Jair Bolsonaro to be investigated for January 8 riots in Brasilia
Jair Bolsonaro: The probe of the former leader comes at the request of the office of the prosecutor general (PGR), which cited a video Bolsonaro had posted "questioning the regularity of the 2022 presidential elections."
Brazilian far-right ex-president Jair Bolsonaro will be included in an investigation into the origins of the January 8 sacking of government buildings in Brasilia, a Supreme Court judge announced Friday.
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The probe of the former leader comes at the request of the office of the prosecutor general (PGR), which cited a video Bolsonaro had posted "questioning the regularity of the 2022 presidential elections."
By doing so, "Bolsonaro would have publicly incited the commission of a crime," the PGR said in a statement.
Thousands of so-called "bolsonaristas" invaded the seats of government in Brasilia Sunday, breaking windows and furniture, destroying priceless works of art, and leaving graffiti messages calling for a military coup in their wake.
The Bolsonaro video was posted online two days after the violent storming of the presidency, Congress and Supreme Court and later deleted.
The PGR explained that even though the video came after the uprising, it may serve as "a probative connection" that justified "a global investigation of the acts performed before and after January 8, 2023 by the defendant."
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Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes made the announcement Friday green-lighting Bolsonaro's inclusion in the probe into what the PGR said was the "instigation and intellectual authorship" of the rioting.
In a note seen by AFP Friday, Bolsonaro's defense denied any involvement by the ex-president.
Bolsonaro "never had any relationship or participation in these movements," the note said, blaming the violence on "infiltrators."
Bolsonaro had for years sought to cast doubts on the reliability of Brazil's internationally praised election system, and had suggested he would not accept a defeat.
He never publicly acknowledged new President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva victory, and left for the United States, where he remains, two days before his successor's inauguration.