Público - 18 de Julho de 2009
Angelita Pires é a única mulher entre os 28 réus de um processo em curso em Díli pela tentativa de assassínio de José Ramos-Horta. Era namorada do major Alfredo Reinado, que liderava o grupo que quase matou o Presidente de Timor-Leste, em 2008.
De nome próprio Ângela, mais conhecida por Angelita, por vezes também referida como Angie, teve "muitos namorados", segundo dizem os que com ela privaram de perto, e pode reivindicar três nacionalidades: a timorense, a australiana (por naturalização) e até a portuguesa.
Os avós paternos desta cidadã mestiça eram portugueses, mas, na abertura do julgamento, dia 13, era preferiu optar pela "autenticidade" maubere, apresentando-se em traje tradicional... e descalça, para maior efeito mediático.
"Vou lutar pelo major Alfredo Reinado. Jamais o deixarei!", proclamou a ré, referindo-se ao mais conhecido dos seus amores, o líder rebelde que no dia 11 de Fevereiro de 2008 apareceu baleado à entrada da residência de Ramos-Horta, pouco antes de este ter sido gravemente ferido a tiro.
"Nunca me confessarei culpada e nunca aceitarei um perdão. Por que haveria de o fazer?", disse ela à rádio pública australiana ABC. "Se tiver de ir para a cadeia devido ao meu amor por Alfredo, e pelo povo, irei", acrescentou a mulher a quem no ano passado Ramos-Horta chamou "uma tarada". Já o antigo candidato presidencial Manuel Tilman, secretário-geral do partido monárquico KOTA, refere-se a Angelita como uma "pessoa divertida e simpática".
O Chefe de Estado tem dito que poderá perdoar aos antigos soldados desertores que estão a ser julgados juntamente com Angelita Pires, reservando para ela as suas mais duras palavras de condenação.
Se bem que todo o noticiário das últimas semanas se centre no relacionamento da ré com o chefe dos rebeldes, a verdade é que este caso amoroso era recente; só teria começado em 2007, quando ele andava a monte, fugido à justiça.
Muitos anos antes disso, Angelita Pires foi secretária particular do mítico guerrilheiro Xanana Gusmão, quando este saiu da prisão indonésia de Cipiang e foi passar um mês na Austrália, antes de se encaminhar para Timor-Leste, onde em 2002 viria a ser eleito Presidente da República.
"A minha cliente está inocente. Não existem provas que a associem a qualquer conspiração para matar ou a acontecimentos verificados no 11 de Fevereiro", disse numa entrevista ao Tempo Semanal, de Díli, o seu advogado australiano, John Tippet.
"Quem é que na verdade esteve envolvido? Que espécie de conspiração é que esteve por trás de Alfredo Reinado?", perguntou o causídico, usando a argumentação de que a ré estaria a servir de bode expiatório.
"Creio que o que aconteceu não foi inteiramente da responsabilidade timorense; mas em certa medida cometido pela comunidade internacional", disse Angelita, que é prima da ministra das Finanças, Emília Pires, e que tem a sua defesa financiada pela Procuradoria-Geral da Austrália.
Segunda esta defesa, Reinado e o seu camarada Leopoldino Exposto teriam ido à residência de Ramos-Horta, no Boulevard John Kennedy, para se reunir com o Presidente, e foram mortos, antes de ele regressar do passeio matinal.
Depois desse incidente, o ex-tenente Gastão Salsinha assumiu o comando das forças rebeldes que andavam nas montanhas, e é agora um dos réus; tal como Marcelo Caetano, do qual se alega ter sido quem disparou contra o Presidente da República, deixando-o em perigo de vida. Prevê-se que o julgamento dure meses.
domingo, julho 19, 2009
Antiga secretária particular de Xanana está a responder em tribunal no caso do atentado contra Ramos-Horta
Público - 18 de Julho de 2009
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 22:39
Mais uma vez, a informação vinda de Timor e Austrália não se mostra fiável. Desde há muito, diga-se.
A 11 de Fevereiro de 2008, estipulou-se uma tentativa de assassinato de Ramos-Horta e Xanana Gusmão por parte de Alfredo Reinado, quando este se deslocou a residência do Presidente a convite do PM.
No entanto, a ordem era para matar Reinado. Como aconteceu.
Reinado foi baleado à queima-roupa tendo a bala perfurado a palma da mão em sinal de protecção.
Xanana Gusmão afirmou que o seu jipe esteve sobre fogo cruzado e foram chamados especialistas australianos (noutras palavras, uns CSI).
