Justice Alexandre de Moraes of the Brazilian Supreme Court has ordered former President Jair Bolsonaro to testify before Brazil’s federal police regarding his role in the January 8th riots. The judge gave the order on Friday, April 14th, with Bolsonaro having to appear before the federal police within 10 days.
“I grant the request made by the Attorney General of the Republic and order the Federal Police to proceed with the hearing of Jair Messias Bolsonaro,” Moraes wrote in his order.
The Brazilian Attorney General requested that Bolsonaro be questioned regarding the role he played in the January 8th riots that were witnessed in Brazil’s capital city, Brasilia. In the aftermath of Bolsonaro’s defeat to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former president’s supporters expressed their unhappiness with the election’s result. According to Aljazeera, Bolsonaro’s political allies even resorted to making an unsuccessful attempt to have certain ballots declared invalid.
Bolsonaro’s supporters continued to protest under the influence of claims he made stating that Brazil’s electoral system was vulnerable to manipulation. A significant number of them camped outside military bases, some calling for the military to take action. On January 8th, they rioted, attacked, and destroyed the nation’s Congress, Supreme Court, and the presidential palace. The protesters destroyed property, clashed with police officers, and called for, in all practicality, a coup d’etat.
In the aftermath of the riot, thousands of Bolosnaro’s supporters were arrested. Since the January 8th riot, hundreds have been released from police custody.
Former President Bolsonaro was not in Brazil when the riots occurred, spending time in Florida in what he described as a self-imposed exile. He denied having a hand in any of the events that took place on January 8th. However, the Brazilian prosecutors claim he posted a video online in which claimed President Lula was not voted into office but picked by Brazil’s electoral authority and Supreme Court. Bolsonaro later deleted this video.
Bolsonaro is currently back in the country and is facing more than one investigation. He stands accused of receiving jewelry valued at upwards of $3.2 million from Saudi Arabia. It is alleged by Brazilian authorities that he did not declare these gifts with the required documentation.
LittleAfrica News covered the riots that took place in Brazil on January 8th. They were compared to the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol, with both riots being led by former presidents claiming election fraud and calling for groups of protestors to act on behalf of their beliefs.