Brazil’s Bolsonaro to be investigated over far-right riot, top court says – POLITICO
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will be investigated to assess whether he was behind a far-right mob that stormed the country’s congress, top court and presidential offices last Sunday, the country’s Supreme Court ruled on Saturday.
In an echo of the 2021 Capitol Hill insurrection in the U.S., Brazilian far-right supporters assaulted the capital’s flagship institutions after fake news reports convinced them that the newly sworn-in Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had gained office by manipulating electoral results. That’s an insinuation that Bolsonaro himself had contributed to spreading through a video posted on his social media, although he deleted it on the same day.
Should the former president be found guilty, he could be exposed to legal consequences.
Responding to the charges, Frederick Wassef, Bolsonaro’s attorney, said the far-right politician had “always repudiated every kind of illegal and criminal act” and had been a “defender of democracy.” For Wassef, the blame should be entirely put on “infiltrators.”
The high court’s decision to broaden the enquiry to the former president partly shifts attention that had so far been placed on Anderson Torres, Bolsonaro’s former justice minister, who was appointed federal district’s security chief on January 2 and was in the U.S. on the day of the attack.
Torres, who is accused of collusion with the insurrectionists and “omission,” was arrested in Brasilia on Saturday.
“Omission was amply proven by the predictability of the conduct of criminal groups and the lack of security that enabled the invasion of public buildings,” said Alexandre de Moraes, one of the judges of the Supreme Court.
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