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Brasilia riots: Former President Jair Bolsonaro to be investigated over Brasilia riots, clears Brazil’s Supreme Court

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Rio de Janeiro: Brazil’s Supreme Court has authorized the inclusion of former President Jair Bolsonaro in the investigation into the January 8 riots this year in the capital Brasilia. It is the first time that Bolsonaro has been named among the potential leaders of the riots in the country’s capital. Jair Bolsonaro has posted a video questioning the legitimacy of the October presidential election. A few days later, a crowd of his supporters entered the Supreme Court, the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Brasilia, including all constitutional and governmental institutions, sparking violence, vandalism and arson.

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Prosecutors cited Jair Bolsonaro’s video message and allegations of rigging the presidential election as inciting violence in Brasilia. On Friday, he asked the Supreme Court to include the former president in the investigation. Bolsonaro claimed in his video that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva did not return to power by obtaining the votes of the people, but that the Supreme Court and the Electoral Authority of Brazil helped him win the elections. However, the video was posted after the riots and was later deleted.

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The attorney general’s office argued in the Supreme Court that the content of the video was sufficient to warrant an investigation into Bolsonaro. On January 8, 2022, supporters of the former president stormed the Supreme Court, parliament and the presidential palace in Brasilia, the country’s capital, for rigging the election. They had camped in and around the capital Brasilia for weeks demanding a military coup. Meanwhile, Jair Bolsonaro has been admitted to a Florida hospital after complaining of stomach pain, his wife has said. He emigrated from Brazil to the United States at the end of December, after refusing to attend the handover ceremony to Lula da Silva.

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Several businessmen and officials are under investigation, including Anderson Torres, the former Brasilia security chief who fled to the United States before the riots. On Thursday, police went to his home and found a document believed to contain a plot to overturn the October election result. Torres argues the document was taken out of context, but Justice Minister Flavio Dino said he must appear in court by Monday or face extradition. Earlier, Lula da Silva accused Bolsonaro’s associates of aiding the attack on the presidential palace. More than 1,200 people have been officially arrested for incitement and participation in the riots in Brasilia.

Keywords: Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, violent riots

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