O artigo segue:
World Socialist Web Site
- 18 July 2009
East Timor: Trials begin over 2008 Horta-Gusmao “assassination attempt”
By Patrick O’Connor
Dual East Timorese and Australian citizen Angelita Pires is now on trial, facing a series of charges relating to last year’s so-called assassination and coup attempt against the country’s Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and President Jose Ramos-Horta. The court, which convened last Monday, has heard the prosecution allege that Pires is guilty of attempted murder and conspiring to kill the president on the grounds that she was the “indirect author” of these events.
Initial proceedings have underscored the numerous unanswered contradictions and far-reaching political interests involved in the events of February 11, 2008.
The official account, first promoted by the Timorese government and the Australian media and now advanced by Pires’s prosecutors, is that Alfredo Reinado—Pires’s partner and former military-police commander—had led his men in an unsuccessful coup attempt and was killed after attacking Ramos-Horta and his security detail. Along with Pires, 23 ex-soldiers and 4 of their associates, including Reinado’s senior colleague Gastao Salsinha, are on trial. President Ramos-Horta has suggested that he may pardon the men. (Tem piada, não tem?)
The official account is unsupported by the evidence and believed by virtually no-one in East Timor. Based on what is now known, it is almost certain that Reinado and his men were lured into Dili, after being told they had an appointment for a discussion with Ramos-Horta, in order to be executed. The World Socialist Web Site was alone in raising this possibility immediately after the February 11 events.
Pires has rejected the charges laid against her. Her Australian barrister Jon Tippett, QC has said that the trial highlights the disastrous state of the Timorese legal system, which he described as “one of the most substantial failures that the United Nations has ever engaged in”.
Pires’s legal team received access to the prosecution’s voluminous files just days before the trial opened, rather than the months normally granted to allow adequate preparation. “I’m very concerned about it being a fair trial,” Tippett told the ABC, “because I’ve now had complete access to 25 volumes of the prosecution case and there is no substantive evidence or properly admissible evidence that could possibly support any of the charges that have been brought against her. Now in those circumstances I would expect any responsible prosecuting authority to withdraw these charges against her at the earliest opportunity. The fact that the case is still going to trial gives me concern that this is not a legal case, it’s a political case.”
Significantly, Tippett has indicated that he intends to prove Pires’s innocence by demonstrating that Reinado was killed after attending what he believed was a meeting arranged with Ramos-Horta. “The evidence seems to point to a different story to the one which people have been receiving through the media and certainly from sources in the government of Timor-Leste to date,” the lawyer told Timorese newspaper Tempo Semanal. “The [real] story seems to be one of Reinado coming to meet the president and in the course of that event he’s shot at extremely close range ... in what appears to be an assassination.”
Prosecutors last week attempted to have Tippett and Pires’s other senior counsel, Brazilian Zeni Arndt, thrown out of court on the grounds of their alleged lack of standing in Timor’s legal system. The two lawyers were told to sit in the viewing gallery for part of the first day’s proceedings, but the presiding judge ultimately decided to permit them to participate.
Pires’s defence lawyers have said they may call 150 witnesses, likely resulting in court proceedings lasting several months.
The trial has the potential to prove highly damaging to both the Timorese and Australian governments. The immediate questions raised by the charge that Reinado was set up for assassination is: who was responsible and what was the motivation? In line with the legal adage cui bono?—who benefits—suspicion must firstly fall upon forces around Gusmao as well as Australian personnel in Dili and Canberra.
Reinado, Gusmao, and the Australian governmentBorn in 1967, Reinado fled Indonesian-occupied East Timor for Australia in 1995. He returned during the country’s transition to formal independence and joined the newly created armed forces; from 2003 to 2005 he spent several months studying and training with the Australian army in Canberra. Then in May 2006, as commander of a platoon of military police, Reinado and his men joined the mutiny of a section of the army known as the “petitioners”, who had rebelled against the Fretilin government led by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.
The exact circumstances leading up to the split in the military remain unclear, but there is evidence suggesting that then President Xanana Gusmao was centrally involved in preparing the provocation as a means of destabilising the Alkatiri administration. Gusmao had been openly siding with the most right-wing sections of the Timorese elite, who were opposed to the Fretilin government—including former Indonesian militia members, criminal gangs, larger landowners, and the powerful Catholic Church.
