NBI discusses Teves’ extradition with Timor Leste President

NBI discusses Teves’ extradition with Timor Leste President
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REPRESENTATIVES from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) went to Timor Leste where they met with President Jose Ramos-Horta to discuss the extradition of expelled Negros Oriental representative Arnolfo Teves Jr., who was wanted for murder charges.

In a statement, the NBI said Horta expressed his “earnest desire” to immediately resolve Teves’ case as he emphasized the importance of immediately bringing back Teves to the Philippines.

The NBI said deportation proceedings in Timor Leste may take around 40 days, but they are hoping that this will be sped up considering the extent of criminal charges he is facing back home.

NBI Director Medardo de Lemos expressed gratitude to Horta for its dedication to upholding the rule of law, as he cited the significance of international cooperation.

“The NBI remains committed to fostering strong partnerships with its international counterparts and will continue to work closely with the authorities in Timor-Leste to monitor the extradition process of Teves, who is a fugitive and also considered an undocumented alien in Timor-Leste following the cancellation of his Philippine passport by the Department of Foreign Affairs,” he said

Teves, who was placed on the red notice by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) in February, was arrested in Dili City on Thursday, March 21, while playing golf.

He was wanted for multiple murders, including the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo in March 2023, and several others in 2019.

He repeatedly denied accusations linking him to the murder incidents.

Teves was designated as a terrorist by the Anti-Terrorism Council and his passport was canceled at the orders of the DOJ.

In a statement, Teves legal counsel Attorney Ferdinand Topacio said they are exploring several legal options in Timor Leste including political asylum.

“Trial will resume on Monday. The TL [Timor-Leste] lawyers will then submit arguments in support of other options for Teves, including political asylum,” Topacio said Saturday.

''The TL legal team will meet tomorrow to explore other legal moves, including bringing the persecution of Teves to the United Nations [Human Rights Council],'' he added.

Teves applied for political asylum in Timor Leste in May 2023, but it was denied. (SunStar Philippines)


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