Massive Turnaround in Case of Hungarian Charged with Terrorism in Bolivia
Péter Cseresnyés 2020.01.23.
There was a turnaround in the case of Előd Tóásó, the Hungarian man charged with terrorism, weekly Magyar Hang’s news site reports, as the Bolivian Ministry of Interior withdrew the original 2009 lawsuit against the man who had spent nearly 6 years imprisoned in the Latin American country.
Interior Minister of the Interim Government, Arturo Murillo, admitted on Monday that the case launched against Tóásó and Mario Tadic was politically motivated sought to bolster Evo Morales’ then ruling party and to damage the political opposition.
Minister of Justice Álvaro Coimbra agreed with the decision of the Ministry, also announcing on Tuesday that the court hearing should be restarted from the beginning.
The lawsuit, launched in 2009, was full of false assumptions and repeatedly violated the human rights of those involved, he said.
The authorities are expected to decide in early February if Tóásó and Tadic will be acquitted.
As the article reports, the collapse of the prosecution had begun weeks ago: two judges on the case had left, admitting that everything they did was due to governmental pressure, and since they had been threatened, they had no choice but to comply.
Also, back in 2015, a military general, German Cardona, revealed the weapons which were found during the police raid were in fact acquired from his squad, in other words, the crime scene was planted with false evidence.
How it all began
On April 16, 2009, Bolivian police raided an alleged terrorist group in the Las Americas hotel in Santa Cruz, killing Hungarian-Bolivian Eduardo Rózsa-Flores, Transylvanian Hungarian Árpád Magyarosi, and Irishman Michael Dwyer. The attack had only two survivors: Hungarian Előd Tóásó and Croatian-Bolivian Mario Tadic, who were then imprisoned. The Bolivian authorities said the five foreigners were terrorists hired by opposition leaders of Santa Cruz to assassinate then president Evo Morales. The Prosecutor’s Office accused 39 people of separatism and other crimes, including several politicians and businessmen from Santa Cruz.
Tóásó and Mario Tadic were sentenced to five years and ten months in prison as part of a plea bargain in February 2015 for “complicity in an armed uprising”.
Since both men had been in custody for almost six years, their sentences have already been served.
They were sent to a Bolivian prison with inhumane, degrading conditions. It was a penitentiary where prisoners also had firearms, and prison riots were weekly occurrences with questionable and fatal accidents.
After his release from prison, Tóásó was able to flee the country with the help of the Hungarian Baptist Aid (HBAid).
Former Bolivian president allegedly behind the case
Due to the obvious irregularities of the “terrorist case,” the Bolivian Prosecutor’s Office has launched investigations into ex-President Evo Morales and former Vice-President Álvaro García Linera, and have issued an arrest warrant for Morales for alleged sedition and terrorism.
The socialist politician had resigned as a result of the unrest generated by the allegedly rigged 2019 general election. Morales, who was in power for nearly 14 years, then fled to Mexico before traveling to Argentina where he received political asylum.
According to Magyar Hang’s article, the international lawsuit Tóásó and his fellow defendants launched against Bolivia for violating their human rights has reached its final phase. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights will soon call on Bolivia to agree on compensation, and if an agreement cannot be attained, the court will decide how much the Latin American country will have to pay Tóásó.
In the featured photo: Előd Tóásó a few months after his release from prison in a football match in Hungary. Photo via Előd Tóásó’s Facebook page. Photo by Csaba Lukács