No Confidence Motion in Parliament
Mosaun Censura iha Parlamentu Nasional

Husi Deputado sira iha partido Fretilin no Kota
From Fretilin and KOTA MPs

13 October 2009

This motion was debated in Parliament for more than ten hours on 12 October 2009, with live radio and TV coverage and active participation by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. At 10:00 pm, Parliament rejected it in a party line vote: 25 (Fretilin, Kota/PPT and PUN) in favor of censure and 39 (CNRT, PD, ASDT/PSD, Undertim) opposed.

Read the debate here.

Parlamentu diskuti ona Mosaun Censura ba oras 10 resin iha loron 12 Outobru, no TVTL no RTL fo sai diretamente, no partisipasaun husi Primeiru Ministru Xanana Gusmao. Iha tuku 10:00 kalan, PN rejeita tuir bancada: 25 (Fretilin, Kota/PPT no PUN) afavor mosaun censura no 39 (CNRT, PD, ASDT/PSD no Undertim) kontra.

Le'e debate iha ne'e.

Motion of No Confidence

Below is a translation of the No Confidence Motion introduced in Parliament by the Fretilin and Kota caucuses. Translated from original (Portuguese).

Based on article 111 of the Constitution of RDTL and Article 134 of the Internal Rules of Parliament, the Deputies signing below present the following motion to censure the Government:

The freeing of Martenus Bere was already known by members of the Government, according to declarations in the public media, as a political decision that everyone must respect.

Martenus Bere, commander of the Laksaur militia, responsible for the Suai massacre which killed 200 people, began destruction during the referendum for Timor-Leste's independence, ten years ago, received freedom through a political act, not a judicial process.

The Prime Minister himself declared in the media last week that he gave the order to release Martenus Bere from Bekora Prison, not through a judicial process, and that he accepts all responsibility for this.

The President of the Judicial Magistrates Superior Council and the Timor-Leste Court of Appeals has decided to order an investigation into the "Bere case," to see if  he was indeed freed illegally, if so and to begin a penal and disciplinary process.

Looking at the current situation in a larger context, the Government and the President intend to present a proposal for amnesty for all crimes committed in Timor-Leste from 1974 until today

Parliamentarians requested an explanation from Government, but the Government has not come to explain what has happened to date, Parliament only received information from the media, we consider that the Government has no respect for this sovereign organ, or for the courts, although an important democratic principle is the separation of powers, under Article 69 of the Constitution of RDTL, that Constitution itself in article 156(d) safeguards this provision against revision.

The decision of the Government to send Mr. Martenus Bere out of Bekora prison shows that they are against the RDTL Constitution and Laws which are currently in force in our country. Only a court has the power to send someone to prison or to free them, if they have been indicted for a crime or sentenced.

Because of this, without a decision from a court with powers in this process, we can consider this a decision of the state. In proof, as everything shows that no Court gave the order to free Mr. Bere, therefore the decision to free Mr. Bere is illegal, it violates our Constitution, Penal Code, and Criminal Procedure Law.

When a Government commits an act which disrespects Parliament, disrespects the Court, violates the Constitution and violates Laws in force in our country, that Government no longer has the conditions to direct the destiny of our nation, and therefore deserves censure.

Mosaun Censura

Tuir mai tradusaun Mosaun Censura neebe ohin hatama husi bancada FRETILIN no KOTA iha meza parlamento nasional. Tradusaun original iha Portugues.

Bazea ba artigu 111 Konstituisaun Republika Demokratika Timor Leste no Artigu 134 Regimentu Internu Parlamentu Nasional nian, deputadus sira nebe asina iha okos aprezenta tuir mai mosaun censura ba Governu:

Libertasaun Martenus Bere hetan ona rekonesimentu husi membrus Governu, liu husi deklarasaun iha media komunikasaun social, nudar desizaun politika nebe hotu-hotu tenke respeita.

Martenus Bere, komandante milisia Laksaur, responsavel ba masakre Suai nebe hamate ema nain atus rua, hahalok-aat nebe mosu bainhira halao referendum ba independensia Timor Leste, nebe halo ona tinan sanolu, hetan libertasaun liu hosi aktu politiku, lao’os prosesu judicial.

