Cooperation between UNPOL and Timorese Community Aids in Second Arrest for IDP Camp Shooting

7 Jul 2008

Cooperation between UNPOL and Timorese Community Aids in Second Arrest for IDP Camp Shooting

19 September 2006, DILI—UN Police (UNPOL) yesterday made a second arrest for an incident that occurred on 1 September at the Jardim Internally Displaced Persons' (IDP) camp near the sea port in the capital of Dili in which five people suffered gun shot injuries when a group of men carrying firearms fired into the crowd at the camp.

An inactive officer of the national police (PNTL) was arrested earlier in the day by UNPOL's Criminal Investigation Unit in relation to the shooting. A first suspect, also an inactive PNTL officer, was arrested and detained by International Police shortly after the incident occurred. Both suspects will face the Prosecutor-General on charges of attempted murder, riotous behaviour and possession of a firearm.

After the shooting incident, UNPOL and International Police of Timor-Leste (IPTL) Criminal Investigation elements made extensive enquiries, and gathering information, which enabled the police to identify the two suspects as former PNTL officers. Both were carrying Glock pistols.

The second arrest has been hailed as the result of thorough work by the UNPOL Criminal Investigation Unit and cooperation from the Timor-Leste community by providing information to the UNPOL. "This is an outstanding example of how the Timorese can help to create a sustainable path to a secure environment by cooperating with the UN Police in their ongoing investigations into crimes that have been committed against the Timorese people," the Special Representative for the Secretary-General SRSG Sukehiro Hasegawa said. "With the help of responsible citizens in the community, justice will be served," he said. Advocacy initiatives and the recent launching by UNMIT and the Ministry of Interior of a community-policing initiative are enhancing cooperation efforts between Police and communities, for the protection of all the population.

Hasegawa has further appealed to the citizens of Timor-Leste to assist the established Security Task Force which includes members of the international military forces and UNPOL in collecting illegal weapons in possession of civilians by offering any information available about those persons. Such information provided will be kept confidential. A hotline number operating 24 hours for citizens to call and provide any information on illegal possession of firearms as well as to call for police emergency response has been established: 7230365. Soon the national emergency number (112) will be reactivated in Dili.

PNTL officers are reminded to collaborate in the safety and security arrangements established and hence help surrender firearms in the possession of the population and in the possession of inactive PNTL officers to the international military or UNPOL immediately.

For additional information, please contact:
Donna Cusumano, Chief, Public Information Office, UNOTIL; +670 723 0749