Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s Supreme Court has approved the investigation of former President Jair Bolsonaro as part of a wider crackdown on the January 8 riots in the country’s capital. In accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling in this regard, Justice Alexandre de Moraes accepted the Prosecutor General’s Office’s request for an investigation against Bolsonaro. In its request, the office referred to a video posted by Bolsonaro on Facebook two days after the riots.
The video claimed that Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva did not become president on the basis of votes, but was chosen by the Supreme Court and the Electoral Authority of Brazil. A newly formed group of prosecutors argued on Friday that even though Bolsonaro shared the video after the riots, its content is sufficient to justify an investigation into his earlier conduct. Bolsonaro removed this video the next morning.
Following the Supreme Court ruling, Bolsonaro’s lawyer, Frederic Wassef, said in a statement that the former president strongly condemns the vandalism on January 8, but attributed it to “external elements” that had infiltrated the protesters. So far the investigation has focused on Anderson Torres, who was Justice Minister under Bolsonaro, became head of the Federal District Security on January 2 and was in the US on the day of the riots. De Moraes ordered Torres’ arrest this week and ordered an investigation, calling his actions “reckless and complicit.”
De Moraes said that Torres dismissed his subordinates and left the country before the riots, indicating that he was deliberately laying the groundwork for unrest. Justice Minister Flavio Dino said on Friday that the Supreme Court has also issued an arrest warrant for former Brazilian security chief Anderson Torres. And they have to come back within three days, or else Brazil will request their extradition. Torres has denied the allegations against him. It is noteworthy that on January 8, supporters of Bolsonaro stormed the Supreme Court, Rashtrapati Bhavan and other institutions in the capital.
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