Madrid – Portuguese lawyers on Saturday demanded the extradition of Indonesia's ex-president Suharto to bring him to court for genocide of the population of East Timor, Portugal's former colony.
The Portuguese Law and Justice Association, which is part of the International Jurists' Commission said in a statement that Suharto is to face trial in Portugal for his role in genocide of a third of East Timor's population. East Timor was seized by Indonesia in 1975 after Lisbon announced granting independence for its colony. Over 200,000 civilians were killed in East Timor since that time.
In formal terms, these people were Portuguese citizens since East Timor is still recognized as being Portuguese by the United Nations which granted Portugal the right to rule the territory until its status is finally determined, the document said.
The association expressed disagreement with the position of Portugal's Attorney-General who said that Suharto's case did not fall under the jurisdiction of Portuguese law.
The association, however, maintains that the country's law provides for punishment for those who violate the rights of Portuguese citizens.