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IN BRIEF / INDONESIA

General Acquitted of Rights Violations

May 23, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

A former Indonesian military commander was acquitted of committing human rights violations during East Timor's bloody struggle for independence in 1999. Brig. Gen. Tono Suratman was accused of failing to prevent the deaths of five refugees during an April 1999 attack on a church, and the killing of a dozen others at an independence leader's home two weeks later.

Suratman, now the military's deputy spokesman, is the 12th defendant to be acquitted by an Indonesian tribunal. Human rights activists have criticized the trials as a sham.

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