Widespread and flagrant violations of international humanitarian and human rights law have been committed in East Timor, In Resolution 1272, the United Nations Security Council, "Expressing its concern at reports indicating that systematic, stressing that persons committing such violations bear individual responsibility, and calling on all parties to cooperate with investigations into these reports" demanded "that those responsible for such violence be brought to justice."
In an effort to fulfill the call for justice in Resolution 1272, United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor (UNTAET) established the Serious Crimes Unit (SCU) to investigate and prosecute War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and individual offences of murder torture and rape committed in East Timor between 1 January and 25 October 1999. All charges brought by the SCU are tried before one of the Special Panels of Serious Crimes, which each consist of two international judges and one East Timorese judge.
Since the independence of East Timor on 20 May 2002, the SCU, which continues to be staffed by the United Nations, has worked under the legal authority of the Prosecutor-General of the Democratic Republic of East Timor (RDTL). Dr. Longuinhos Monteiro.
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