Dili, June 6th 2024. Prosecutor General Alfonso Lopez presented the 2023 annual report of the Public Ministry to Head of State José Ramos-Horta on Wednesday at the Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace.

The annual report details the activities and operations of the Public Ministry over the past year, as required by Articles 27 and 28 of the Ministry’s statute and Article 133.4 of the Timor-Leste constitution.

“This annual report is my duty and responsibility to provide information on the Public Ministry to the National Parliament and the President of the Republic,” Lopez explained after meeting with Ramos-Horta.

In addition to the annual report, Lopez also updated the President on the high-profile case of Filipino fugitive Arnolfo Tevez Jr., who has requested political asylum in Timor-Leste. Tevez’s case is currently in the evidence production phase and awaiting a ruling from the Court of Appeal.

Under Law No. 15/2011, the court procedure must follow set deadlines for appeals. The final phase will see the Supreme Court hear testimony from witnesses proposed by Tevez’s defense within 15 days, after which a final decision will be rendered within 10 days.

Lopez stated that the Head of State is relying on the judicial process to properly decide on Tevez’s request for political asylum. The controversial case has drawn international attention.

The annual report highlights the Public Ministry’s efforts to uphold the rule of law and criminal prosecutions in 2023 across Timor-Leste.

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