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The Deputy General Prosecutor for Serious Crimes v. Manek et al.

Court District Court of Dili, Special Panel for Serious Crimes, East Timor
Case number 09/CG/TDD/2003
Decision title Indictment
Decision date 28 February 2003
  • Deputy General Prosecutor for Serious Crimes
  • Egidio Manek et al. [see the Indictment document for all the names of all 14 defendants]
Other names
  • Laksaur militia case
Categories Crimes against humanity, Torture
Keywords Crimes against humanity; murder; torture; deportation; extermination; enforced disappearance; inhumane acts; persecution; rape; Laksaur militia
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Related developments

This indictment has never led to any trial before a court in East Timor, owing to the continued absence of the accused from the country. They are believed to have been living in freedom in Indonesian West Timor ever since the events in East Timor took place.

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Legally relevant facts

In this case, also known as the Laksaur militia case, 14 members of the Indonesian Laksaur militia (ten of whom occupied commander positions of different ranks, and Egidio Manek being Deputy Commander of the entire militia) were charged with 51 counts of crimes against humanity. In 1999, a widespread and systematic attack was perpetrated against the civilian population of East Timor by more than 25 militia groups, while the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the Indonesian Police Forces (POLRI) – contrary to explicitly made agreements with the United Nations and Portugal about the protection of the East Timorese population – allegedly made no attempt to protect the people against the militias. Violence was waged largely against the pro-independence population following the decision by Indonesia to allow East Timor to choose between autonomy within the Republic of Indonesia or independence, which resulted in a 78, 5% majority voting for independence (paras. 1-7).

The charges in the indictment include multiple charges of murder, extermination, rape, widespread and gruesome torture, persecution and other inhumane treatment, enforced disappearance and deportation of independence supporters and their entire families, often by attacking people with guns, machetes and swords inside their houses. The accused allegedly committed several massacres, including the Suai Church Massacre in which an estimated 200 civilians were killed.

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Specific legal rules and provisions

Regulation No. 2000/15, 2000, United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor:

  • Section 5.1(a), (b), (d), (i), (f), (g), (h), (k) - Crimes Against Humanity

  • Section 14.3(f) - Individual criminal responsibility
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Further analysis

E. Stanley, Torture, Truth and Justice: The case of Timor-Leste, London: Routledge 2009, p. 161.

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Instruments cited

Regulation No. 2000/15, 2000, United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor.

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Related cases

Contrary to the current case, several other cases related to the massacres committed by militias against the pro-independence supporters in East Timor did take place before the Special Panels of the Dili Court. See for example The Prosecutor v. Herman Sedyono, Liliek Koeshadianto, Gatot Subyakto, Achmad Syamsudin and Sugito, which concerned the Suai Church Massacre, and the cases The Public Prosecutor v. Miguel Mau and The Public Prosecutor v. Joanico Gusmao, both defendants being members of the Laksaur militia.