Teves extradition hearings over; ruling out by end-June

Teves extradition hearings over; ruling out by end-June

/ 05:32 AM June 19, 2024

Teves' quick deportation from Timor-Leste just 'balderdash' – lawyer extradition

Expelled lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr. —Inquirer file photo

MANILA, Philippines — The government is expecting a decision on the extradition case against expelled lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr. in Timor-Leste by the end of the month, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the DOJ confirmed that the court hearings for the case of the former Negros Oriental representative have ended and both parties were given time to submit their respective position papers.


“Submission is sequential, not simultaneous. Timor-Leste Central Authority will have to submit first its memorandum/position paper followed by Teves camp,” the DOJ said.


“The DOJ is optimistic that a favorable decision will be made by the Court of Appeals, particularly as our witnesses were able to effectively counter the arguments raised by the camp of Teves,” it added.

Best shot

The former lawmaker’s legal counsel in the Philippines, Ferdinand Topacio, refused to provide an assessment of the hearings but added that their camp “gave it [their] best shot.”

Teves fled to Timor-Leste to evade prosecution in the Philippines for multiple charges that included murder. He was arrested by authorities on March 21.

He had been pinpointed as the mastermind in the March 2023 killing of his political rival, former Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, and nine other individuals in Pamplona town.

Last week, Teves was placed under house arrest by the Court of Appeals in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste, while awaiting his extradition proceedings.

“After having determined that he is not a flight risk and that he has not violated any laws, he was placed under guard in his residence simply to ensure his attendance in the hearings,” Topacio said.


Justice Undersecretary Raul Vasquez, however, countered that whether Teves would be in custody, rearrested or under house arrest, he was still “under the control of the police authorities.”

According to the DOJ, Teves will be under 24-hour security, with only family members given permission to visit him.

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The House of Representatives voted to expel Teves in August last year for disorderly conduct and his refusal to come home to face the allegations against him. He was on medical leave in the United States when Degamo was killed.

TAGS: Arnolfo Teves Jr., extradition, Timor Leste

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