The Australian government was also a leading participant. It seized upon the petitioners’ uprising to dispatch more than one thousand Australian and New Zealand soldiers to the impoverished state as part of a calculated regime-change operation. The media played an especially foul role, with the ABC’s “Four Corners” program promoting baseless accusations that the prime minister had formed a hit squad to assassinate his opponents. Alkatiri eventually acquiesced to the pressure, and chose to hand over power in June rather than risk a popular movement against the coup plotters developing beyond Fretilin’s control.
Reinado enjoyed close relations with both Gusmao and the Australian forces. After he had taken up arms against the elected government, and killed several security force personnel in a vicious ambush in Dili, Gusmao wrote Reinado a friendly letter encouraging him to withdraw his men from the capital. The president subsequently paid for Reinado’s hotel bill when the soldier stayed in the central town of Ailieu for six weeks. During this time the “rebel” held talks with high-ranking Australian military personnel and was feted in the Australian media as a “folk hero” heading a popular movement against the government.
What followed was a series of murky episodes that pointed to the close ties between Reinado and Australian military and intelligence personnel. In July 2006, Portuguese police arrested the former soldier in a Dili house, which he had used to store weapons and which was located directly opposite an Australian military base. A few weeks later Reinado was somehow able to walk out of a prison that Australian and New Zealand troops were responsible for guarding. In March 2007, shortly after a proposed deal on Reinado’s surrender—negotiated with Gusmao and Ramos-Horta—fell through, the Australian government deployed 100 elite SAS troops to lead a raid on Reinado’s base in the central mountain town of Same. The former major was again somehow able to evade detention, walking away from the clash unscathed. Later, after Gusmao and Ramos-Horta called off the official manhunt, Reinado and the Australian army exchanged information about each other’s movements—using Angelita Pires as the go-between.
The turning point in Reinado’s various manoeuvres came in January 2008, when he released a DVD accusing Gusmao of being behind the 2006 crisis, and threatened to provide additional details in future statements. Reinado’s damning allegation, apparently triggered by a breakdown in negotiations with Gusmao over the terms of his surrender, exacerbated the crisis of the prime minister’s unstable coalition government.
On February 7 last year, President Ramos-Horta convened a meeting of parliamentarians from both government and opposition parties to announce his support for Fretilin’s demand for new elections, which Gusmao was bitterly resisting. Canberra no doubt also viewed with extreme alarm the prospect of another national vote, having expended significant resources, firstly in ousting Alkatiri in 2006, and then in assisting the coming to power of the Gusmao government through the 2007 parliamentary elections held under Australian military occupation.
Ramos-Horta scheduled further discussions on the question of a fresh election—but these were never held. Reinado was killed just four days after the initial meeting. His death fortuitously eclipsed the threat that Gusmao’s true tole in the 2006 crisis would emerge. Moreover, Gusmao seized on the so-called coup attempt to announce a “state of siege”, under which he assumed sweeping authoritarian powers. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd meanwhile rushed to dispatch another 190 soldiers and federal police, bolstering the increasingly unpopular Australian occupation force.
There was, therefore, ample reason for both Gusmao and Canberra to want Reinado eliminated. On the other hand, no-one has ever provided a plausible explanation as to why Reinado would want to kill Ramos-Horta. Certainly prosecutors in the Pires trial have so far provided no motive. The president had visited Reinado in mid-January and agreed to a secret amnesty deal that would see the former major avoid imprisonment in return for surrendering his arms and returning to Dili. Ramos-Horta, in other words, was Reinado’s best—and last—hope of securing his freedom.
Prosecution contradictions: There are countless outstanding questions regarding the events of February 11. How did Reinado and his men avoid detection by Australian troops and police as they travelled as an armed convoy up to President Ramos-Horta’s residence? Did Australian intelligence agencies have prior knowledge of what has being planned, given that Reinado made dozens of mobile phone calls, including to Australia and Indonesia, in the days before his death? Did the alleged ambush on Gusmao’s vehicle, led by Reinado’s associate Gastao Salsinha, actually take place, or was it a staged fraud, as Fretilin leader Mari Alkatiri has alleged?
A full and comprehensive account of what happened may never emerge; critical evidence was deliberately sabotaged in the aftermath of Reinado’s shooting. The bodies of Reinado and Leopoldino Exposto were moved and tampered with by Timorese police and soldiers, Reinado’s clothing was removed, his mobile phone used, and his weapon interfered with. The rifle used to shoot Reinado and Leopoldino from point-blank range has never been properly examined.
The prosecution’s case has already begun to unravel, after just five days of court proceedings.
