3 7. On March 8, 2002, during the 114th Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Commission, a hearing was held with the presence of the State and members of the OFRANEH, in which the testimonies of two witnesses offered by the petitioner were heard. 8. On March 4, 2003, during the 117th Regular Meeting of the Commission, the latter approved Report of Merits No. 18/03, pursuant to Article 50 of the Convention, in which it recommended that the State: 1. Order the immediate release of Mr. Alfredo López Álvarez. 2. Adopt the necessary measures so that a definitive judgment was issued in the trial followed against Mr. López Álvarez, with strict submission to the human rights enshrined in the Convention. 3. Investigate the irregularities set forth in the present report with regard to the arrest and subsequent processing of Alfredo López Álvarez. 4. Reform the domestic law that violates the human rights enshrined in the American Convention, especially those norms that limit or restrict the right to release the defendants on bail. 5. Repair the victim for the consequences of the violations to the human rights mentioned. 6. Adopt the measures necessary to avoid that similar acts occur in the future, pursuant to the duty to prevent and guarantee the fundamental issues acknowledged in the American Convention. 9. On March 7, 2003 the Commission transmitted Report of Merits No. 18/03 to the State and granted it a two-month period to inform on the measures it would adopt in order to comply with the recommendations made. On that same day the Commission informed the petitioner of the approval of the mentioned report and requested that it present, within a one-month period, its position regarding the assertion of the case before the Court. 10. On April 10, 2003 the OFRANEH requested that the Commission submit the case before the Court, in the event that the State did not comply with the recommendations made in its report. 11. On July 7, 2003 the State, after two extensions, forwarded its response to the Commission regarding the recommendations of Report of Merits No. 18/03, in which it stated, inter alia, that: a) Mr. López Álvarez was still imprisoned and an appeal for annulment presented against the judgment that confirmed his acquittal was pending; b) in virtue of the norms of domestic law it was impossible to grant immediate liberty to Mr. López Álvarez; c) it would request the Supreme Court of Justice of Honduras the prompt ruling of the case; d) the change from a conviction to an acquittal was due, according to the prosecution, to the fact that someone had manipulated the evidence in the court substituting the cocaine confiscated from the defendant for another substance; e) the alleged irregularities mentioned in the report of merits with regard to the arrest and the processing of Mr. López Álvarez were investigated and the substitution of the cocaine confiscated was being investigated; f) the criminal procedural legislation was reformed in the year 2002, in what refers to domestic law that limits or restricts the right to release the defendants on bail; g) the reparation of the consequences of the alleged violations to human rights will be deducted once the process is concluded, and h) the declaration of the inadmissibility of the case proceeds.

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