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Defense force chief calls for military court to be established

Dili Weekly - February 22, 2017

Venidora Oliveira – The Head of the Falintil-Timor-Leste Defense Force (F-FDTL), Major General Lere Anan Timor, has called on the government to establish a military court.

He said serving officers should not have to stand trial in a public court. "If he/she is a civilian then they can go to the public court, but if they are soldiers then they should be tried in a military court," said Maj. Gen. Lere.

He said the Dili Municipality Court (TMD) had recently issued a detention warrant for an officer, but the F-FDTL did not comply with the order because it does not want soldiers to be held in other places. "F-FDTL officers should only be detained by the Military Police," he said.

He hoped that the government through the Ministry of Defense would create an adequate system to establish a military court.

In response to the issue, Defense Minister Cirilio Cristovao said the government supported the establishment of a military court, but needed to create the right conditions first. "We need human resources because initially we only have 13 jurists," he said.

Therefore, he said the government planned to collaborate with the Judicial Training Center to allow 13 soldiers to receive law training. "Those soldiers who have a background in law can go for training in this area," he said.

Source: http://www.thediliweekly.com/en/news/14360-defense-force-chief-calls-for-military-court-to-be-established-2