Crime & Justice

Bolsonaro’s ex-justice minister arrested in Brazil amid riot probe

Brasilia, Jan 14 (EFE).- Brazilian police on Saturday arrested the country’s former justice minister Anderson Torres as part of a supreme federal court investigation into the insurrection by supporters of Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia last week.

Torres, who served under far-right ex-president Jair Bolsonaro, was detained at Brasilia’s international airport upon returning from Miami, his lawyers told reporters.

Torres was the regional defense secretary for the Brasilia federal region when thousands of Bolsonaro supporters stormed the parliament, supreme court and presidential palace on January 8 calling for a coup d’état against the recently elected left-wing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

A warrant for Torres’ arrest was issued by supreme court magistrate Alexandre de Moraes on Wednesday.

Torres took the regional defense role in Brasilia on January 2 but went on vacation to the United States five days later. Neither he nor Bolsonaro were in Brazil at the time of the far-right riots.

The former defense minister announced he would hand himself over to police after the arrest warrant was issued.

“I have always based my actions on ethics and legality. I believe in Brazilian justice and in the strength of institutions. I am certain that the truth will prevail,” he said in a tweet Wednesday.

Over 1,800 pro-Bolsonaro supporters were detained following the insurrection. They had spent months camped in front of the army headquarters in Brasilia to voice their opposition to the incoming president Lula.

Brazilian authorities have launched an investigation into politicians and businesses that allegedly funded the movement. EFE


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