Junior Minister for Public Transport Alan Kelly has described the latest revelations on Michael Dwyer’s killing as “hugely significant”.
Mr Dwyer was gunned down by Bolivian armed forces in a hotel room in Santa Cruz in 2009 following which the Bolivian government said he was part of a plot to assassinate the country’s president, Evo Morales.
However, former public prosecutor Marcelo Soza said this week that Mr Dwyer from Borrisokane was unarmed when he was shot on April 16, 2009. He said there was no gun near Mr Dwyer when the police killed him.
Reacting to the claims, Deputy Kelly told the Tipperary Star: “These revelations are hugely significant. Marcelo
Soza, the former public prosecutor who investigated the circumstances of Michael’s death, has told the Irish Times in an interview that Michael was unarmed when he was shot dead in Santa Cruz in 2009. Mr Soza has also rejected claims by the Bolivian government that Michael was in the country as part of a terrorist group.”
Mr Soza, who investigated the case for four years, subsequently fled into exile in Brazil, because, he alleged, the authorities had manipulated his investigation.
He also rejected claims that Mr Dwyer was part of a terrorist group attempting to assassinate President Morales, accusing the Bolivians of misrepresenting the police raid.
He said ballistics and autopsy reports, as well as his own survey following the killing, showed there had been no confrontation in the hotel and a shoot-out had not taken place.
“There was no chase to the hotel. It was not necessary to carry out the raid. They walked the streets, frequented bars. Why not arrest them on the street?” he asked.
The former prosecutor also claimed that the raid had been practised in a hotel in La Paz and he had seen a video of a mock-up of the Hotel Las Americas, where Mr Dwyer died.
Two other men, Eduarado Rozsa-Flores and Hungarian national Arpad Magyarosi, also died in the incident. The Bolivian government claimed Roza-Flores wanted to start of secessionist movement in the country’s eastern lowlands. Two other men were arrested following the raid and along with others are awaiting trial.
The Irish Government and the EU are waitng until that trial is ended before considering how to proceeds with demands for a full inquiry into the killings.
Mr Soza has said he was willing to testify before European officials on his investigations into the deaths.
Meanwhile, Mr Dwyer’s mother, Caroline, is in Brazil and was expected to meet Mr Soza this Monday.