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Brazils Supreme Court agrees to probe Bolsonaro for riot

ผู้เขียน: ที่มา:ต้นฉบับ วันที่:2023-01-15

Brazils Supreme Court agrees to probe Bolsonaro for riot

FILE - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro looks on after speaking from his official residence the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Nov. 1, 2022. His absence on Inauguration Day will mark a break with tradition and remains unclear who, instead of him, will hand over the presidential sash to Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at the presidential palace on Jan. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) Brazils Supreme Court has agreed to investigate whether former president Jair Bolsonaro incited the far-right mob that ransacked the countrys Congress, top court and presidential offices, a swift escalation in the probe that shows the ex-leader could face legal consequences for an extremist movement he helped build.

Justice Alexandre de Moraes granted a request from the prosecutor generals office to include Bolsonaro in the wider investigation, citing a video the former president posted on Facebook two days after the riot. It claimed Luiz Incio Lula da Silva wasnt voted into office, but rather was chosen by the Supreme Court and Brazils electoral authority.

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

Otherwise, Bolsonaro has refrained from commenting on the election since his Oct. 30 defeat. He repeatedlystoked doubt about the reliabilityof the electronic voting system in the run-up to the vote, filed a request afterwardto annul millions of ballotscast using the machines and never conceded.

None of the ex-presidents claims were proved, and the results of the election were recognized as legal by different politicians, including some Bolsonaro allies, and several foreign government.

He hastaken up residence in an Orlando suburbsince leaving Brazil in late December and skipping the Jan. 1 swearing-in of his leftist successor, and some Democratic lawmakers haveurged President Joe Biden to cancel his visa.

Following the justices decision late Friday, Bolsonaros lawyer Frederick Wassef 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 something his far-right backers have also claimed.

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

Brazilian authorities are investigating who enabled Bolsonaros radical supporters to storm the seats of power in an attempt to overturn results of the October 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 Anderson Torres, Bolsonaros former justice minister, who became the federal districts security chief on Jan. 2, and was in the U.S. on the day of the riot.

De Moraes ordered Torres arrest this week and has opened an investigation into his actions, which he characterized as neglect and collusion. In his decision, which was made public Friday, de Moraes said that Torres fired subordinates and left the country before the riot, an indication that he was deliberately laying the groundwork for the unrest.

The court also issued an arrest warrant for the former security chief, and he must return within three days or Brazil will request his extradition, Justice Minister Flvio Dino said Friday.

Torres has denied wrongdoing, and said Jan. 10 on Twitter that he would interrupt his vacation to return to Brazil and present his defense. Three days later, that has yet to occur.

The minister pointed to a document that Brazilian federal police found upon searching Torres home; a draft decree that would have seized control of Brazils electoral authority and potentially overturned the election. The origin and authenticity of the unsigned document are unclear, and it remains unknown if Bolsonaro or his subordinates took any steps to implement the measure that would have been unconstitutional, according to analysts and the Brazilian academy of electoral and political law.

But the document will figure in the police investigation, because it even more fully reveals the existence of a chain of people responsible for the criminal events, Dino said, adding that Torres will need to inform police who drafted it.

By failing to initiate a probe against the documents author or report its existence, Torres at very could be charged with dereliction of duty, said Mario Srgio Lima, a political analyst at Medley Advisors.

Torres said on Twitter that the document was probably found in a pile along with others intended for shredding, and that it was leaked out of context feed false narratives aimed at discrediting him.

Dino told reporters Friday morning that no connection has yet been established between the capital riot and Bolsonaro.

Also on Friday night, the popular social media accounts of several prominent right-wing figures were suspended in Brazil in response to a court order, which journalist Glenn Greenwald obtained and detailed on a live social media broadcast.

The order, also issued by Justice de Moraes, was directed at six social media platforms and established a two-hour deadline to block the accounts or face fines. The accounts belong to a digital influencer, a YouTuber recently elected federal lawmaker, a podcast host in the mold of Joe Rogan, and an evangelical pastor and senator-elect, among others.

AP writer Bridi reported from Brasilia.

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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that security force members were complicit in letting an anti-government mob ransack the seat of power in Brasilia, and promised to weed out hardcore supporters of his predecessor. The task of screening out those actors will be complex, his senior aides said, but investigations have begun to see who was responsible for letting backers of former President Jair Bolsonaro storm and vandalize the presidential palace. Lula has also stepped up criticism of the army for not doing anything to discourage the two-month-old encampment of Bolsonaro supporters outside its headquarters, where they have been clamoring for the military to overturn the result of the October elections.

BRASLIA - Authorities in Brazil asked a federal court on Thursday to block $1.3 million in assets belonging to 52 people and seven companies alleged to have helped fund the buses that carried supporters of defeated former president Jair Bolsonaro to the riot in the capital on Sunday. The companies listed by Brazils solicitor general are mostly transportation firms and small businesses based in the southern and southeastern regions of the country, where support for the far-right former presiden

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Brazils leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that he plans to have policies ready within 100 days so the country runs at normal speed again and told financial markets they should not worry about his Workers Party government. Addressing Sundays storming of government building in Brasilia by supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro, Lula told reporters that what happened was a huge warning, we won the election but fanatic Bolsonaro supporters are very dangerous. Supporters of right-wing Bolsonaro ransacked Brazils Congress, Supreme Court and presidential palace on Sunday, calling for a military coup to overturn the October election won by Lula.

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