Dwyer family calls for international inquiry into killing
Relatives of Irishman shot in Bolivia say case for an inquiry is stronger then ever
Michael Dwyer’s parents Caroline and Martin, and their daughter Aisling, are seen at the inquest into the death of their son at the Dublin County Coroner’s Court in 2009. They have called for an independent investigation into their son’s death.
The family of Irishman Michael Dwyer, who was killed in Bolivia in April 2009, has said new allegations that he survived a police raid and was summarily executed, strengthen the case for an independent investigation.
Bolivian authorities said Mr Dwyer (24), from Co Tipperary, and two other men were killed when police stormed the hotel in which they were staying.
The authorities claimed he was part of a group recruited by opposition figures to assassinate the president Evo Morales and foment secessionist violence in the anti-government stronghold of Santa Cruz.
However, on Friday Hungarian Elod Toaso told a court in Bolivia that after the hotel raid he was taken to Viru Viru airport where, despite being hooded with a T-shirt, he saw Mr Dwyer alive beside him as well as a third member of their group.
He claimed Mr Dwyer survived the police raid on the hotel where they were staying and was likely summarily executed afterwards at Santa Cruz international airport.
In his evidence Mr Toaso said: “I saw Michael Dwyer alive, he was to my right and Mario Tadic was to my left, also hooded. When the police realised I could see what was going on, they dragged me several metres away, beat me, they threatened me with a gun. I was brought up on to a plane by a man who saved my life,” said a visibly emotional Mr Toaso.
“I heard shots, then they brought Tadic. I heard his voice - that is how I recognised him.”
Bolivia’s police claim Mr Dwyer died in a shoot-out at the Las Americas hotel.
Mr Toaso was giving evidence at his trial for involvement in terrorism along with Mr Tadic and 37 Bolivians linked to the political opposition.
Responding to news reports of Mr Toaso’s evidence yesterday the Dwyer family released a statement saying they had no additional information other than what had been reported.
But they said “in light of these reports, the family’s desire for an independent international investigation - to establish the precise facts”.