Teves seeks political asylum after arrest in Timor-Leste

Teves seeks political asylum after arrest in Timor-Leste, says lawyer

/ 09:43 PM March 23, 2024

Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves


MANILA, Philippines — Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, the legal counsel of former Negros Oriental representative Arnolfo Teves Jr., said on Saturday that Teves’ legal team in Timor-Leste (TL) is exploring whether Teves can apply for political asylum in the country.

“The TL lawyers by then will submit arguments in support of other options for Rep. Teves, including political asylum,” Topacio said in a message sent to reporters.


READ: DOJ seeks speedy Teves return, but delay seen


READ: DOJ confirms Teves’ arrest in East Timor

Detention extended

Topacio added that Teves’ trial was held on Saturday, and will resume on Monday, and that Teves’ detention in Timor-Leste was extended for a maximum of 15 days or for the duration of the trial.

“Trial was held today (Saturday). Rep. Teves’ detention in TL was extended by the court for another fifteen days maximum, or for the possible duration of the trial,” he said.

No deportation, extradition

Topacio likewise said that there had been no talks of the deportation or extradition of Teves yet.

“Thus, contrary to the claim of [Department of Justice Assistant Secretary Mico] Clavano, neither deportation nor extradition is on the table at this point in the proceedings,” he added.

On Friday, the Department of Justice announced Teves’ arrest in Dili, Timor-Leste by Timorese police and personnel from the International Criminal Police Organization, with the latter whom he has a red notice.


Teves was accused for the killing of former Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo and nine others.

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TAGS: Arnolfo Teves Jr., Timor Leste

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