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Timor Minister Equipped Police as Private Army

Sydney Morning Herald

19 June 2006

Relevant contents

New details have emerged about an East Timorese Government minister's efforts to turn police into a private army for the ruling Fretilin party and arm civilian hit squads to cow voters and rivals before next year's elections.

The former interior minister, Rogerio Lobato, arranged to secretly import high-powered weapons for the East Timor National Police, who are responsible to the Interior Ministry, on a visit to Kuwait with the Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, about two years ago, the Herald has been told.

"These were not police weapons. This was serious military hardware," a well-placed source said.

ID: N159

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