Ex-Justice Minister of Brazil Arrested in Relation to January 8 Riots

Media in Brazil announced early Saturday that a former minister in the administration of deposed president Jair Bolsonaro has been detained in connection with the looting of public properties.

On Sunday, thousands of “bolsonaristas” stormed the capital’s government buildings, smashed windows, destroyed furniture and artwork of great value, and sprayed messages asking for a military takeover.

The actual amount of the destruction, which resulted in the detention of over 2,000 rioters, is still being determined. On Friday, a judge at Brazil’s highest court said that Bolsonaro will be a part of a probe into the circumstances surrounding his dismissal, which were spurred by frustration over the far-right leader’s loss in the presidential race to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Ex-Justice Minister of Brazil Arrested in Relation to January 8 Riots
Ex-Justice Minister of Brazil Arrested in Relation to January 8 Riots

When Bolsonaro’s former justice minister, Anderson Torres, returned to Brasilia from the United States, where he and his former boss had been throughout the failed coup, he was promptly jailed. On top of being accused of “omission” in his role as security commander for the capital, he is now wanted on a warrant issued by the Supreme Court for “collusion” with the rioters.

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Flavio Dino, who succeeded Torres as Lula’s justice secretary, said on Friday that the authorities would give Torres until Monday to return to Brazil or face extradition. The new minister also revealed that a draft order suggesting emergency measures for the prospective “correction” of the October election, which Lula won by a razor-thin margin, had been discovered at Torres’ residence.

Bolsonaro’s name appears at the bottom of the undated and unsigned copy, but Dino claims he has no idea who wrote it. The document, which was published in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper late on Thursday, calls for the establishment of a “regulatory commission” to oversee elections instead of the current Superior Electoral Court.

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Ending Thoughts

Reports surfaced early Saturday morning in Brazil saying that a former minister in the cabinet of ousted president Jair Bolsonaro had been arrested on charges of plundering state properties.

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