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The Supreme Court of Brazil leaves more than 900 defendants in prison after the coup insurrection

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Specifically, Alexandre de Morães, president of the country’s highest judicial body and who has always maintained a tense relationship with the most extremist wing of Bolsonarismo, ordered 942 defendants for the coup attacks in Brasilia to be kept behind bars on January 8 at the same time that released 464 after what he called a “ffront against the maintenance of the rule of law.” For his part, the Minister of Justice exempted the Armed Forces from their responsibility in such events.

The Supreme Federal Court (STF) of Brazil continues its investigation against the perpetrators of the assault on the three State Powers on January 8 by radical followers of the far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro.

Of the more than 1,400 detainees so far, the High Court ordered 942 of them to be kept in pretrial detention, according to what Alexandre de Morães, head of the judicial body, reported on Friday. In his deliberations, he argued that these people who are still detained go directly to a preventive detention regime, which does not specify times to issue a sentence on the case.

They will be tried, yes, for crimes of “destruction of public property, acts of terrorism, criminal association, violent abolition of the democratic rule of law, coup d’état, threat, persecution or incitement to crime”, according to the order of the Supreme Court.

“The conducts were unlawful and serious, with the intention of, through violence and a serious threat, preventing the exercise of the constituted constitutional powers,” explained De Morães in his brief on the defendants, in which he added: “There is evidence in the records of the effective participation of those investigated in a criminal organization that acted to try to destabilize the republican institutions”.

Surveillance camera footage shows a man using a rocket as a weapon, in Congress, in Brasilia, Brazil, January 8, 2023, in this screenshot taken from distributed video.
Surveillance camera footage shows a man using a rocket as a weapon, in Congress, in Brasilia, Brazil, January 8, 2023, in this screenshot taken from distributed video. © via REUTERS – Brazilian Federal Legislative Police

For their part, 464 people were placed under “provisional release” although with precautionary measures. They will be monitored with electronic wristbands and must physically report to the authorities every Monday. Previously, another almost 700 people were released for “humanitarian reasons” according to the Federal Police, although they will not be exempted from being investigated.

In the course of the investigations into the attacks on Congress, the Judiciary and the Executive Branch, Alexandre de Morães also stressed the need to specify how the perpetrators’ stay and arrival in the Brazilian capital from other parts of the country were financed materials from the coup attacks.

Some of those Bolsonaristas remained camped for more than two months outside the military organizations in the main cities of the nation, requesting a military intervention from the Armed Forces that would reverse the electoral victory of the leftist candidate of the Workers’ Party Luiz Inácio ‘Lula. ‘ da Silva, who won the elections on October 30 with 50.9% of the vote.

Surveillance camera footage shows a man using a rocket as a weapon, in Congress, in Brasilia, Brazil, January 8, 2023, in this screenshot taken from distributed video.
Surveillance camera footage shows a man using a rocket as a weapon, in Congress, in Brasilia, Brazil, January 8, 2023, in this screenshot taken from distributed video. © via REUTERS – Brazilian Federal Legislative Police

The Ministry of Defense does not see responsibility in the Armed Forces

The recently released head of the Defense portfolio, José Mucio, commented on Friday that there had been no direct participation by the Armed Forces in the attacks on the democratic powers, despite the reluctance of the president himself, who criticized the military for their passivity and lack of forecasts when it came to dissolving the protesters who raided the Esplanade of the Ministries on January 8.

Mucio held a meeting on Friday with the president and the Army commanders to straighten relations; a meeting where businessmen were also present and in which they commented on investment in Defense and new military acquisitions.

“I understand that there was no direct participation of the Armed Forces, but if someone was personally involved, that will be investigated,” Mucio exhorted.

He also ruled out a new violent insurrection by these faithful Bolsonaro radicals, because in that case “the Armed Forces will anticipate it,” he exclaimed.

Army officers stand guard in front of the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, January 11, 2023.
Army officers stand guard in front of the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, January 11, 2023. REUTERS – AMANDA PEROBELLI

The meeting took place after ‘Lula’ expelled this week more than 80 soldiers from the circle of the Presidency, placed by Bolsonaro during his term and who will be replaced by members of the Federal Police, according to the Planalto Palace, headquarters of the Executive.

Searches and raids against suspects continued

On Friday, 24 more raids also took place, according to the Federal Police, against suspected people with the aim of identifying those who “participated, financed or encouraged” the coup events.

Among the reported raids was that of Ibaneis Rocha, suspended governor of Brasilia, who is under investigation for failing to prevent the assault on State Powers. Alexandre de Morães removed him from his position for 90 days on January 8, a few hours after the assault in the Brazilian capital.

Police officers are seen at the home of Brasilia Governor Ibaneis Rocha after the Brazilian Supreme Court issued a search and seizure warrant following anti-democratic riots, in Brasilia, Brazil, January 20, 2023.
Police officers are seen at the home of Brasilia Governor Ibaneis Rocha after the Brazilian Supreme Court issued a search and seizure warrant following anti-democratic riots, in Brasilia, Brazil, January 20, 2023. REUTERS – ADRIANO MACHADO

“The objective is to seek evidence to support the investigation into the conduct of public authorities that could have failed in their obligation to prevent the violent events that occurred that day in Brasilia,” the police said in a statement.

Both his private home and his workplaces were searched, although the politician was not present, but his lawyers, who were calm: “There is nothing to hide. This search is unnecessary and fruitless,” said one of the headlines of his legal team.

While the deliberations on what happened in Brasilia continue, ‘Lula’ continues to take steps in his mandate, despite the tensions generated after the great polarization in which Brazil is plunged after Bolsonaro’s mandate.

With EFE and Reuters

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