RealNews

Most Suspects in E. Timor Violence Remain Free in Indonesia

Joni Marques is in jail for his role in the ambush and murder of three Catholic priests, two nuns and their traveling companions in 1999, one of the most infamous incidents during this country’s violent birth. As pro-Jakarta militiamen took revenge against those who voted weeks earlier for independence from Indonesia, Marques and his fellow toughs set upon the group when their Toyota four-wheel-drive slowed for a makeshift roadblock of rocks, according to court documents. The attackers riddled the vehicle with bullets. Those who escaped it were assaulted with machetes, including one nun as she knelt by the roadside in prayer. But the people Marques said were his bosses, and the vast majority of those charged with being involved in the militia campaign of killing, raping and looting, are in Indonesia, beyond East Timor’s reach. A special team of U.N. prosecutors, operating as an arm of the East Timorese government, has charged 367 Indonesians and their local underlings with involvement in the 1999 violence. So far, only 36 have been convicted, all of them East Timorese, while 280 Indonesians and East Timorese remain at large in Indonesia. Full Story

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