Urgent Action Victory! Journalists Cleared Of Criminal Defamation (Timor Leste: UA 230.16)

On 1 June, a Dili court cleared Raimundos Oki and Lourenco Vicente Martins of all charges against them. The two Timorese journalists were on trial on criminal “defamatory false information” charges filed by Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister in 2016.

Raimundos Oki and Lourenco Vicente Martins were cleared of criminal defamation on 1 June by a court in Dili, Timor-Leste’s capital. Prime Minister Rui Aria de Araujo filed criminal charges on 22 January 2016 against the two journalists for “defamatory false information” or “slanderous denunciation” under Article 285(1) of the Timor-Leste Criminal Code over a 2015 article they published about irregularities during the tendering process for a government IT project.

On 17 May, the lead prosecutor submitted the final charge sheet against the two men. The prosecutor had called for Raimundos Oki to be jailed for one year and for Lourenco Vincente Martins to be given two years ‘probation with the threat of one year imprisonment’ if he recommitted the same offence during that time.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.