quinta-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2013

TIMOR-LESTE COURT OF APPEAL DENIES HABEAS CORPUS TO FORMER JUSTICE MINISTER; HER LEGAL DEFENCE HAS CONTRARY INTERPRETATION

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Dili, 30 Jan (Lusa) - The Timor-Leste Court of Appeal today refused the application for habeas corpus by the former Timorese Justice Minister Lucia Lobato, but her defense lawyer mantains a contrary interpretation of the judgment, to which Lusa had access.

The lawyer for Lucia Lobato, who last week was ordered to serve her sentence of five years in prison after being convicted of economic participation in business, today told Lusa that the Court of Appeal had granted habeas corpus to the former minister.

However, the Court of Appeal decision, to which Lusa had access, states: "This judicial panel decides to dismiss the application for habeas corpus made by the applicant Lucia Lobato."

The document is signed by the President of the Court of Appeal, Judge Claudio Ximenes, Judge José Luís da Goia and Judge Maria Natércia Gusmão Pereira.

According to judicial sources, there was an incorrect interpretation of the decision of the majority of two judges who “overruled” the President of the Court of Appeal, whose dissenting reasons were also attached to the majority document justifying the majority decision.

"The application was rejected, but the president of the Court of Appeal voted against the decision," the source said.

The joint decision of the two judges, overruled Judge Claudio Ximenes who in his minority decision wrote that one should consider illegal the arrest of Lucia Lobato "because it was based on conviction not carried over" and "order her immediate release."

"I understand that this collective appeal court should declare void the collective judgment of the appellate court, composed of judges Guilhermino da Silva, Cid and Deolindo Orlando Geraldo dos Santos, who dismissed the appeal inspection on constitutionality filed by defendant (...) and confirmed the condemnatory judgment of the District Court of Dili by this collective being incompetent," wrote the single judge in his justification, that did not convince the other judges.

Lusa contacted the defense attorney Sergio Hornai, who insisted on his interpretation that the decision of the Court of Appeal granted habeas corpus to Lucia Lobato, stating that it was based on the information given in the declaration of the president overruling the earlier the Court of Appeal.

According to the lawyer for Lucia Lobato, the writ of habeas corpus, delivered a week ago, showed that there had been procedural errors and alleged unconstitutionality committed.

The judgment of the Appeal Court stated, "no one can point to any error in this court’s judgment delivered in the present case, which made final and enforceable the conviction of the applicant, so there is no false imprisonment of the same."

The former justice minister in the Timor-Leste 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 involving a government contract.

The crime relates to a government contract for the acquisition of uniform and equipment for warders of the National Directorate of the Prison and Probation Service.

MSE / / VM.

Lusa / End
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