Arrest in murder case shows growing confidence in police

7 Jul 2008

Arrest in murder case shows growing confidence in police

29 November 2006, Dili---Following investigations into a homicide that occurred on 19 November in Maubisse District of Ainaro, the National Police of Timor Leste (PNTL) with the assistance of UNPol have arrested three suspects allegedly involved in the murder.

The three suspects have been charged with the murder of a 31 year old male from Maubisse and the wounding of two PNTL officers. They have appeared before the Dili District Court and have been remanded in custody while awaiting trial.

Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary-General for Security Reform and Rule of Law Eric Tan has welcomed this latest development. "I am pleased to see the tangible results of PNTL's commitment, under the supervision of UNPol during the reactivation period, in assisting with the restoration and maintenance of public security and the rule of law," he said. "The timely capture of these suspects is also evidence of UNMIT's commitment to put an end to the perception of impunity in Timor-Leste and to restore public confidence in policing and the rule of law."

"We are implementing the will of the Timorese leadership; they requested the UN to help overcome the crisis and restore law and order in the country. The Security Council responded by tasking UNPol with the dominion of public security during the reconstitution of PNTL," Acting Police Commissioner Antero Lopes, said yesterday.

Lopes said that UNPol remains committed to seeing law and order upheld throughout Timor-Leste with UNPol and PNTL working together in an integrated fashion.

"While we are awaiting the deployment of UNPol officers to some districts, we're supporting the PNTL with advice, planning and leadership through regular contacts and field visits," Lopes said. "We're now jointly adopting new approaches to resolve ongoing cases."

UNPol has already started a gradual deployment of officers to the border districts of Oecussi, Bobonaro and Cova Lima and is expected to expand beyond that later this year.

UNPol currently has just under 1,000 officers on the ground from 22 different nationalities, with numbers increasing. At full strength UNPol is mandated to have 1,608 police officers working in all aspects of police operations.

For additional information, please contact:
Allison Cooper, Spokesperson UNMIT; +670 7230453