PM rasik iha nia deklarasaun ba media komunikasaun social iha semana ikus, hatente katak nia maka fo’o ordem hasai Martenus Bere husi Kadeia Bekora, la liu husi prosesu judicial, no nia simu responsabilidade tomak ba ida ne’e.

Presidente Konsellu Superior Magistratura Judusial no Tribunal Rekursu Timor Leste rasik desidi ona fo’o ordem halao investigasaun ba “kazu Bere”, hodi buka hare, karik iha duni libertasaun illegal, atu hahu halao prosesu penal no disiplinar ida.

Situasaun aktual tenke hare iha kontextu nebe luan liu, ba vontade Governu no PR atu aprezenta proposta amnistia ba krimes hotu-hotu nebe halao iha Timor Leste hahu tinan 1974 to’o ba oin loron.

Liu tia pedido explikasaun husi deputadus sira ba Governu, nebe Governu la mai hodi esklarese ba buat nebe oras ne’e dau-daun akontese, Parlamentu hetan deit informasaun liu husi media komunikasaun social, ne’e konsidera katak Governu la iha respeito uitoan ba orgaun soberania ida ne’e no tribunal sira, nune tau iha kauza prinsipiu demokratiku importante separasaun poder, tuir artigu 69 Konstituisaun Republika Timor Leste nian, nebe Konstituisaun rasik artigu 156 alinea d) tau baliza ba nia revizaun material.

Desizaun Governu hodi haruka hasai husi kadeia Bekora Sr. Martenus Bere hatudu momo’os kontra hasoru Konstituisaun RDTL no Lei sira nebe oras ne’e vigora iha ita nia rain. Trbunal deit maka iha kompetensia hodi haruka ema tama ka hodi liberta sidadaun naran ida deit, nebe hetan akuzasaun krime ka hetan tia ona sentensa.

Tanba ne’e, so desizaun husi Tribunal nebe iha kompetensia ba materia prosesu ne’e, maka ita bele konsidera nudar desizaun estadu nian. Atu prova, hanesan buat hotu hatudu katak lao’os Tribunal ida maka fo’o ordem hasai Sr. Bere, entaun se’e maka disidi hasai Sr. Bere ne’e illegal, ne’e viola ita nia Konstituisaun, Kodigu Penal no Prosesu Penal RDTL nian.

Bainhira Governu ida halo aktu nebe la respeita Parlamentu, la respeita Tribunal, viola Konstituisaun no viola Lei nebe vigora iha ita nia rain, Governu ne’e la iha ona kondisaun atu dirizi destinu nasaun nian, tamba ne’e merese ita nia censura.


Media Release
Dili, 14 September 2009

FRETILIN / KOTA move to censure government over Bere release

FRETILIN’s parliamentary leader Aniceto Guterres yesterday tabled a Censure Motion in the National Parliament, alleging unconstitutional acts by the Gusmao de facto government in the unlawful release of militia leader Maternus Bere.

The motion is expected to be debated soon. Under Timor-Leste’s constitution, if the motion is passed by a majority of parliament, the President will have grounds to dismiss the government and call for the formation of a new one.

FRETILIN has 21 seats in the 65 member parliament. The censure motion was supported by the MP from the KOTA party.

Bere had been placed in custody on the orders of the Suai District Court, pending his trial for his alleged involvement in multiple crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, deportation, kidnap and torture in Timor-Leste in September 1999 following the announcement of the pro-independence referendum result.

“Maternus Bere is one of the most wanted militia leaders from the 1999 violence in our country”, said Mr Guterres.

“He was indicted, arrested, brought before a court and ordered to stand trial for the crimes he is alleged to have committed, and to be imprisoned pending his trial. On August 30, 2009, for purely political reasons and without a court order, the Prime Minister is said to have instructed the Justice Minister to release him from this lawful imprisonment. The President of the Court of Appeal, the equivalent of our Chief Justice of our highest court, has confirmed that a court order to release Bere was never issued. That makes his release unlawful and a crime punishable under section 245 of the Criminal Code with a term of imprisonment of between 2 to 6 years,” said Mr Guterres.

On September 10, 2009, the Dili weekly news agency Tempo Semanal reported an interview with the Prime Minister where he said: “I am ready because I did release him,” and, “I know where Becora prison is, so as soon as a court sentences me I will go there myself.”

