Fugitive ex-congressman Teves now under house arrest in Timor Leste

Expelled lawmaker Arnoldo Teves (in white shirt) with his counsel, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio (left) after he was “released” from preventive detention in Becora Prison in Dili, Timor Leste and rearrested. — Courtesy of Atty. Ferdinand Topacio

MANILA: Former Congressman Arnolfo Teves is currently under house arrest in Timor Leste, both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and his lawyer confirmed on Thursday (June 13).

“We learned from Timor Leste Prosecutor General that former Congressman Teves is now under house arrest. As regardless of whether he is in custody, rearrested or house arrest, he is under the control of the police authorities,” Justice Undersecretary Raul Vasquez told reporters.

Atty Ferdinand Topacio said the Timor Leste Court has allowed the former lawmaker to be placed under house arrest.

“Actually, the court yesterday issued the decision that he should be placed under house arrest,” Topacio said.

He added: “Now, he was not taken right after he was released from Becora prison, from preventive detention. After one hearing, it was determined that Congressman Teves’ flight risk was not that high for him to be in jail or even in the holding area of the Policia Nacional de Timor Leste (PNTL). He was just allowed to stay at home under the guard of the PNTL, so that’s what happened.”

Topacio said Teves is only allowed to go out to attend court hearings. If there are necessary trips such as medical-related visits, it would need court approval.

“He is free to go around his house and his small yard. If he has to go somewhere like medical check-up or anything necessary, he can ask the permission of the court,” he said.

The Timor Leste court is still conducting a hearing on the Philippine government’s extradition request.

Teves has been charged with the 2023 murder of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and nine others in what is now known as the Pamplona Massacre.

Teves has long denied the charges. He refused to return to the Philippines, saying he was subject to political persecution. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

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Philippines , Teves , Timor Leste , house arrest


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