Brazil top court to investigate Bolsonaro role in riots

TEHRAN, Jan. 14 (MNA) – Brazil's Supreme Court agreed to open an investigation into former President Jair Bolsonaro for allegedly encouraging anti-democratic protests that ended in the storming of government buildings by his supporters in Brasilia.

Prosecutors will investigate Bolsonaro, who is in the United States, for possible “instigation and intellectual authorship of the anti-democratic acts that resulted in vandalism and violence in Brasilia last Sunday,” the top public prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Friday.

“Public figures who continue to cowardly conspire against democracy trying to establish a state of exception will be held accountable,” said Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who agreed on Friday to the request by federal prosecutors to launch the probe, Al Jazeera reported.

The Supreme Court had already ordered the arrest of Bolsonaro’s former justice minister, Anderson Torres, for allowing the protests to take place in the Brazilian capital after he assumed responsibility for Brasilia’s public security.

The federal district’s former governor and former military police chief are also targets of the Supreme Court investigation made public on Friday.

Both were removed from their positions when thousands of Bolsonaro supporters vandalised the Supreme Court, Congress and presidential palace last weekend, seeking to provoke chaos and a military coup that would remove President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and restore the far-right Bolsonaro to power.

Having lost Brazil’s October election to Lula, Bolsonaro left Brazil for the US on the eve of the end of his term, avoiding passing the presidential sash to his leftist rival at his inauguration.

Torres, who like Bolsonaro is in Florida, has said he plans to return to Brazil to turn himself in. Bolsonaro said on social media he will move forward his return to Brazil.

Justice Minister Flavio Dino told a news conference he would wait until next week to re-evaluate Torres’s case, indicating a possible request for his extradition if the former minister does not turn himself in.

The arrest warrant against Torres was issued by de Moraes, who also removed Brasilia’s security chief from his post just hours after the rampage.

MNA/PR

News Code 196112

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