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Irish MEPs call for probe into shooting of Dwyer in Bolivia

Irish MEPs have joined forces to lobby for an independent investigation into the killing of an Irish security worker shot through the heart by Bolivian police.

Michael Dwyer and two other men were gunned down by security forces during a raid on a hotel in the capital Santa Cruz on April 16 last year.

His family has rejected claims from Bolivian authorities that the 24-year-old from Ballinderry in Co Tipperary was part of an assassination plot to target Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president.

Irish MEPs have now pledged to write to the EU's foreign policy chief after Mr Dwyer's relatives took their fight for justice to the European Parliament.

Labour's Alan Kelly said all 12 elected representatives agreed an independent inquiry was the only possible solution.

"We're whole-hearted about this and we will be writing to the EU's high representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, to support the family," the MEP added.

"Somebody needs to be held accountable and answers need to be found."

Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly said the Dwyer family needed closure.

"It's bad enough to have a bereavement but to have it without any answers, it just prolongs the agony," he said. "There are far too many discrepancies -- we've put our weight behind it here at European level.

"It's important that we bring the Irish and European dimension to it, because one of the things the EU is all about is human rights."