Bolsonaro given 3 days to comment on document found in ex-minister’s home

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 16 (EFE).- Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court on Monday gave former president Jair Bolsonaro three days to comment on the content of a draft decree found by police at the home of his former justice minister.

The deadline was established in a ruling by magistrate Benedito Gonçalves, who ordered the inclusion of the document into an investigation being carried out into Bolsonaro over alleged abuse of power during his campaign for October’s presidential election.

The decree would have allowed Bolsonaro to establish an emergency “state of defense” for the Superior Electoral Court – the national election authority – and possibly reverse the result of the Oct. 30 election, in which he was defeated by the progressive Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Gonçalves also asked for a copy of the document seized, as well as other documents and information resulting from the police search concerning the electoral process, especially aimed at delegitimizing the election result.

The draft decree was found by the Federal Police at the residence of former justice minister Anderson Torres, who has been detained since Saturday as he was security chief for Brasilia when thousands of Bolsonaro supporters stormed the presidential palace, congress and the supreme court on Jan. 8.

Bolsonaro was also included by the supreme court in the list of those being investigated for the assault on democracy.

The judicial siege tightens on the ex-president, who is currently in the United States and suspected of inciting his supporters to invade and destroy the government buildings.

In the event Bolsonaro is found responsible for abuse of political power and misuse of official media in favor of his campaign, the electoral court can disqualify him from politics for at least eight years. EFE


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