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Brazil’s Supreme Court Suspends Investigation About Flávio Bolsonaro

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Presiding Justice of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Dias Toffoli, granted the petition of Senator Flávio Bolsonaro‘s defense, and temporarily suspended all investigations in progress in Brazil based on confidential data shared by the Council of Control of Financial Activities (COAF) and the Federal Treasury without prior authorization from a court.

The president of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Presiding Justice Dias Toffoli.
The Presiding Justice of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Dias Toffoli. (Photo internet reproduction/G1)

The justice in charge during the judicial recess, Dias Toffoli signed the decision on Monday, July 15th, but the content was released on Tuesday, July 16th.

He determined that, from the date of the decision, all proceedings discussing evidence obtained by the Treasury and COAF without judicial authorization must await a final decision by the STF. A hearing in the case that will analyze the issue of data sharing by inspection and control bodies is scheduled for November 21st.

In late 2018, a COAF report pointed to suspicious banking operations of 74 employees and former employees of the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (ALERJ). The document showed atypical transactions of R$1.2 million (US$300,000) in the account of Fabrício Queiroz, who had acted as chauffeur and advisor to Flávio Bolsonaro when he was a state deputy.

The investigation involving Jair Bolsonaro’s son is part of Operation Furna da Onça, a development of Lava Jato in Rio de Janeiro that arrested ten state deputies.

Toffoli decided to extend the decision to all similar cases because he understood that it was feasible to apply the “general repercussion” rule to this decision — a legal instrument çalling for the similar decisions in all similar cases in progress in the country.

The son of Jair Bolsonaro stated that he is available to the courts to provide clarifications but did not heed the Federal Prosecutor’s invitations to provide explanations.

In January, Justice Luiz Fux — vice-president of the Federal Supreme Court — ordered a provisional suspension of the investigation procedure initiated by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Rio de Janeiro to examine financial transactions of Fabrício Queiroz, considered “atypical” by the COAF, while he was in charge of the judicial recess. At the time, Fux had also granted a petition by Flávio Bolsonaro’s defense.

On that occasion, Fux immediately forwarded the case to the rapporteur in the STF, Justice Marco Aurélio Mello. On returning from his January vacation, Marco Aurélio denied the PSL senator’s petition to suspend the investigation.

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