His Justice Minister Lucia Lobato has also stated several times in the media that Bere’s release was a “political decision”.

“The government has usurped the powers constitutionally mandated to the judiciary. They have interfered with the course of justice. On their own admission, they have broken the law. President of the Court of appeal has stated publicly that a judicial investigation has been launched and that will in due course call whoever was responsible for the unlawful release to account before the criminal courts,” said Mr Guterres.

“Regardless of that eventuality, it is also important that the government be held responsible for this undermining of the rule of law, justice and the rights of victims. That is why we have submitted this censure motion,” Guterres added.

“The Bere release has thrust the justice issue to the forefront of our national politics. This censure motion is intended to draw the line on where the parties in the parliament stand on justice and the rule of law.

“If the government’s allies blindly close ranks behind Mr Gusmao, they will be at risk of siding against justice for the victims of the 1999 violence and for promoting impunity. This censure debate in itself will be a victory for the rule of law and justice in our young democracy,” Guterres closed.

For further information please contact Jose Teixeira MP on +670 728 7080


Dili, 15 Setembru 2009

FRETILIN/ KOTA hatama Mosaun Censura hasoru Governo AMP tamba liberta Maternus Bere Ilegal.

Chefe Bancada Parlamentar FRETILIN hatama Mosaun Censura ida tuir artigu 111 Konstituisaun RDTL hasoru desizaun ilegal no inkonstitusional Governo de facto AMP, bainhira hasai prizioneiru Maternus Bere husi prizaun Becora iha loron 30 fulan Agostu. Bere dadur iha prizaun Becora tamba Tribunal Distrital Suai fo’o orden nia tama prizaun preventiva, hein prosesu tuir mai, ba kazus allegasoens krimes kontra umanidade.

Maternus Bere komandante milisia ne’ebe responsavel ba masakre Suai ne’ebe hamate ema atus rua iha 1999. Nia hetan prisaun preventiva tuir ordem Tribunal nian. Bainhira sira hasai nia husi Komarka Becora iha loron 30 Agostu 2009, sira viola lei no konstitusau. Tuir informasaun ne’ebe Bancada FRETILIN hetan ordem ne’e mai husi PM de facto ba nia Ministra Justica de facto. Presidente Tribunal Rekursu hatete ona katak la iha Tribunal ida ne’ebe fo sai ordem atu hasai prisioneiru ne’e . Tamba ne’e prosesu hasai Maternus Bere ne’e ilegal no krime tuir artigo 245 Kodigu Penal Timor- Leste nian, no se se deit mak hasai husi komarka ne’e ilegal, bele hetan pena prisaun tinan 2 to’o 6.

Ministra Justisa hatete ona ba media katak desizaun liberta Bere ne’e “desizaun estadu” no desizaun Politika.”Maibe Guterres hateten katak So desizaun husi Tribunal ne’ebe ha kompetencia ba materia prosesu ne’e, maka ita bele konsidera nudar desizaun estadu nian.

Guterres dehan katak, responsablidade Kriminal ne’e Tribunais deit mak iha kompetensia atu determina, maibe Parlamentu Nasional mos iha kbi’it nudar orgaun fiskalizador ba lalaok Governo nian atu buka resposablidade politika husi governo, tamba klaru ona tuir PM nia Deklarasaun rasik katak sira rekoñese viola lei no konstituisaun.

“Governo hatama nia kanuru tohar ba Tribunal nia kompetensia .Governo halo interferensia ba lalaok justisa nian. Sira viola lei, hanesan presidente Tribunal Rekursu deklara ona, investigasaun husi Juiz Inspector Conselho Superior Majistratura nian atu halao, no tuir mai sei rekomenda ka lae sansaun Kriminal disiplina , hasoru se deit maka responsavel , maske iha investigasaun judicial, tenke mos iha prosesu responsablidade ba politika Governo nia . Atuasaun ne’ebe sama vitimas nia direitu no prinsipiu estadu de direitu no separasaun poderes nian. Tamba ne’e mak Bancada FRETILIN hatama Mosaun Censura,”Guterres hatutan.

