Masters of Terror
Home | Map | Search
Browse list of major EVENTS
Suspects by NAME
Suspecs by STATUS
Suspects by RANK
Map of East Timor
Elite Forces

  Suspect outline
Intelligence officer
District command (Kodim) 1636

First Lt (Inf) Sutrisno

Chief of intelligence (pasi intel) at the Bobonaro district military headquarters, based in Maliana (Kodim 1636 Bobonaro)

Lt Sutrisno is responsible for numerous abuses in the Bobonaro district in 1999, including two of the most shocking massacres in all East Timor that year. He has been indicted in absentia three times before the Dili Special Panel for crimes against humanity.[1] Nine sergeants and two corporals in the intelligence section he commanded have also been indicted in absentia for crimes against humanity. They all commanded murderous militia groups around Maliana. The indictment for the Maliana massacre of 8 September 1999 (see LtCol Burhanuddin Siagian). describes in detail how Sutrisno and his staff organised the DMP militia and led them into action on many occasions.

One indictment concerns abuses Sutrisno committed in March-April 1999. On 21 March he and some other soldiers arrested and tortured Domingos Guterres, a driver for CNRT, at the Bobonaro district command headquarters (kodim) in Maliana. Guterres was detained nearly a month. On 22 March he and some others arrested and tortured CNRT leader Jose Andrade at the subdistrict military headquarters (koramil) in Maliana. Andrade was later transferred to the police and detained about two weeks.

On 12 April 1999 he took part in TNI reprisals against the population of Cailaco subdistrict. The reprisals were for a Falintil ambush that killed pro-autonomy leader Manuel Gama. The story is told under his superior, LtCol Burhanuddin Siagian. Sutrisno tortured detainees, and later executed seven of them.

Sutrisno is also said to have organised a 29 June 1999 stone-throwing attack on the UN compound in Maliana. When presented with evidence of complicity in the attack, he jokingly replied: 'If I was involved, everyone would have been killed.'[2]

According to East Timorese human rights activists, Lt Sutrisno on 8 July 1999 addressed a meeting of the Dadurus Merah Putih militia in Bobonaro, where he encouraged them to kill at least four or six Unamet staff, in order to provoke 'Nato' into attacking Jakarta. (This was a reference to the Nato intervention in Kosovo at the time).  He also told the meeting, held at the local military headquarters (Kodim Bobonaro in Maliana), that if the independence side should win the TNI was ready to fight anyone. He then instructed the militia to organise a boycott of the ballot, and to force people to display the Indonesian colours red and white.[3]

Also in July 1999, the East Timor press reported that Lt Sutrisno had issued a death threat to journalist Lourence Vicente Martins, who worked for the Jakarta Post as well as Suara Timor Timur. Lourence was the 'enemy' of all the militias and of the Bobonaro military command, Sutrisno shouted emotionally in front of a crowd. He accused Lourenco of having brought a Unamet staff member to Bobonaro and of reporting violent incidents that had occurred there. 'We will find him wherever he may try to hide', Sutrisno yelled. The previous April, heavily armed militias controlled by Joao Tavares had destroyed the home in Maliana of this same journalist, for writing reports that 'discredited' them.[4]

Sutrisno's deputy commander of intelligence was Sgt Asis Fontes. Sutrisno, Asis Fontes, and eight Dadurus Merah Putih militia members under their control were again indicted in absentia for crimes against humanity before the Special Panel for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court on 24 June 2002. They allegedly carried out a deadly attack on two Unamet staff members, Ruben B Soares and Domingos Pereira, in Raifun village near Maliana on 2 September 1999.[5]

One of the worst massacres of the year occurred at the Maliana police station on 8 September 1999, four days after the ballot result was announced (see LtCol Burhanuddin Siagian, his commanding officer, in this collection). The indictment against him in Dili over this event (the Maliana indictment) says Sutrisno was present and helped dispose of the bodies afterwards. KPP HAM had earlier also noted Sutrisno's direct involvement in killing.[6]


First Lt Sutrisno, a 44-year old officer from Surabaya, previously served as a sub-district military commander in nearby Cailaco from 1990 to 1994. After East Timor he was posted to Aceh.

Extra Information

Implicated in Events:
Cailaco - 13/04/1999 - Public execution of 5 (6?) suspected pro-independence supporters, Cailaco, Bobonaro

Maliana - 8/09/1999 - Maliana police station massacre

Current Status:
T - Committed for trial in East Timor, some already sentenced.

K - KPP HAM. Listed in the 31/01/2000 report of the Indonesian commission of inquiry into atrocities committed in East Timor in 1999. More junior figures in Appendix 5 of the final report are added here under their superiors.

See map of location

This individual is also mentioned in these profiles:
Natalino Monteiro
Guilherme dos Santos
LtCol Burhanuddin Siagian

[1] He was indicted on 4 February 2003 for the Cailaco massacre and other abuses of March-April 1999: no case number yet, indictment available online at under ‘The Cailaco case’; on 24 June 2002 for an attack on Unamet personnel in September 1999: Case 5/ 2002 Serious Crimes trial documents (not available on the JSMP website yet); and on 10 July 2003 mainly for the Maliana massacre of 8 September 1999 (available on JSMP website).

[2] Mark Dodd, 'Frontier town becomes the UN's acid test', Sydney Morning Herald, 27 July 1999 (where Sutrisno's name is mis-spelled Satrisno).

[3] 'Catatan perjalanan di bumi Loro Sa'e (18)', MateBEAN, 29 December 1999.

[4] 'Lagi, wartawan STT diancam TNI', MateBEAN, 7 July 1999; 'Rumah wartawan STT dihancurkan', MateBEAN, 29 April 1999.

[5] The DMP members were Joao Baptista, Vitalis Fernandes, Marito Lelo Bere Moreira, Jose Soares, Salvador Soares, Humberto Lopes, Martinho Afonso and Manuel (last name unknown).

[6] See also Jill Jolliffe, 'A traumatised town craving UN justice', Sydney Morning Herald, 27 November 1999.


Home | Copyright | About