MEPs urge fair procedure for Hungarian imprisoned in Bolivia

Members of the European Parliament have called for a fair legal procedure for Elod Toaso, who is being kept in a Bolivian prison awaiting trial in connection with an alleged terrorist plot.
At a special EP hearing organised by Kinga Gal, a lawmaker delegated by Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party, participants also demanded that Bolivian authorities should observe fundamental human rights and consider Toaso as innocent until proven otherwise. At the hearing, Gal said that Toaso, who was detained in April 2009, should have been released by now. Under Bolivian law, suspects should not be kept in pre-trial detention for over 36 months.

Gergely Gulyas, head of the human rights committee of Hungary’s parliament, said at the hearing that Bolivia’s delay of a trial three years after the alleged plot indicated a lack of evidence. Irish MEP Gay Mitchell said that no independent investigation had been conducted into the case.

On April 16, 2009, Bolivia’s special forces cracked down on what was believed to be a terrorist unit in Santa Cruz. Bolivian-Hungarian Eduardo Rozsa-Flores, ethnic Hungarian from Romania Arpad Magyarosi and the Irish Michael Dwyer died in the attack. Toaso was arrested and has been kept in detention under suspicion of an armed uprising and terrorism.

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