Timor rebel denied defence

An Indonesian court in Dili stopped the captured East Timor rebel leader Xanana Gusmao from reading his defence statement, and is expected to convict him on Friday, Reuter reports from Jakarta. 'He was stopped after a few minutes. His defence was considered irrelevant by the judges,' said a court official.

The trial has become a focus of international concern about human rights in the former Portuguese colony since its invasion by Indonesia in 1975. Mr Xanana was captured last year after leading the Fretilin independence movement since the late 1970s. He could theoretically face the death penalty but is expected to get a life sentence.