutor-General, Longhuinos Monteiro.
Teixeira said there were clear signs that Timor Leste under the new regime was sliding towards a police state.
He pointed to demands reported recently in the local media for the arrest of top FRETILIN leaders made by two MPs whose parties hold positions in the illegitimate government, Pedro da Costa (CNRT party) and the President of ASDT, Francisco Xavier do Amaral.
Teixeira said, Just as it was in Suhartos time, they are choosing who to prosecute and who to persecute.
For more information, please contact:
Jose Teixeira +61 438 114 960 (currently in Australia), FRETILIN Media (+670) 733 5060