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Home » Jair Bolsonaro Included in Investigation of Riots by Brazilian Supreme Court

Jair Bolsonaro Included in Investigation of Riots by Brazilian Supreme Court

14 January 2023, Saturday
Brazil's Supreme Court has consented to bring in former president Jair Bolsonaro to its inquiry into the raid on government offices in Brasília.

Brazilian prosecutors have suggested that President Jair Bolsonaro may have been responsible for riots that occurred on 8 January. This is the first time that the President has been linked to the events. The suggestion comes after Mr Bolsonaro posted a video questioning the legitimacy of October's presidential election. According to the prosecutors, Mr Bolsonaro might have committed a criminal offense by making such claims.

On Friday, the Prosecutor General's Office asked the Supreme Court to include the former President in the investigation, as the Bolsonaro video had suggested that President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was not legitimately voted into office, but instead appointed by the Supreme Court and the Brazilian Electoral Authority. According to the PGR, such an assertion by Bolsonaro would have "publicly incited the commission of a crime".

The Brazilian Prosecutor General's Office has said that a video posted by President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday following a riot in Brasília is sufficient evidence to launch an investigation into his conduct. Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes has consequently announced that Mr Bolsonaro will be included in the probe into the "instigation and intellectual authorship" of the rioting. De Moraes declared that "public figures who continue to cowardly conspire against democracy trying to establish a state of exception will be held accountable." The video was later removed from Bolsonaro's page, however it had already been deemed sufficient for investigation.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been admitted to hospital following a storming of the country's Congress by protesters. His wife, Michelle Bolsonaro, reported the news on social media. According to reports, some of the rioters had inside help from former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is a vocal critic of the current government. It remains unclear what sparked the storming of the Congress, but it is clear that the events have had a major impact on the country's political landscape.

Thousands of far-right Bolsonaro supporters marched on Sunday to the Supreme Court, Congress, and president's palace, with the belief that the election was manipulated.

The demonstrations had continued for weeks, leading to a demand for a military intervention. The protesters set up camps in and around the city of Brasilia.

Mr Bolsonaro has been admitted to a hospital in Florida with abdominal pain, according to his wife. He previously refused to take part in the handover of power to Lula prior to departing his native Brazil in late December.

Several public figures and businessmen are under investigation, including Anderson Torres, formerly the head of security for Brasilia, who fled to the United States prior to the riots. This Thursday, the police visited his home and discovered a paper that supposedly aimed to overturn the outcome of the election. Despite protests from Torres that the document has been misinterpreted, Justice Minister Flavio Dino has declared that he must voluntarily surrender to authorities by Monday, or face extradition.

More than 1,200 individuals have been taken into custody and face charges related to the chaos at the Brazilian Congress on Sunday. Warrants were also issued targeting a number of officials held responsible for the events that led to the unrest.

Former President Lula has accused those supporting President Bolsonaro of aiding the assault on the presidential palace.

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