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Montevideo, December 4th 2022 - 13:12 UTC



Former Bolsonarist minister released in corruption probe

Friday, June 24th 2022 - 21:11 UTC
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Ribeiro's arrest was politically motivated, Flavio Bolsonaro argued Ribeiro's arrest was politically motivated, Flavio Bolsonaro argued

A Brazilian Federal court in Brasilia has ordered the release of former Education Minister, Pastor Milton Ribeiro from jail after being arrested Wednesday on a preemptive basis for allegedly diverting public funds for his own benefit and collecting bribes from municipal authorities.

Ribeiro had been detained Wednesday morning at his home in Santos, in the State of São Paulo, in a Federal Police raid in which Pastors Arilton Moura and Gilmar Santos were also apprehended. Dozens of officers made arrests and seized documents in the states of São Paulo, Brasília, Goias, and Pará, it was reported.

The decision to release Ribeiro brought some relief to President Jair Bolsonaro, four months before the elections in which he will run for a second term in office. According to uncorroborated reports, Moura and Santos were also set free.

Senator Flavio Bolsonaro had argued that the opposition was seeking political gain through Ribeiro's detention. ”There is a clear attempt to use this fact electorally, in which there are suspicions about former minister Milton (Ribeiro),“ said the President's son.

”The government is very calm (..) it was the minister himself (Ribeiro) who denounced to the Office of the Comptroller General of the Union that there were suspicions of something wrong“ in the ministry, Flavio Bolsonaro added.

Ribeiro's lawyer Daniel Bialsky stressed that his client's arrest constituted an ”illegality“ that can only be explained as a part of the ongoing ”electoral war“ ahead of the Oct. 2 presidential elections. Bialsky is also the lawyer of First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro.

According to Folha de Sao Paulo, the Federal Police also launched an investigation into ”rumors of possible interference” leading up to Pastor Ribeiro's release, at a time opposition lawmakers announced they had garnered the 27 signatures needed to create a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) to delve on the Ribeiro case, a drive boosted by Senator Randolfe Rodrigues of the center-left Rede Sustentavel party.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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