PCIC Faces Political Uncertainty

PCIC Faces Political Uncertainty post thumbnail image

Photo: Fundasaun Mahein, April 2024

 

Numerous media reports have circulated recently in Timor-Leste describing allegations of extortion or corruption involving personnel of the Scientific and Criminal Investigation Police (PCIC). Fundasaun Mahein (FM) believes that this case is extremely serious and requires immediate and concrete action to guarantee its resolution according to existing laws and rules. In addition, FM would like to share further information regarding other controversial incidents involving senior PCIC officials. These cases, discussed below, raise serious questions regarding PCIC’s current leadership, as well as about the future of PCIC as an institution:

  • A crime allegedly committed by a PCIC member was registered with the Public Prosecutor and Anti-Corruption Commission, and the accused was charged with the crime of aggravated fraud due to having received money from a victim of a crime (around $700), as well as abuse of power as the accused utilized the PCIC offices to resolve certain problems. The criminal process is ongoing; however, it appears that the PCIC leadership has archived the disciplinary process, as the officer in question is a “trusted” person of the senior PCIC officer.
  • The same PCIC member allegedly used a PCIC service weapon to threaten another PCIC member regarding a relationship problem. The victim submitted a complaint to PCIC, but there was no action taken, as the accused officer is a “trusted” person of the senior PCIC officer.
  • The son of a senior PCIC officer was illegally provided access to the PCIC shooting range in Kaitehu, Liquicá, to practice shooting using a PCIC service weapon. This case caused significant controversy at the end of 2023, but until now no disciplinary actions have been taken.
  • In March 2024, PCIC personnel provided testimony in a corruption case involving another PCIC member related to bidding for cleaning service contracts at PCIC headquarters in 2021.

As a result of these incidents, FM concludes that:

  • The controversies involving certain PCIC personnel are contributing to an culture of impunity in PCIC, as disciplinary and criminal cases are not being processed and instead being “archived” by senior PCIC officers.
  • Some PCIC members feel that they are being protected by their superiors, and, as a result, violations and criminal acts continue to be committed.
  • Regarding the Program of the IX Government to reform PCIC, certain members who are not favored by PCIC superiors have been replaced based on their particular interest, further contributing to impunity and the weakening of laws and regulations.
  • An institution must have effective leadership in order to function; when institutional leadership is unwilling or unable to ensure that rules are implemented or control its members, the institution is weakened while the state’s image is tarnished.
  • PCIC currently faces political uncertainty as the IX Government has passed a law to form PCIC, but it has not been implemented until now. This uncertainty raises serious questions as the state has invested significant resources to develop PCIC’s capacity as an institution responsible for investigation of complex and organized criminal activities.

Therefore, FM recommends that:

  • Parliamentary Committees A and B conduct urgent oversight of PCIC and create a standing committee to investigate and determine the responsibility of senior PCIC officers for the ongoing controversies and violations;
  • The IX Government audit PCIC’s activities;
  • The Prosecutor General as overseeing entity of the functioning of the police organs inspect, inquire and investigate PCIC personnel who are suspected of involvement in abuse of power, extortion and passive corruption;
  • The Prosecutor General accelerate the investigation process regarding thee accusation of extortion involving certain PCIC members to ensure that the case is revolved according to existing laws and regulations.
  • The Government through the Ministry of Justice accelerate the reform of PCIC as mandated in the IX Government Program. (Read)

 

For more information, please contact:

Fundasaun Mahein (FM

E-mail: direktor.mahein@gmail.com

Mobile: (+670) 7831 6075

Website: www.fundasaunmahein.org

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