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Timor Leste: Attack on Horta no link with Indonesian gov't
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12:22, April 28, 2008

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Visiting Timor Leste Defense Minister Julio Thomas Pinto said that the attempt to kill Presiden Ramos Horta last February was in no way linked to the Indonesian government or National Defense Forces (TNI), the Antara news agency reported Sunday.

"We hope President Ramos Horta's statement linking the recent attempt on his life with (Indonesia's Metro TV journalist) Desi Anwar will not lead to sensational polemics much less to a disruption in Indonesia-Timor Leste relations," the minister was cited as saying.

In an interview with international media in Dili on April 18, Horta accused Desi of breaching the journalism code of ethics and assisting the abortive assassination attempt.

Desi has denied the accusation and the Indonesian Press Council will meet Horta in Dili to discuss his claims.

Speaking to reporters after giving a lecture at Muhammadiyah University (Unmuh) Malang, Easr Java province Saturday, Pinto saida Timor Leste delegation led by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao which would arrive in Indonesia on Monday (April 28) for talks with the Indonesian government would also deal with and settle the matter.

Pinto who is a graduate from Unmuh said it would be better for the two countries to conduct a joint investigation into the matter so that its results would be shared by the two sides and the problem could be resolved without disturbing the existing good bilateral relations.

But it should be understood that the Timor Leste government had already assigned its prosecutor general to investigate the attack on Horta by a group of army deserters led by Alfredo Reinado, he said.

He hoped the "trivial" issue that had become an irritant in the cordial relations between the two countries could be settled amicably without having to take it to a court of law.


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