Week after week the police and judicial siege tightens around the former president of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, who lost power and immunity 13 months ago. Federal police are investigating his son Carlos, 41, a city councilor in Rio de Janeiro, in a case of illegal espionage perpetrated by Brazilian secret services during his father’s tenure, Reuters confirmed on Monday. The investigators are ordered to search his house and official office; They suspect that the mayor and digital strategist of the Bolsonaro clan was one of the recipients of information collected without judicial authorization. The patriarch and leader of the Brazilian right considered it so crucial to achieving the unexpected victory, in 2018, that Carlos was the only one of the five children who accompanied him in the Rolls Royce on inauguration day.
Among the residences surveyed, a summer chalet where Bolsonaro Sr. spends his holidays, in Angra do Rei, near Rio. He and his children spent Sunday together there. When the police arrived this morning, none of them were at home, they had gone out fishing together at dawn, according to the family’s lawyer. At the end of the morning they returned to the house, where the officers were still there.
This Monday’s police operation is a continuation of the one carried out last week. So the main target was Alexandre Ramagem, who was the head of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) under Bolsonaro. Police commissioner before entering politics, Ramallo is now a deputy and close to Carlos Bolsonaro. The main allegation in the case is that the Secret Service used a Software The Israeli called First Mile to infect phones and monitor around 30,000 people, including public authorities and ordinary citizens considered political adversaries by the then president, the far right, and Bolsonarism in general.
The police explained, in a statement released this morning, that the eight search warrants now aim to “advance the political core, identifying the main recipients and beneficiaries of the information illegally produced within the ABIN”. The statement does not mention Bolsonaro Jr. or any of the other suspects.
Carlos has for years been at the center of another case investigated by the Supreme Court concerning the so-called Cabinet of Hate. While his father was head of state, the advisor had an office in the presidential palace where he served as minister of propaganda. The police suspect that from there he spread false information and disinformation to attack his father’s rivals and anyone considered inconvenient and traitor by Bolsonarism. He has always declared himself innocent.
The accusations come a few hours after the former president and his three sons involved in politics, the councilor under investigation Carlos, the senator Flávio and the deputy Eduardo were the protagonists of a live broadcast on YouTube this Sunday evening which kicked off the municipal elections in October. The Bolsonaros are recruiting followers to prepare for the courses on line run in the elections, which will be a battle between President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Bolsonaro, who remains the leader of the opposition, even though judges have disqualified him from running in the elections until 2030.
Deputies close to Bolsonaro came out to defend the leader’s second son. They accuse the police of persecuting the clan in an attempt to silence them.
The circle closest to the former president is the subject of police and judicial interests on various fronts. Two other sons of Bolsonaro, Senator Flávio and Renan, who is not a politician, were identified by investigators in the first phase of this operation. The first, for having used the secret services to prepare his defense in a trial; the second, for using it to interfere in an investigation. Furthermore, a former Minister of Justice and the soldier who shadowed him as personal secretary for four years are under house arrest for the assault on the three powers, in Brasilia, in January 2023.
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