Teves released from detention in Timor-Leste, says his lawyer

Teves released from detention in Timor-Leste, says his lawyer

By: - Reporter /
/ 06:11 PM June 10, 2024

Teves released from detention in Timor Leste, says his lawyer

Former Rep. Arnoldo Teves with lawyer Ferdinand Topacio. His lawyer said Teves was released from preventive detention in Becora Prison in Dili, Timor Leste. (Photo from Atty. Ferdinand Topacio)

MANILA, Philippines — Former lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr. has been released from Becora Prison in Dili, Timor-Leste, his lawyer, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, said in a message to reporters.

“The request for extradition by the Philippine Government was made out of time and in a manner that is not sanctioned by practice and customary international law,” Topacio said.

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“In other words, our government ‘screwed up.’ Thus, his imprisonment was declared illegal,” he noted.

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Topacio said he was informed by his Timor-Leste counterparts that Teves will have to undergo further proceedings “relating to his continued stay in Timor-Leste which will start tomorrow (Tuesday,) and he will be present therein, together with witnesses in his favor, including former Human Rights Commissioner Wilhelm Soriano, who will be presented as an expert in human rights.”

“The road to justice for Mr. Teves will be long and hard, bloody and painful, but we will never surrender, to paraphrase Winston Churchill,” he added.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has yet to comment on the matter.

Three months have passed since Teves was arrested in Dili, Timor-Leste.

His arrest came three weeks after the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) placed him on its red notice system and his passport canceled by the Manila Regional Trial Court.

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.

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Teves long denied the charges before going into hiding.

He was eventually arrested in Timor-Leste while playing golf in March 2024.

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