Xefe Bancada FRETILIN husu debate bele halao iha tempu badak, hodi rona governo nia esplikasaun bainhira sira mai defende a’an hasoru Mosaun ne’e. “Asuntu hasai Bere husi Komarka ne’e mosu nudar polemika bot ida no foti kestaun justisa no Estadu Direitu sai assuntu bot liu iha ita nia rain. Maske Proponentes Mosaun hein katak maioria sei nafatin vota kontra mosaun no fo protesaun ba governo ,importante mos ba futuru justisa no estadu de direitu democratiku atu halao debate ida ne’e,” Guterres taka.

Ba informasaun tan dere ba Sr. Deputadu Aniceto Guterres iha + 670 723 8569.

Statement to the National Parliament plenary

29 September 2009

Madam President of the National Parliament
Distinct members,
People of Timor-Leste,

The FRETILIN party in this parliament has raised many times, and will continue to raise again as many times as is necessary, what has become the “Big Scandal” in which the de facto Prime Minister himself has been implicated regarding the illegal release of Maternus Bere, who was in custody in Becora Prison awaiting trial pursuant to a court order.

The Laksaur militia leader Maternus Bere who was accused of crimes against humanity as co-accused of the massacre at the Suai Church in 1999. The leader and member of the militia group was indicted by the Dili District Court Serious Crimes Panel and a warrant issued for his arrest in 2003. He was arrested in Suai by the police pursuant to this arrest warrant, subsequently being remanded into custody by the Judge of the Suai court whilst awaiting trial.

But, as we all know, according to statements made by the Prime Minister himself to the press, that on the 30th of August 2009, that he himself in the name of the de facto government, decided to order the release of Maternus Bere from Becora prison. The President of the Court of Appeal and the Superior Council for the Judiciary himself has stated in a communiqué confirmed to us all that no court order was ever issued for the release Maternus Bere.

Madam President
Distinct Members,

As a political party in this country we are conscious and want to, as you all are too, to promote the primacy of the national interest, over and above group interests or political interests. Many people have spoken a great deal of late of the “national interest”, but some have interpreted “national interest” as being something very subjective, according to their own objectives, placing the “national interest” as being in the interests of one or two people only, a single group’s or party’s own interests, as if these were in truth the “national interest”.

The Maternus Bere case is one that is inextricably linked to justice for all the crimes committed in the past, from 1974 to 1999. Article 160 of our Constitution states very clearly that crimes, such as crimes those against humanity, genocide and crimes of war, committed during that period have to be tried criminally in national and or international courts.

It is within this context of administering or not justice, that the freeing of Maternus Bere, has to be seen, and whether there is in fact political will by the branches of our state to abide by the constitution or grant amnesties for crimes committed between 1974 to 1999.

His Excellency the President of the Republic has spoken many times during meetings with the leaders of our national political parties and parliamentary groups of his ideas for a draft law to grant amnesties that would close the 1974 to 1999 chapter of our history. Because amnesties are within the exclusive legislative powers of the National Parliament, it is the National Parliament that must take the initiative to draft such a law, to give continuation to this initiative from the President of the Republic.

As we have said many times, the FRETILIN parliamentary group has not closed the doors to the President’s initiative, and because it is an issue of national importance to our state, the FRETILIN group in parliament is ready to discuss the issue in order to find national consensus, when the majority in parliament takes the initiative to proceed with this debate. The FRETILIN parliamentary group has demanded many times that the CAVR and TFC reports be debated as the starting point to move this process forward, but this is yet to happen because the AMP group in parliament does not want to give priority to debating these reports.

The Government and its AMP group does not want to use its majority in parliament to take the initiative and present a draft amnesty law for discussion. This shows clearly that it is the AMP that lacks the political will and seriousness to address this issue as being in the national interest. Then, as we have recently seen when there is a strong reaction to the Government’s breach of the constitution and the criminal code because they released Maternus Bere without a court order, they try to justify it by saying it was a political decision or a decision of the state and that it was in the national interest. Trying to justify it thus, they want to force everyone else to accept their decision despite it being illegal and unconstitutional, denigrating our national sovereignty and shaming the whole state in the process.

