Monday 19 March 2018

'Innocent' Dwyer was executed, says former prosecutor

Michael Dwyer, who was shot dead in Bolivia
Michael Dwyer, who was shot dead in Bolivia

Sam Griffin

An Irishman killed in a police raid in Bolivia was an "innocent man" who was "executed", according to a former prosecutor involved in the case.

The sensational claims are made in an RTÉ documentary which airs tonight.

Marcela Soza tells Caroline Dwyer, the mother of Michael Dwyer who was shot dead in 2009, that he found no evidence her son was involved in a plot to kill the Bolivian president.

Mr Soza spent over four years working on the case before he was dismissed from the probe after he became concerned about how it was proceeding.

Ms Dwyer asks Mr Soza on camera if her son was executed, to which he responds: "Yes, but not just Michael. His two companions also. There was no need to enter the hotel at 5am, there was no need to use such force… because if they had wanted to do this legally… as I was the prosecutor, they would have instructed me to set up the operation."

He added: "I would never have allowed anyone to be killed. As a lawyer, it is clear to me that this was an execution."

Bolivian authorities have maintained Mr Dwyer was involved with terrorists who were plotting to assassinate President Evo Morales.

But the former prosecutor says he did not find any evidence to support the claims.

"I found no evidence that Michael Dwyer had any criminal link to this case," he added.

In the documentary, called Death of a Son - The Killing of Michael Dwyer, Ms Dwyer also speaks with two other men arrested the night her son died.

One of the men, Elod Toaso, previously said in court that Michael did not die in the raid and that he saw him at a military airport shortly after he was arrested, despite photographs released at the time showing him dead in the hotel room.

Ms Dwyer asks him when he thinks her son died and Mr Toaso says he doesn't know.

"I saw Michael alive at the airport but I don't know if he was taken back to the hotel alive or if they killed him at the airport," he claims. "I saw part of Mike's tattoo.

"We were all kneeling... I saw Mike and I moved my head. Then, the police took me out and kicked me because they caught me moving my head.

"Somebody put me on a plane and on the plane I heard shots."

Irish Independent

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