| 18 April 2024, Thursday |

Bolsonaro’s ex-justice minister arrested in Brazilian capital

Former Brazilian Justice Minister Anderson Torres was detained in Brasilia on Saturday on suspicion of “omission” and “connivance” after being in command of public security during the invasion of government facilities a week prior.

On Saturday, Torres was detained after arriving in Brazil. He had been vacationing in Florida, the same state that his previous boss, right-wing former President Jair Bolsonaro, had visited after losing the election in 2018.

Demosthenes Torres, one of Torres’ lawyers, confirmed the arrest to Reuters.

The ex-minister said on Thursday that evidence produced by police was taken out of context when his home was raided this week.

Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered Torres’ arrest on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear what the charges were, but Moraes cited alleged “omission” and “connivance” by Torres.

Bolsonaro supporters stormed Brasilian government buildings as a result of protests last Sunday.

According to Andrei Rodrigues, the director general of the Federal Police, “the multiple omissions, presumably purposeful, carried out by those responsible for public safety in the Federal District contributed to the practice of terrorist activities” earlier this week.

On Thursday, Brazilian authorities discovered a draft decree in Torres’ residence that they claimed appeared to be a plan to tamper with the outcome of the October election, which Bolsonaro lost to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

According to Anderson Torres, the document was “leaked out of context” after being seized when he was not at his residence, and was probably part of a pile of papers for disposal.

“Everything would be taken to be shredded in due course,” the former minister said in a post on Twitter on Thursday.

Upon learning of Moraes’ detention order, Anderson Torres also said on Twitter on Tuesday that he would interrupt his holiday and return to Brazil to hand himself in.

Justice Minister Flavio Dino had given Torres until Monday to return, after which he said he would have started extradition procedures.

  • Reuters