The ruling against the former president was revoked because “his right to defense has been violated,” said the judge who issued the sentence.
Bolivian justice canceled the arrest warrant against former left-wing president Evo Morales for alleged crimes of terrorism, a week after the election of his dauphin Luis Arce as new president, Judge Jorge Quino reported Monday.
The arrest warrant against the ex-president exiled to Argentina was lifted because “his rights were violated, basically the right to defense because the ex-president was not duly summoned,” said Quino, president of the Court of Justice. departmental of La Paz, Unitel Canal.
The Bolivian Attorney General’s office indicted Morales on 6 July for alleged terrorist crimes and his funding, and again requested his pre-trial detention.
Another arrest warrant for sedition and terrorism was issued in December against Morales (2006-2019), after he resigned as president on November 10 amidst social upheaval and allegations of election fraud.
The former indigenous president and his party, the Movement for Socialism (MAS), had rejected all accusations and said they were politically motivated.
The prosecution also opened another case against Morales for alleged fraud in the October 2019 elections, in which he won re-election for a fourth term but was later overturned after allegations of wrongdoing. There has been no progress in this case in the area of justice.
Furthermore, the prosecution had tried earlier this year to persuade Interpol to issue an international arrest warrant against Morales, but the agency rejected it as it was a political issue, not a criminal one.
Goal of the accusations
Morales was the subject of numerous accusations by Jeanine Áñez’s right-wing transitional government during the October 18 election campaign, which was won by Arce, her former finance minister and architect of the “economic miracle” of her 14-year term.
On 4 September, the Bolivian government contacted the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to sue Morales for alleged crimes against “humanity” due to road blocks in August.
However, this action appeared to be merely symbolic and seeking electoral advantage, as a state can ask the ICC to consider whether it is appropriate to intervene in a given case, but the Court does so only when the national criminal system has failed.
The Bolivian prosecutor had said it would investigate the blockades, but never reported any progress.