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Jair Bolsonaro to be questioned by Brazil’s supreme court over congress riot

January 14th, 2023

Anderson Torres Jair Bolsonaro Brazil congress rio – Evaristo Sa/AFP via Getty Images

Jair Bolsonaro, the former president of Brazil, will be investigated by the country’s supreme court over whether he helped incite the mob that ransacked congress on Jan 8.

The news came as Anderson Torres, his former justice minister in charge of public security in Brasilia during the attack, was arrested on suspicion of “omission” and “connivance”.

Mr Torres was taken into custody after returning to Brazil from Florida, where Mr Bolsonaro is now staying following his election defeat.

Justice Alexandre de Moraes granted a request from the prosecutor general’s office to include Mr Bolsonaro in the wider investigation, citing a video the former president posted on Facebook two days after the riot.

It claimed that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was not voted into office, but rather was chosen by Brazil’s supreme court and electoral authority.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Brazil - Evaristo Sa/AFP via Getty Images

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Brazil – Evaristo Sa/AFP via Getty Images

Although Mr Bolsonaro posted the video after the riot and deleted it in the morning, prosecutors argued that its content was sufficient to justify investigating his conduct beforehand.

Otherwise, he has refrained from commenting on the election since his defeat on Oct 30, but has not yet formally conceded, despite Lula taking office.

In the run-up to the election, Mr Bolsonaro questioned the reliability of the electronic voting system and afterwards filed a request to annul millions of ballots cast using the machines, which was rejected.

Following the justice’s decision, Frederick Wassef, Mr Bolsonaro’s lawyer, said in a statement that the former president “vehemently repudiates the acts of vandalism and destruction” from Jan 8, but blamed supposed “infiltrators” of the protest.

The statement also said that Mr Bolsonaro “never had any relationship or participation with these spontaneous social movements”.

Brazilian authorities are investigating who enabled Mr Bolsonaro’s supporters to storm the seats of power in an attempt to overturn the results of the election.

Targets include those who summoned rioters to the capital or paid to transport them, and local security personnel who may have stood aside to let the mayhem occur.

Much of the attention thus far has focused on Mr Torres, who was in the US on the day of the riot.

Mr Justice de Moraes said that Mr Torres fired subordinates and left the country before the riot, an indication that he was deliberately laying the groundwork for the unrest.

Mr Torres has denied any wrongdoing.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo Canada Sports – Sports News, Scores, Rumours, Fantasy Games, and more »
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