HC Deb 15 March 2002 vol 381 cc1293-4W
Ann Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of(a) the sufficiency of the territorial and temporal jurisdiction of the human rights court established in Indonesia to investigate alleged abuses in East Timor, (b) the likely impact of the Indonesian constitutional prohibition on retroactive prosecutions, (c) the experience, expertise and independence of the judges and lawyers appointed to the court, (d) the arrangements for the protection of victims and witnesses and (e) the level of co-operation on legal matters between the Indonesian and East Timorese authorities; and what plans he has to monitor the trials. [36928]

Mr. Bradshaw

(a) The question of the territorial and temporal jurisdiction of Indonesia's ad hoc human rights tribunals is a matter for the President of Indonesia to determine. The UK considers that their mandate should encompass all crimes against humanity perpetrated in East Timor before, during and after the Referendum of 1999. We will continue to raise our concerns about the jurisdictional limitations of the Tribunal with the Indonesian authorities, working closely with our partners in the EU.

(b) The question of retroactive prosecutions will be for the Tribunal to determine.

(c) The judges and prosecutors appointed to the Tribunal are professional lawyers. We welcome their appointment.

(d) There is currently no provision for victim/witness protection under Indonesian law. However, it is expected that this will be included in forthcoming legislation.

(e) The Indonesian Government and representatives from the UN Transitional Administration to East Timor (UNTAET) and the East Timorese leadership meet regularly to discuss a range of bilateral issues. They met most recently on 25 February.