Brazil's Deputy Attorney General Lindôra Maria Araújo filed a motion before Supreme Federal Court (STF) Justice Carmen Lucia not to move on with a corruption case against President Jair Bolsonaro, citing there was not enough evidence to justify it.
Bolsonaro was under investigation for alleged irregularities in the disbursements of Education Ministry funds to favor two evangelical pastors caused the resignation of the then head of the Ministry, Milton Ribeiro, also pastor of a Presbyterian church. The President had had meetings with the two pastors and was mentioned in an audio recording brought before the STF.
Such elements are not sufficient for the inclusion of the represented as investigated for the events in question, since they do not point to indications of his active and concrete participation in criminal offenses, said Araújo, who considered that a single mention of Bolsonaro is not enough to place him under investigation.
However, she asserted that, if there are indications of his participation in the facts, Bolsonaro could be included in the list of those under investigation at a later date.
”In the event that there are indications of his participation in the facts in the course of the investigations, that authority (Jair Bolsonaro) may eventually become part of the passive pole of the investigation procedure, which, so far, has not happened, she stressed.
Bolsonaro is known for his support among evangelist groups, including Pastors Gilmar Santos and Arilton Moura, who have been both linked to the Ministry of Education.
Suspicions against Bolsonaro stemmed from audio obtained by the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, in which former Education Minister Milton Ribeiro commented that projects promoted by pastors of Pentecostal churches close to the government topped the Ministry's budget.
The former minister went so far as to affirm that this was a special request from the President of the Republic” himself, a statement that was later denied by Ribeiro.
Last week, the Brazilian Government determined that the content of the meetings between Bolsonaro and the two pastors would become secret, a decision that was also denounced to the Attorney General's Office by the opposition, under the allegation that the Executive has violated the Law on Access to Information, in force since 2011.
Three mayors of small Brazilian towns said before a Senate committee that Pastors Santos and Moura had presented themselves as members of Ribeiro's team and demanded commissions to release resources from the Ministry of Education for their municipalities.