Brazil's Supreme Court agrees to investigate Bolsonaro over riot

Brazil’s Supreme Court has agreed to investigate whether former president Jair Bolsonaro incited the far-right mob that ransacked the country’s Congress, top court and presidential offices, a swift escalation in the probe that shows the ex-leader could face legal consequences for an extremist movement he helped build.

Justice Alexandre de Moraes granted a request from the prosecutor general's office to include Bolsonaro in the wider investigation, citing a video the former president posted on Facebook two days after the riot. It claimed Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wasn't voted into office, but rather was chosen by the Supreme Court and Brazil's electoral authority.

Although Bolsonaro posted the video after the riot and deleted it in the morning, prosecutors argued its content was sufficient to justify investigating his conduct beforehand.

Otherwise, Bolsonaro has refrained from commenting on the election since his Oct. 30 defeat. He repeatedly stoked doubt about the reliability of the electronic voting system in the run-up to the vote, filed a request afterward to annul millions of ballots cast using the machines and never conceded.

None of the ex-president’s claims were proved, and the results of the election were recognized as legal by different politicians, including some Bolsonaro allies, and several foreign government.

The statement also said Bolsonaro “never had any relationship or participation with these spontaneous social movements.”

(AP)


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