FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE
Wednesday February 20, 2008
Police investigation misused to smear Fretilin and silence MP
The police investigation into last week’s shooting of Timor Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta is being misused for political purposes to intimidate and discredit Fretilin, the party’s general secretary, Mari Alkatiri said today.
Dr Alkatiri said Fretilin member of parliament and media spokesman Jose Teixeira was taken to Dili police headquarters last night in a blatant attempt to blacken his name and damage Fretilin’s image.
“This is political persecution – Teixeira is an effective media spokesman and someone in authority wants to shut him up,” he said.
“I demanded an explanation from Timor Leste Police commander Afonso de Jesus who was unable to give any explanation why Teixeira was taken in.
“It is a disgraceful attempt to politicise the police force and use the investigation into the shooting of the president for party-political gain.”
Jose Teixeira, the minister for energy in the former Fretilin government, said six car loads of armed Timorese police took him from his home at 7.15pm on the orders of deputy police commander (operations) Mateus Fernandes.
“They had no warrant for my arrest and the operation apparently was conducted without the knowledge of the senior police investigating officer,” Teixeira said.
“I was brought before the senior police investigator who said my questioning would take place the following day (Wednesday) because he had not yet been briefed on the line of questioning to be taken.
“I was released after a protest from Dr Alkatiri.
“The police asked me to present myself at police headquarters for questioning this morning.
“Given the heavy handed manner in which I was dealt with, without any legal justification, I am taking legal advice as to my options. I have nothing to hide from the investigation, but this is still a country under the rule of law and it is the law which should prevail in dealing with citizens’ rights.”
Contact: Jose Teixeira in Dili phone +670 728 7080