Former armed forces chief Wiranto yesterday blamed the systematic militia violence in East Timor on the UN-administered ballot of August 1999, and on 'emotional and uneducated' East Timorese. Rather than being the architect of militia rampages which left hundreds dead and saw 250,000 East Timorese forced out of their homes, Mr Wiranto said he was the peacemaker. The retired general has yet to answer a summons to face trial on war crimes charges but was in court yesterday as a witness for former East Timor police chief Timbul Silaen, who is charged with crimes against humanity. 'The chaos happened because of dissatisfaction over the irregularities in the vote,' Mr Wiranto said. Indonesian officials were openly shocked when results from the 1999 ballot showed an overwhelming vote by East Timor to secede from Indonesia, which had invaded the former Portuguese colony in December 1975. 'I tried to reconcile the two conflicting parties,' he said during a press conference after the trial adjourned. 'I imposed a state of emergency aimed at restoring peace and order in East Timor. I have done a lot.' His position reflects the standard Indonesian ideology that the loss of its 27th province was due to meddling by outsiders, rather than Indonesia's record of terror in the territory. 'Indonesian security forces had an extraordinarily difficult mission - I call it Mission Impossible,' Mr Wiranto told the court in three hours of testimony yesterday. 'After 23 years of conflict between pro-integration groups and those against integration, in one month we had to unite them and to consider pro-independence groups as brothers and sisters.' Then-president Bacharuddin Habibie authorised the UN ballot in a shock decision, and spy transcripts from Australia have shown that senior generals immediately began a shadow operation to force the East Timorese into choosing continued integration with Indonesia, and later to punish the 80 per cent of East Timorese who chose independence. 'I told the president at the time that if the autonomy option was rejected I suggested security be handed over to the United Nations and Indonesia become part of it [the UN mission],' Mr Wiranto told the packed courtroom. His comments were part of the ongoing trial of Timbul and 18 other high-ranking officials, including former East Timor Governor Abilio Soares. Timbul is accused of allowing the massacre of 117 people from April 1999 to September 1999. The civilians had taken refuge in churches and homes of religious leaders. Human rights groups say Mr Wiranto should be in the dock himself, and that the trials are flawed because judges are inexperienced, corrupt and subject to political manipulation.