If this was a decision in the national interest, then, why do it clandestinely and without legal or other formal proceedings? Why did the Prime Minister himself, as he has publicly admitted, order the release of Bere and not the President of the Republic? Why was he released right on the 30th of August 2009, why could it not have waited for a court order? So, was then this decision made in the national interest, or in the AMP’s interests? The people all know that it was in fact the AMP’s interests.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs continues to try to defend this decision on the basis that the government freed him in order that he be deported or extradited to Indonesia. Maybe they are just trying to pass the “hot potato” onto Indonesia, but there has never been an agreement for this effect prior to his release, and until this day no agreement has been entered into. We all already know that Indonesia will not easily enter into a formal agreement regarding this case.

Madam President,

Justice for past crimes, especially those from 1974 and 1999, are a question of national importance and deserve our utmost attention.

However, what really concerns FRETILIN now, is the illegal and unconstitutional release of Maternus Bere, the breach of those laws and constitution of Timor-Leste that bind us all.

If Indonesia pressured Timor-Leste, it was because they were defending their interests, including force us to forget the crimes committed against our people, by their generals, their militias and others. But, why was it that Hasan Wirayuda did not free Maternus Bere himself? Or why did they not send their military forces to open the Becora prison gates to free this militia?

Because, more than Timor-Leste it seems, as an independent and sovereign state, they have their own sovereignty and their own laws that they abide by. They respect Timor-Leste’s internal affairs, and because they respect the fact that pursuant to international law, states should not interfere in one another’s internal affairs.

The Constitution of the Republic states that as a state the RDTL is a state under the rule of law, democratic and sovereign, with separation of powers between constitutional bodies of state, that is the legislature, executive, presidency and judiciary branches. The judiciary administers justice in the name of the people, and they are guaranteed total independence without interference from anyone or any other institution of state, administering justice according only to the laws and the constitution.

The constitution of the Republic also states that the state of Timor-Leste is subordinate to the constitution and the law, and each body of state exercises only the powers and functions attributed to it by the constitution. It follows that only those acts that are within a constitutional bodies’ powers as stated in the constitution are valid.

This is what comprises the state of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, represented by the four constitutional bodies of state, and though separate, they are also inter-dependent. Though the President of the Republic can for example grant pardons or commute sentences of persons, it is only after he or she has been convicted after a judicial process, and he does so through a Presidential Decree. However, only the National Parliament acting a collective body can grant amnesties to persons through either a resolution or an amnesty law.

Indonesia has shown many times since 2002 that it respects our sovereignty, respects our justice system, but it seems that what we have now seen is that it is some of our political leaders who are set on denigrating our national sovereignty, weakening our justice system and breaking our own laws, with irrational purport. Is this what is in the national interest!

It certainly is not! If it was the President who in fact decided on this prisoner’s release, then where are his constitutional powers to do so? What is the number of the pertinent Presidential Decree? Which article of the decree? If it was the government that so decided, where in the constitution are its powers to do so? Which article of the constitution permits it to do so?

However, the answers to these questions are irrelevant now, because His Excellency the Prime Minister himself has stated publicly and it was reported in the media that it was he who ordered the release of the prisoner Maternus Bere from prison without a judicial order or process, and that he himself is prepared to accept the responsibility for it. This is the critical point, as it is more than clear that the actions of the Prime Minister in ordering the release are illegal as it breaches 245 of the Criminal Code, unconstitutional and especially because he has publicly confessed to the commission of that crime in breach of the Criminal Code.

Madam President,
Illustrious Members,

Our state is seated on the constitution and the laws, and that is why it is said to be a state under the rule of law. We all come to sit in this parliament because the constitution establishes the path for us to do so and empowers us to enact laws that every citizen must to obey. So does the government.

How is it then when we ourselves are then able to negate the constitution and the law as has recently happened, where the government puts itself above the law and jumps over the constitution? It is this that is creating a great deal of unease, just as it has caused grave concern for us FRETILIN as the opposition: where is this state being taken? All citizens have a constitutional duty to demand to know who is responsible for and to demand political responsibility from, as well as criminal responsibility, the government’s decision to order the unlawful release of Bere.

It is in this context that we the FRETILIN members of this parliament, together with KOTA have tabled a censure motion demanding the AMP government accept political responsibility for their actions.

Pursuant to Article 107 of the Constitution, the government, as a political organ led by the Prime Minister, has to come to the national parliament as the people’s elected representatives to account for their actions.

