Timor-Leste court orders house arrest for Arnie Teves

Posted by watchmen
June 17, 2024
Posted in News

The Court of Appeals in Dili, Timor-Leste ordered former Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves, Jr. to be placed on house arrest, saying that he remains a “flight risk.”

According to data provided by Timor-Leste media agency Hatutan.com, the court noted that Teves is facing multiple murder charges in the country and that he came to Timor-Leste by private plane in April 2023.

The court noted that he lives in a rented house with a monthly rent of $10,000 with his wife and two children and has more than 20 employees, 10 of which were Filipino and 10 of which were Timorese.

The court also noted that he was working as a partner of a construction firm, whose owner gave him financial support.

“Given the facts above, it is concluded that the risk of flight persists for the extraditee, especially since he has the financial means to leave Timor-Leste,” the Court said.

The Court said that flight risk is mitigated by applying the Coercive Measure of House Arrest as provided in Article 193 of the CPP, in addition to the Terms of Identity and Residence provided in Article 186 of the CPP.

“I order … the arrested individual below named is to be taken to house arrest at his residence to await further extradition proceedings,” it said.

The Court also found Teves’ detention to be valid as it was carried out following a detention warrant issued by a judge.

When sought for comment, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, Teves’ legal counsel, confirmed that Teves was placed under house arrest but denied that it was because he was found to be a flight risk.

“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 told reporters.

Topacio added that Teves’ risk was “not so high that he should remain in jail.”

Meanwhile, Justice Undersecretary Raul Vasquez also confirmed Teves’ house arrest.

He said that Teves is “deprived of liberty” regardless.

“Regardless of whether he is in custody, rearrested or house arrest, he is under the control of the police authorities,” Vasquez said.

Teves is facing multiple murder charges for the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and others at the home of the then-governor on March 4, 2023.

The former lawmaker has denied the accusations.

He was arrested in Dili, Timor-Leste while playing golf based on the Interpol red notice issued against him in February.

Aside from the murder of Degamo, Teves and others have also been charged with the deaths of three individuals in Negros Oriental in 2019.

He also denied involvement in those charges.

Teves and 12 others have also been designated as terrorists by the Anti-Terrorism Council, citing several alleged killings and harassment in Negros Oriental.

In early February, a Manila court ordered the cancellation of his passport.

He was expelled by the House of Representatives in August last year for disorderly conduct and continued absence despite an expired travel authority. (GMA Integrated News)


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