Pires family demands Hu-style support

By Cathy Harper

Posted Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:43pm AEST

Angelita Pires

Angelita Pires is charged with involvement in the attempted assassination of East Timor's President. (AFP: Rosa Garcia, file photo)

The family of an Australian woman facing trial in East Timor says the Australian Government should be giving her more public support.

Angelita Pires is the former lover of the rebel leader Alfredo Reinado and is accused of conspiring with him to assassinate East Timor's President, Jose Ramos Horta, in February last year.

Ms Pires is facing 21 charges in total and says she is ready to fight each count.

Her brother, Antonio Pires, says Australian politicians should be talking about his sister's case like they are talking about Stern Hu, the Australian Rio Tinto executive detained in China.

"I have never heard a mention by the Government like they have mentioned with anyone else," Mr Pires said.

"They have mentioned recently with a gentleman that's being held in China under suspicion of spying.

"But they've never made mention of Angy officially."

Mr Pires says his family believes political pressure will be placed on judges in the case.

"They're not independent in that there's a lot of political pressure on them.

"We believe that the decisions, their judgement, will be influenced by the political system.

"It won't be based on the law itself."

Ms Pires's Darwin-based QC, Jon Tippett, who is in Dili for the trial, says the Australian Government is helping pay her legal fees.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au

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