The Censure Motion is a constitutional means for us to demand responsibility from the government. This is normal in any democracy in the world. This Censure Motion is a means for us to attempt to restore the sovereignty of this state, to dignify the rule of law, to strengthen our peoples’ confidence in the law and the justice system in Timor-Leste.

Members opposite from the AMP should not be uneasy with what we have tabled. The stability of the AMP alliance is in your hands. FRETILIN will not be mobilizing anyone to demonstrate or to be violent, we will not be organizing petitioners, but there are no longer any petitioners anyway, we will not be aiding and abetting the rebel major Alfredo Reinado to intimidate people with firearms, as he is already dead anyway; all the things you did to us including invent false allegations to bring down the FRETILIN government in 2006.

We know one other, and we know who has fomented instability in the past and who has contributed to democracy and peace in this country. A gentleman by the name of Rui Lopes has started to open his mouth in court to tell the truth.

FRETILIN is very aware that the AMP government will not fall because of this motion, because you members opposite will vote against our Censure Motion. That is your right. But when you exercise that right, FRETILIN will also then have a right to ensure the people of Timor-Leste know, the international community and everyone else know, that the roots of AMP’s dictatorship are entrenched in Timor-Leste in a way worse than even the Suharto regime ever was, because the AMP does not obey the constitution or the laws of the land, because they have dismantled the rule of law, they want to rule with force, with intimidation, with violence, as they did before they took power in this country.

Thank you.

Aniceto Guterres

Bancada Parlamentar FRETILIN
Nota Komonikadu ba Imprensa

Dili, 17 Setembru 2009

Tuir Konstituisaun RDTL: Parlamento Nacional Iha Direitu Defende Estadu de Direitu Demokratiku

Relasiona ho publiksaun noticia iha Jornal Nacional Diario loron 16/09/2009 ho titulu noticia PR Ramos Horta : “Parlamento Nacional Laos fatin konfrontasaun".

Ho deklarasaun Presidente Republika ne’e, Bancada Parlamentar Fretilin iha uma fukun Parlamento Nacional,hatoo nota komonikadu katak, deklarasaun ne’e laloos tamba Parlamento Nacional la’os deit nudar orgaun nebe iha knar fiskalizador, maibe Parlamento Nacional mos fatin halo debate no fatin hamosu diferensia ideas, Parlamentu Nacional iha direitu hamosu nia pozisaun rasik, karik desijaun balu hasai iha Estadu ne’e illegal no inkonstitusional.

Tamba Parlamentu Nasional nudar orgaun soberania ida nebe iha kompetensia atu lakonkorda desizaun ruma, bainhira desizaun ne’e, la tuir konstituisaun RDTL nebe konsagra tia ona iha nasaun ida ne’e.

Parlamentu Nacional hanesan fatin bersu moris demokrasia, fatin hametin demokrasia, fatin halo debate no fatin hamosu diferensia ideas, maka Parlamento Nacional iha direitu atu hatoo nia preokupasaun ba desijaun saida deit, no kontra mos desijaun saida deit, bainhira desijaun balu halao la tuir konstituisaun no lei nebe iha.

Bainhira buat hotu halao tuir konstituisaun no lei, no regras sira nebe iha, ne’e laos konfrontasaun. Konfrontasaun bainhira ema tuda malu , ema sunu uma. Bainhira orgaun soberania ida hatudu nia aan, hodi defende estadu de direitu demokratiku no separasaun de poderes, ne’e la viola, la kontra konstituisaun no lei, ne’e laos konfrontasaun.

Tuir artigu 70 konstituisaun RDTL hatete partidus politikus sira iha direitu ba oposizaun demokratika, no mos direitu atu hetan informasaun regular no diretamente kona ba lalaok asuntu interese nasional.

Ne’e duni deklarasaun Presidente Republika nian nebe hateten katak Parlamentu laos fatin konfrontasaun ne’e laloos, tamba Parlamentu Nacional mak fatin debate, fatin diferensia ideas, fatin direitu oposizaun, ne’e maka demokrasia, ne’e laos konfrontasaun.

Informasun kompletu kontaktu : Deputadu Jose Teixeira, No HP : + 670 728 7080 Staf Media Officer, no. HP : + 670 7345 195.