Brazil judge orders probe into accusations against Bolsonaro

Published April 28, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Agence France-Presse

A Brazilian supreme court judge on Monday ordered a probe into accusations by former justice and security minister Sergio Moro that President Jair Bolsonaro sought to “interfere” with police investigations.

A Brazilian judge has ordered an investigation of allegations that President Jair Bolsonaro sought to interfere in police investigations (AFP/File / EVARISTO SA / MANILA BULLETIN)
A Brazilian judge has ordered an investigation of allegations that President Jair Bolsonaro sought to interfere in police investigations (AFP/File / EVARISTO SA / MANILA BULLETIN)

In his decision, obtained by AFP, Judge Celso de Mello gave the federal police 60 days to question Moro about his explosive allegations against the right-wing president.

The findings, which will be handed over to the attorney general, could result in either a request for a political trial against Bolsonaro or an indictment against Moro for false testimony.

According to the judge, the alleged crimes seem to have “an intimate connection with the exercise of the presidential mandate,” thus allowing for an investigation of the leader.

Moro, a former anti-corruption judge, resigned on Friday after clashing with Bolsonaro over the sacking of the federal police chief, accusing the president of political interference.

The judge’s document lists seven accusations against Bolsonaro, including malfeasance and obstruction of justice.

Should the investigation confirm the allegations, it will be up to the lower house of the National Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings against Bolsonaro and potentially remove him from office.

AFP/File / EVARISTO SA
Sergio Moro resigned as justice minister over the sacking of the head of the federal police, accusing the president of political interference
In 2017, the prosecutor general’s office asked to open two investigations against then-president Michel Temer, and in both cases the request was rejected by the Chamber of Deputies.

The tensions come at the height of the global coronavirus crisis.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the danger of COVID-19 and earlier this month fired his health minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, who supported isolation as a tool to contain the spread of the pandemic.

A poll published Monday night shows divided opinions about Bolsonaro’s future, with 45 percent of Brazilians saying Congress should open an impeachment process against him.

In comparison, 48 percent think Bolsonaro should not be impeached, according to the Datafolha poll, which ran in the Folha de S. Paulo daily.

 
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