E Timor trial 'staged'

DILI (AP) - On the opening day of his trial, the East Timorese rebel leader Jose Alexandre Gusmao was charged with instigating a pro-independence demonstration in which Indonesian troops killed scores of people. Mr Gusmao was charged with sedition and illegal possession of firearms. The charges carry a possible life sentence.

In Lisbon, Portugal's President Mario Soares said the trial was being staged by the Indonesian authorities. 'They want to achieve political effects that will convince no one,' Mr Soares said. He noted that Mr Gusmao had not been allowed to choose his lawyer and that neither Amnesty International nor any other legal organisation was allowed to attend. Indonesia annexed the former Portuguese colony in 1976.

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