30 June 2006

Secretary-General Names Members of Independent Special Commission of Inquiry for Timor-Leste

NEW YORK, 29 June (UN Headquarters) -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed Paulo Sergio Pinheiro (Brazil), Zelda Holtsman (South Africa) and Ralph Zacklin (United Kingdom) to the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry for Timor-Leste, tasked with establishing the facts and circumstances relevant to the violent incidents that took place in the country on 28 and 29 April, and on 23, 24 and 25 May.  The mandate of the Commission includes clarifying the responsibility for the events, and recommending measures to ensure accountability for crimes and serious violations of human rights allegedly committed during the period.

Mr. Pinheiro will chair the Commission of Inquiry, which will begin its work in July 2006, and report its findings to the Secretary-General within three months.  The panel will be based in Dili.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour set up the Commission of Inquiry at the request of the Secretary-General earlier this month.  The Government of Timor-Leste had asked formally for an inquiry commission on 8 June.  The Security Council welcomed the initiative in resolution 1690 of 20 June.

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