The Special Panels of the Dili District Court operated from 2002 – 2006.
UNTAET and the Indonesian Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 5/6 April 2000, for cooperation in legal, judicial, and human rights–related matters. It stated that parties would ensure that warrants of arrest would be enforced and that accused persons would be transferred. The MOU had little practical effect because the Indonesian authorities claimed that the agreement had to be ratified by the Indonesian government, and it was limited to the period of UN administration in East Timor.
- UNTAET Regulation 2000/15 (approved in July 2000) stated that pursuant to Section 10.3 of UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/11, there shall be established panels of judges within the District Court in Dili with exclusive jurisdiction to deal with serious criminal offences.
- On September 25, 2000, UNTAET Regulation 2000/30 defined the Transitional Rules of Criminal Procedure.
The Special Panels of the Dili District Court have jurisdiction over crimes outlined in UNTAET Regulation 2000/15 committed during January 1, 1999 – 29 October, 1999. UNTAET Regulation 2000/15 defines the panels’ subject matter jurisdiction over crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, murder, sexual offences, and torture. Section 8 and 9 of UNTAET regulation states that laws on murder and sexual offences, as defined by the East Timor Penal Code, will also apply.
Status of Cases
- At the time of its closure, the SCU had indicted 391 people in 95 separate indictments. 37 Indonesian military officers from the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI), 4 Indonesian police chiefs, 60 Timorese TNI officers and soldiers, the former civilian Governor of East Timor, and 5 former District Administrators.
- 339 of those indicted remained at large outside the jurisdiction.
- There were 3 acquittals out of the first 84 tried, one of which was subsequently overturned by the Court of Appeals.