quarta-feira, 30 de janeiro de 2013

Court of Appeal examines application for habeas corpus brought by former Timor-Leste minister’s defence lawyers

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Dili, 29 Jan (Lusa) - The Timor-Leste Court of Appeal is considering an application for habeas corpus presented by the defense of former Timor-Leste Justice Minister Lucia Lobato, said today the lawyer of the former minister, Sérgio Hornai.

The former Minister of Justice of Timor-Leste was arrested a week ago to serve her sentence of five years in prison that was handed down for economic participation in business.

According to the lawyer for Lucia Lobato, the habeas corpus petition, delivered on Wednesday, alleged that were errors and unconstitutionality in the judicial process. Sérgio Hornai also noted that the decision of the Court of Appeal should be announced between now, Monday and next Wednesday.

A source from the Court of Appeal contacted by Lusa confirmed that a decision will be announced by the President of the Court of Appeal before next Wednesday.

The former justice minister in Timor-Leste’s Fifth Government, headed by Xanana Gusmão, was sentenced on 08 June last year to five years in prison by the Dili District Court for a crime of economic participation in business.

The crime involved the acquisition of uniforms to equip warders in the National Directorate of the Prison and Probation Service.

In the judgment of the court, the minister was also ordered to pay $ 4,350 ($3,256 euros on current exchange rates).

The minister was acquitted of two counts of the crimes of abuse of power and willful maladministration. On June 25 last year, Lucia Lobato's defense appealed the verdict to the Court of Appeal, which after almost six months dismissed her appeal in December last year.

Last Tuesday, at a press conference on the day before her arrest, Lucia Lobato accused the Timorese judges of politicizing the judicial process and violating her rights as a citizen.

An official of the Timor-Leste Ministry of Justice, who was sentenced to five years in prison and to pay a fine to the state of more than 37,000 euros in the same case, also lodged an appeal calling for habeas corpus.

MSE / / MLL.

Lusa / End
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