Prosecutor’s Office asks to file investigation of Bolsonaro for spreading secret data

The Brazilian Prosecutor’s Office asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to file an investigation against President Jair Bolsonaro for the disclosure of secret reports by the Federal Police in the framework of his discredit campaign against the current voting system, official sources reported.

The decision of the country’s attorney general, Augusto Aras, comes after the Federal Supreme Court gave fifteen days for the Prosecutor’s Office to rule on the case.

Aras considered that the investigation, established to verify an alleged invasion of systems and data banks of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), "was not protected under secrecy" of Justice, so "its disclosure does not constitute a crime" and the president cannot be investigated.

"Based on this finding, Attorney General Augusto Aras requested this Thursday (17) the Federal Supreme Court (STF) to file" the investigation, the Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

He added that for this reason "There is no way to attribute to those investigated neither the practice of the crime of disclosure of secrecy nor that of violation of functional secrecy".

The investigation to which Bolsonaro is the subject is part of a process on false news that included a harsh campaign that he maintained against the electronic voting system that Brazil adopted in 1996, which since then has not been the subject of a single complaint of fraud, but which, according to the president, encourages cheating.

In August of last year, Bolsonaro released, during a live broadcast and alongside Bolsonaro deputy Filipe Barros and Commissioner Vitor Feitosa, some secret police documents about an attempted computer attack in the 2018 elections, despite the fact that he was already proven that it had not affected the elections in which he himself was elected.

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The leader of the Brazilian far-right was intimidated by a Supreme Court magistrate to testify before the Police at the end of January, but decided not to appear, which once again increased tensions with the country’s highest court.

In this context, Aras pointed out that the Supreme Court itself has already indicated that the appearance of the accused for questioning is "optional"so that Bolsonaro, by absenting himself, would be expressing his "constitutional right".

"The fact that the President of the Republic has not declared is the manifestation of his constitutional right to silence and non-self-incrimination, which prevents an open investigation against him in that case." stressed the attorney general, quoted in the statement.

Despite the absence of Bolsonaro, the Federal Police concluded in the final report of the investigation, sent to the Supreme Court, that the head of state did have "direct, voluntary and conscious action" in the practice of the crime of violation of functional secrecy.

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