RI asks Timor Leste not to issue statement that could be misinterpreted
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono asked Timor Leste leaders not to issue any statement that could be interpreted as if there had been an element in Indonesia possibly involved in the shooting on February 11, 2008 of President Jose Ramos Horta.
Speaking to the press at the Presidential Office here on Friday, President Yudhoyono said he talked with Ramos Horta on April 10 when the Timor Leste leader was being treated in Australia for gunshot wounds.
"In the phone talks, Ramos Horta briefed me on the investigation being conducted on the shooting incident and asked for assistance from the Indonesian government," Yudhoyono said.
After the phone talks, President Yudhoyono said, he instructed Indonesian Police Chief General Sutanto to immediately take pro-active steps to handle the matter.
He said two high-ranking police officers were sent to Dili on April 13 and April 15 to collect information from the Prosecutor General of Timor Leste and to analyze the information together.
"It was at this time that the Prosecutor-General officially asked, with arrest warrants, the Indonesian police to arrest certain names that were suspected of involvement in the shooting," he said.
Based on the information, the Indonesian police acted swiftly to locate the whereabouts of these suspects. Everything progressed quickly, professionally and with a high spirit of cooperation, he said.
"That is why I am a bit surprised to hear President Ramos Horta`s statement yesterday (Thursday) because it is my understanding that the telephone conversation on April 10 is not for public knowledge yet. I had instructed my ministers and police chief not to disclose that information to the public in order to give an opportunity to the Indonesian police to hunt these suspects," he said.
He said the Indonesian police arrested three citizens of Timor Leste in accordance with the arrest warrants on Friday morning. They are identified as Egidio Lay Carvalho, Jose Gomes, and Ismail Sansao Moniz Soares.
"I would like to emphasize once again that these three suspects are all members of the military of Timor Leste, who have been involved in the rebellious activities, and suspected of involvement in the shooting incident," he said.
The president said at this very moment the Indonesian government could not give further details about the three suspects as the police were still conducting further investigation by among others cooperating with the Timor Leste and Australian governments.
"We are now awaiting the request from the Timor Leste Government for the return of these suspects, who have illegally entered our territory," he said.
He said shortly after the shooting attempt on Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao on Feb 11, the Indonesian government condemned the incident which he saw as an assault on democracy.
"I wrote a letter to Xanana on February 25, 2008, to ask what we could help. Before I phoned Ramos Horta on April 10, I had phone conversation with him on March 23 when he was being treated at the hospital," he said. (*)