Top Brazil court greenlights probe of Bolsonaro for riot

US Court Alerts

A Brazilian Supreme Court justice on Friday authorized adding former President Jair Bolsonaro in its investigation into who incited the Jan. 8 riot in the nation’s capital, as part of a broader crackdown to hold responsible parties to account.

According to the text of his ruling, Justice Alexandre de Moraes granted the request from the prosecutor-general’s office, which cited a video that Bolsonaro posted on Facebook two days after the riot. The video claimed President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wasn’t voted into office, but rather was chosen by the Supreme Court and Brazil’s electoral authority.

Prosecutors in the recently formed group to combat anti-democratic acts argued earlier Friday that although Bolsonaro posted the video after the riot, its content was sufficient to justify investigating his conduct beforehand. Bolsonaro deleted it the morning after he first posted it.

Legal analysts consulted by The Associated Press said investigating Bolsonaro was overdue and justified.

“Bolsonaro’s positioning, in general, is being investigated as an incitement method. The fact that the video was published after the attacks doesn’t mean he wasn’t involved previously in inciting the acts,” said Georges Abboud, a constitutional law professor at Sao Paulo’s Pontifical Catholic University.


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