Reinado’s fellow “rebel”, Marcelo Caetano is accused of shooting President Ramos-Horta. This is despite Ramos-Horta himself previously telling the media that Caetano was not responsible. “Marcelo Caetano was wrongly accused,” the president told the Age in October last year. “I never said it was him. It was a media beat-up.”
This “media beat-up” is now the central pivot upon which the prosecution apparently hopes to build its case. Two of Ramos-Horta’s guards testified this week that the gunman who shot Ramos-Horta was wearing a balaclava at the time. One, Pedro Soares, said he could not identify the man because his face was hidden, but the other, Isaac da Silva, insisted that the attacker was definitely Caetano and that he recognised him, “from the way he was standing and his attitude”. Lawyers for the accused noted that da Silva’s testimony contradicted his earlier statement to investigators in which he said that he had not recognised the gunman. Also unexplained is the contradiction between the prosecution’s charge that Ramos-Horta’s attacker was wearing a balaclava with the president’s statement, again made to the Age last year, that he had seen the gunman’s “face and eyes” immediately before the shooting.
Ramos-Horta, who has issued numerous statements against Pires in the lead up to the trial, is now remaining silent.
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 05:55
East Timor's President Jose Ramos Horta has conceded there's a chance of making mistakes when multimillion dollar contracts are signed by government officials.
Mr Ramos Horta has once again defended Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao who signed off on a multimillion dollar contract for Prima Food - a company in which his daughter was a shareholder.
Last month, Radio Australia's parent company the ABC obtained documents which suggested Mr Gusmao had awarded 3.5 million dollars to the company Prima Food, to import rice last year.
Mr Ramos Horta says he has confidence in the Prime Minister
"I think corruption is serious in Timor Leste but I reject the charges that top government officials are involved like the prime minister," he said. "The prime minister is a very very honest person. He wants to do things fast."
Mr Gusmao has also rejected the allegations, and says he welcomes an investigation by the country's newly formed anti corruption commission.
Noutras palavras, eu lavo-te as mãos e tu lavas as minhas, quando eu precisar...
Principalmente quando o concurso público nem sequer estava já decidido, nem que seja que a filha do PM assinou a proposta com apenas o primeiro nome.
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 03:27
This week, Australian citizen Angelita Pires was one of 27 people brought to trial for the attempted assassination of East Timor's President José Ramos-Horta on 11 February 2008. Pires, who insists she is innocent, is the former lover of rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, who was killed in the attack.
Next month will mark ten years since Indonesia agreed to a plebiscite. Four out of five Timorese voted for independence. The assassination attempt was undoubtedly the low point of the decade.
There have been many other setbacks, including the current destabilising accusations against Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao for his role in authorising a multi-million dollar contract for a company part-owned by his daughter.
But life in Dili has improved greatly over the last 18 months. The government has injected large amounts of money into the local economy, much of it directly into the hands of the poor. On the main road through Dili, stacks of government-subsidised rice are for sale. The camps of internally displaced persons have gone, although some claim they have gone only from public view. In their place are restored buildings and new public spaces. Opposite the main hotel in Dili, where a crowded camp for displaced persons once stood, a well-equipped playground is now full of children.
In Australia, a younger generation will have the chance to learn anew about the origins of Timorese independence with the release of the major film, Balibo. It re-enacts the tragic events of 1975. Journalist Tony Maniaty's book, based on his reporting from Dili at the time of the murder of the Balibo Five, will also add to many Australians' knowledge of these events.
So what progress has Timor Leste, as the country prefers to be called, made over the last decade? In particular, how effective has the Australian Government assistance been over this period?
Contrary to many Australians' expectations, the Australian Government has a low profile in East Timor. Despite its large troop presence of up to 800, its influence often appears passive, reactive and disjointed in its dealings with the Timorese Government. Australia's three main arms in East Timor the diplomatic mission, AusAID and the International Stabilisation Force operate as separate entities. This lack of an integrated presence is one reasons for Australia's limited success in fostering the institutions and capacities of the new state.
In addition, there is little evidence that the Australian aid program has been effective, especially in reducing poverty. The World Bank, in a recent assessment, concedes that 'despite concerted efforts by government and development partners, human development outcomes remain low'.
Australia is the largest donor to East Timor, its aid program amounting to $117 million. But the aid funds are spread thinly across a broad range of activities. It has programs in security and justice, and public sector management. It also funds the delivery of services in health care, water and sanitation, vocational education and food security. Most expenditure is on security and governance, with less than a third allocated to health, water/sanitation, rural development and education.
