Brazil’s Parliamentary Commission Approves Report Accusing Bolsonaro of Coup Attempt

The Brazilian Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) has approved in a 20-to-11 vote a report on the January coup attempt in the country, presented by CPI Rapporteur Eliziane Gama and calling for the indictment of former President Jair Bolsonaro on four crimes, including organizing the coup.

“Lawmakers, with 20 votes in favor, 11 votes against and no abstentions, supported the report of Senator Eliziane Gama calling for the indictment of 61 people, including former President Jair Bolsonaro,” Brazil’s Federal Senate said in a statement on the website.

“Despite a strong protest from the opposition, which voted against the final report, the document will now be sent to the authorities responsible for the criminal prosecution for deeper review and determination of responsibility.”

The CPT commission in the report accused Bolsonaro of forming a criminal association, attempting to forcibly obstruct the democratic rule of law, a coup attempt and use of measures to impede the free exercise of political rights, with Bolsonaro facing up to 29 years in prison on these charges.

Similar charges were brought against former Defense Minister Walter Souza Braga Netto, ex-Minister of Justice and Public Security Anderson Torres, former Institutional Security Secretary Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira, former secretary of Bolsonaro’s presidency Luiz Eduardo Ramos Baptista Pereira, and ex-Defense Minister Paulo Sergio Nogueira de Oliveira.

Opponents of the report said it would not succeed in the competent authorities as the testimony of convicted Brazilian hacker Walter Delgatti, on which the accusation against Bolsonaro is largely based, cannot be accepted under the country’s norms as evidence for indictments.

The report is next due to be brought before Brazil’s attorney general, who will ultimately make the decision on whether or not to files criminal charges over the events.

On January 8, supporters of Bolsonaro stormed several government buildings in Brazil as part of demonstrations against his defeat to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the presidential election. All the buildings were looted, and about 2,000 people were detained as a result of the protests.

Months before the riots, Bolsonaro voiced doubts about Brazil’s electronic voting machines, saying that the system was allegedly vulnerable to tampering. He is also under investigation for his dealings as president. Lawyers representing Bolsonaro have reportedly denied there was any evidence that he committed a crime related to the protests.

In August, Delgatti told a parliamentary inquiry that Bolsonaro had offered to pardon him if he suffered legal consequences for tampering with an electronic ballot box during the 2022 presidential election.

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