FRETILIN Parliamentary Group
Statement (Declaracao Politica) to the Parliament
Regarding Confidence and Dismissal of the Prosecutor General of the Republic
We all know that the newspaper, Jornal Tempo Semanal (on 1 October 2007) published a news item of a telephone conversation between Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro, prosecutor general of the republic and Mr. Leandro Isaac, but which also involved Mr. Herminigildo Pereira, also known as “Agio”, former Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic, and actual Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers.
Until now, none of us know when, how or who recorded this telephone conversation, but we know that suddenly the recording of the conversation was disseminated by mobile telephone “Bluetooth”, and lately its contents were published by newspapers. This is also news to FRETILIN, but it is not this fact which concerns FRETILIN.
Mr. President of the National Parliament,
The FRETILIN Parliamentary Group is extremely concerned on hearing this recording of a telephone conversation that involves the Prosecutor General of the Republic as a party. It demonstrates clearly to the Timor-Leste public as a whole, but most of all to us Members of this Parliament, that the Prosecutor General of the Republic has not conducted himself in a manner which is fitting with his position as a representative of our state in investigating judicial cases, and has raised doubts as to the ongoing neutrality and independence of the justice system in our country.
This telephone conversation, which has already been made public, also shows everyone that the Prosecutor General of the Republic is extremely close to politicians, especially those who were involved with the 2006 crisis to bring down the FRETILIN government and create instability in our country. In this conversation the Prosecutor General of the Republic displays that he has a friendship and political trust with Mr. Leandro Isaac who was involved with the crisis last year and who the International Commission of Inquiry Report handed down on 2 October 2006 recommended be investigated, so as to determine whether he was involved in any criminal conduct. There is also other evidence which was shown on Television of Mr. Leandro Isaac armed during the crisis and in the company of a group who had mounted an assault on the home of Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak in Lahane on 24 May 2006.
The FRETILIN Parliamentary Group is also concerned with the threats made by Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro against the journalists from Jornal Tempo Semanal, especially the journalist who wrote the article of 1 October 2007, that he may open the case against an NGO which raised allegations of corruption involving him personally. This demonstrates conduct involving abuse of both power and of the position he holds as Prosecutor General of the Republic.
During the parliamentary election campaign the National Elections Commission referred a complaint by FRETILIN of unlawful use of its symbols to the Prosecutor General of the Republic for investigation. This case had grave consequences and prejudice for FRETILIN during the election campaign and created confusion amongst the voters. But until this day, an investigation has not been initiated by the Prosecutor General of the Republic, no legal action has been taken; it has not moved forward at all. Is it because the case involved a complaint by FRETILIN, whom the Prosecutor General has been conspiring from the beginning to bring down, that it was decided to be left unattended?
Mr. President of the National Parliament,
Illustrious Members of Parliament.
The FRETILIN Group also finds it regrettable that the conversation referred to involved the Chief of Staff of the then President of the Republic and current Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers in this de facto government, Mr. Herminigildo Pereira. His involvement also shows everyone that another institution of state sovereignty such as the Presidency of the Republic through his Chief of Staff was involved with groups who took action to bring down the FRETILIN government, which resulted in nearly 150,000 Timorese becoming internally displaced and nearly 6,000 homes destroyed, as well as deaths and injuries to persons.
The facts regarding the involvement of certain persons shown here today, has already resulted in a negative precedent for the state of Timor-Leste, especially in the area of justice, because we can see that persons who have a duty and obligation to perform their functions in accordance with the law, with objectivity, with neutrality and with exception, easily subject themselves to political influence, especially from the government. Today we see those persons who are the subject of this statement still occupying their positions and some even attained positions in the de facto government.
For these reasons this FRETILIN Parliamentary Group, as representatives of the people in the National Parliament through the mandate from 120,000 voters in the parliamentary elections of 30 June last, declares that Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro no longer has the requisite trust to continue to perform the functions of the Prosecutor General of the Republic for the state of Timor-Leste with independence, in accordance with the law and without political influence.
As such the FRETILIN Group requests the institutions with the responsibility, especially His Excellency the President of the Republic to remove Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro as Prosecutor General of the Republic in accordance with the terms of the Constitution, and to initiate an in depth inquiry or investigation with respect to Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro, Mr. Herminigildo Pereira and any others, for their involvement in the crisis and for any other abuse of power for which there may be indications similar to in this case.
Dili, 15 October 2007
From the Leader of the FRETILIN Parliamentary Group
Aniceto L. Guterres Lopez