But depite the breadth of its programs, AusAID is floundering. Unlike its practice in other countries, it has failed to produce a country strategy for East Timor, despite repeated statements that it is about to do so. AusAID's ad hoc and fragmented approach to delivering aid has been driven from Canberra. Until this year, when staffing has been upgraded, only a small number of staff were on the ground in Dili.
Many complain that AusAID staff spend too much time closely monitoring programs, and too little time attending to the big picture or improving program performance. AusAID has no capacity on the ground to collect or analyse data. It cannot focus on delivering outcomes or on finding out what has worked and what has not. AusAID lacks transparency. It does not provide progress indicators for specific programs. Nor does it publish evaluation studies to report successes or failures.
To forge a new basis for its relations with East Timor, a new bilateral agreement is needed, based on the strong common interest of both countries to reduce poverty on a large scale over an extended period.
Australia also needs to address the concern of the Timorese government to gain access to the Australian labour market for temporary work and on-the-job training. It also needs to help provide more local benefit to the Timorese economy from the exploitation of its only major economic asset: its oil and gas reserves.
A more effective aid program has to be a core element in a new relationship. Program funding should be for ten years or more. A much greater focus on reducing poverty at all levels is needed. Changes need to be made on the basis of published reports on the success of programs. If Australia is to have a greater impact in the second decade of East Timor's existence, it needs to develop a much stronger and integrated local capacity.
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 03:25
Público - 18 de Julho de 2009
Presidente Ramos-Horta é uma das figuras retratadas e vai estar no Festival de Cinema de Melbourne.
A estreia mundial do filme Balibó, que retrata um dos episódios mais dramáticos dos primórdios da invasão de Timor-Leste pela Indonésia, em 1975, vai ser a 24 de Julho, na inauguração do Festival Internacional de Cinema de Melbourne.
O Presidente timorense, José Ramos-Horta, é o convidado de honra desta estreia. Sentar-se-á ao lado dos actores australianos Anthony LaPaglia, Gyton Grantley e Nathan Phillips, para assistir à projecção deste thriller político.
Dirigido por Robert Connoly, o filme conta a forma como dois jornalistas australianos, um neozelandês e dois britânicos foram mortos por tropas indonésias na zona de Balibó, distrito de Bobonaro, na fronteira de Timor-Leste com o Timor indonésio. Balibó, que tem 90 minutos de duração, é contado pelos olhos de outro jornalista australiano, Roger East (LaPaglia), que chegou ao território para investigar a morte dos demais, e que acabou, também ele, assassinado pelos militares indonésios.
Roger East foi chamado a Timor-Leste pelo então jovem activista José Ramos-Horta, aqui interpretado pelo actor guatemalteco Oscar Isaac, de 29 anos, que em 2005 terminou o curso da Julliard School, em Nova Iorque.
Numa das sequências do filme, Ramos-Horta, que tinha 25 anos, dá a East um dossier com documentos secretos que a Austrália não gostaria que fossem divulgados - as autoridades de Camberra sabiam que a Indonésia ia invadir Timor-Leste, sem que tenham feito nada para o impedir.
As tropas indonésias, nas suas primeiras incursões em solo que então era formalmente português, justificaram o assassínio dos jornalistas da Austrália, do Reino Unido e da Nova Zelândia por serem "comunistas", simpatizantes da Frente Revolucionária de Timor-Leste Independente (Fretilin).
Mas a maior parte dos historiadores crê que os jornalistas anglófonos foram mortos para não revelarem ao mundo que a Indonésia começara a invadir uma colónia portuguesa na Oceânia.Um dos responsáveis pelas execuções, o capitão Yunus Yosfiah, viria a ser ministro indonésio da Informação em 1998 e 1999, apesar de entretanto também ter sido acusado de, em 1978, ter morto o então líder da Fretilin, Nicolau dos Reis Lobato.
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 03:23
Obrigado pela solidariedade, Margarida!
Mensagem inicial - 16 de Maio de 2006
"Apesar de frágil, Timor-Leste é uma jovem democracia em que acreditamos. É o país que escolhemos para viver e trabalhar. Desde dia 28 de Abril muito se tem dito sobre a situação em Timor-Leste. Boatos, rumores, alertas, declarações de países estrangeiros, inocentes ou não, têm servido para transmitir um clima de conflito e insegurança que não corresponde ao que vivemos. Vamos tentar transmitir o que se passa aqui. Não o que ouvimos dizer... "