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The BBC's Richard Galpin
"The report makes it clear there was widespread violence and torture"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 22 December, 1999, 12:31 GMT
Indonesia rejects UN Timor probe

President Abdurraham Wahid President Wahid insists Indonesia can carry out its own inquiry


Indonesia's military commanders will not face an international war crimes inquiry into alleged atrocities in East Timor, President Abdurrahman Wahid has said.

The announcement came shortly after the former head of the Indonesian army, General Wiranto, failed to appear before a government-appointed probe into war crimes committed after East Timor's vote for independence.

The Investigative Commission for Human Rights Abuses in East Timor, an Indonesian government body, has been probing violence which resulted in the deaths of around 230 people and forced thousands to flee their homes want Gen Wiranto and other military commanders to be held accountable for any crimes committed.



I am not trying to protect anybody
President Wahid
Gen Wiranto, who has continued to refute allegations of army involvement in any atrocities, said he needed more time to prepare for the inquiry and demanded a week's postponement.

Investigators have threatened him with legal action unless he makes an appearance in the next few days.

A senior member of the Indonesian human rights commission has admitted it would not be able to complete its investigation without hearing the general's testimony, sparking renewed calls for a UN-led probe.

Meanwhile, two other leaders of pro-Indonesian militia gangs in East Timor have ignored summons to appear.


General Wiranto Gen Wiranto failed to appear at inquiry

But President Wahid insisted Indonesia is still capable of completing its own investigation and called the issue a matter of "national sovereignty".

"Indonesia does not want an international tribunal to judge Wiranto and other military leaders," he said.

"I am not trying to protect anybody. We have to protect our courts."

A preliminary report by the UN has accused the Indonesian army of involvement in widespread murder and torture. It has recommended an international war crimes tribunal be set up if Indonesia's own inquiry fails to produce sufficient results in the next few months.

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See also:
18 Dec 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Indonesian general to help Timor probe
29 Nov 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Indonesia 'responsible' for Timor destruction
10 Dec 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Calls for UN tribunal on Timor
27 Oct 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Timor enclave reduced to wasteland

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