Wanted E. Timor Rebels Extradited

JAKARTA ~ Four rebels wanted over armed attacks against East Timor’s president and prime minister were extradited amid tight security from Indonesia on Monday.

The unidentified four, wearing red T-shirts and handcuffed, were seen boarding a charter plane under heavy armed police escort at the Halim Perdanakusumah airport in East Jakarta.

More uniformed and plainclothes police, some of them armed, were deployed on the runway as the rebels left for East Timor to face justice over the February 11 attacks.

East Timorese Prosecutor General Longuinos Monteiro told reporters during a stopover at the airport on the Indonesian resort island of Bali that the four rebels could face up to 25 years in jail in their home country.

“The four were directly involved in the attacks on the president Jose Ramos-Horta’s residence and the prime minister Xanana Gusmao’s convoy before they illegally crossed the East Timor-Indonesia border,” he said.

Indonesian police arrested the four East Timorese former soldiers – two in a border town in West Timor and two in Jakarta – in the weeks after the failed attacks which almost killed Ramos-Horta.

The president was shot several times when gunmen ambushed him at his Dili residence and had to be flown to Darwin in northern Australia for life-saving surgery.

Gusmao escaped unhurt from a separate ambush on his convoy the same day.

Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado and one of his men were killed in the attacks. Reinado’s deputy, Gastao Salsinha, and 11 of his men gave themselves up to East Timorese police last week.

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