Federal Supreme Court (STF) Minister Alexandre de Moraes included former President Jair Bolsonaro on the list of people investigated for inciting the attacks against the Congress, the Presidential Palace (Palácio do Planalto) and the Supreme Court, which took place on 8 January. The request to include him was made after prosecutors understood that former president is suspected of crime after posting and deleting a video questioning the elections.
This Content Is Only For Subscribers
To unlock this content, subscribe to MOVI NEWS.
In the video published —and subsequently deleted— by Bolsonaro, a man identified as Dr. Felipe Gimenez attacks the security of electronic voting machines. The publication also features the phrases “Lula was not elected by the people. He was chosen and elected by the STF and Superior Electoral Court (TSE)”.
According to the document that demanded the inclusion of Bolsonaro in the investigation, over the past few years, the former President has behaved in a convergent manner with broad disinformation campaigns involving the functioning of Brazilian institutions and the country’s elections.
In addition, the prosecutors also stated that Bolsonaro “occupied the highest position in the country”, has “a relevant position in the communication channels used to spread disinformation” and contributed “to the undermining of the confidence of a large part of the population in Brazilian civic integrity”. For them, it is in this context that the video must be interpreted.
After the attacks in Brasilia, American congressmen suggested the extradition of the former Brazilian president, who has been in Florida since December. According to experts interviewed by DW Brasil, the chances of Bolsonaro being forced to return to Brazil exist, but an extradition process could take a long time. Another possibility suggested is that the former president has his visa to remain in the United States revoked, forcing him to return to the country so as not to remain there illegally.
They also called on the Justice Department to hold accountable any Florida-based actors who may have funded or supported the violent crimes of 8 January. In addition, the congressmen, all from the Democratic Party, ask the FBI to investigate any actions that have been taken on US soil to organize this attack on the Brazilian government. The requests were all in a letter, signed by 46 US congressmen, sent on Wednesday night (11/01) to President Joe Biden.
Due to the Italian origin of Bolsonaro’s family, his political adversaries started to speculate that he could go to Italy in order to escape the ongoing investigations against him in Brazil. If he has to leave Orlando, this European country could be an alternative for him to avoid Justice in Brazil. After this idea gained space in the public debate, an Italian deputy of the Verdi and Left party, Angelo Bonelli, made a speech against the possibility of Bolsonaro being welcomed in Italy.
As mentioned in previous issues, now that Bolsonaro does not occupy an official political position, he does not have the right to a privileged jurisdiction. Therefore, he can be tried and condemned for any eventual crimes by a regular court. This condition is seen by many political analysts as a more vulnerable situation. Journalists speculate that this is the reason behind Bolsonaro’s trip to the US, to escape investigations and condemnations. Any investigation that could lead to the condemnation and arrest of the former President is a sensitive topic. If Bolsonaro’s political base remains faithful, such event could stimulate more disturbances to public order and demonstrations more intense than those seen shortly after the end of the elections.