A Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers sent by the United Nations (UN) is due in Bolivia this coming Tuesday at the invitation of the local government to assess the conditions under which former interim President Jeanine Áñez is brought to trial.
Diego García-Sayán will remain in Bolivia until Feb. 22, Justice Minister Iván Lima explained.
He is going to meet with all the state agents involved in the justice sector, he is going to meet with ministers of state, with President [Luis] Arce and the Vice President [David Choquehuanca] as well as with Speakers of both Houses of Congress and also with State Attorney Wilfredo Chávez and Ombudsman, Nadia Cruz in addition to magistrates of the Constitutional Court and the Judicial Council.
Lima said there were over 30 meetings scheduled until Feb. 22.
The Justice Minister also explained that if the former chiefs of the Air Force, Gonzalo Terceros, and the Navy, Gonzalo Jarjuri, requested an abbreviated trial that would prove there was a coup d'état in the case in which Áñez too is a defendant.
“The responsibility is very personal. But, if both former military chiefs request it, it will have been confirmed that there was a coup in 2019. It will show that there was a strategy that began in Trinidad, three days before she [Áñez] took office, that there were soldiers who protected her on her arrival and a procedure to get the presidential medal, he said.
Lima insisted Terceros and Jarjuri must acknowledge their responsibility if they want to submit to an abbreviated trial, which is what in the US judicial system is known as a plea bargain, whereby defendants acknowledge what they have committed before it is proven in a court of law in exchange for a lesser sentence. This is presented in the file, I insist, it will be the Court that calls a hearing to pass a sentence.
Lima also said Sunday that the government hoped a sentence against Añez was to be handed down in a few weeks, because the facts were not hard to prove as in other trials against the temporary head of state such as the Senkata massacre.
I think it would be appropriate to say that in weeks we should have a sentence, Lima pointed out as he stressed it will be a historic trial where Áñez will get all the guarantees of due process, which is why the government had invited over García-Sayán.
Añez wrote Sunday on Twitter that she was going through her fifth day of a hunger strike, but I feel strong, my spirit and my conscience are free. I will resist because the fight for the truth It's everyone's fight.”
The opening of the trial against Añez and eight former high-ranking military and police officers was adjourned last week due to procedural errors.
Añez is charged with having violated the Constitution when she decided to become President when she was not next in line following Evo Morales' resignation in 2019.