Judge Reopens Charge Against President's Son
A supreme court judge in Brazil on Friday overturned an injunction requested by President Jair Bolsonaro’s senator son that had frozen a probe into a suspicious payments scandal involving a former close aide.
The development dealt a blow both to the son, Flavio Bolsonaro and to the president, who has unsuccessfully been trying to distance himself from the growing scandal, which now also implicates his wife.
The affair is proving a dogged embarrassment to President Bolsonaro, who won office by campaigning fiercely on promises to stamp out corruption.
Flavio Bolsonaro won the injunction last month from another supreme court judge by arguing the case should be taken away from Rio de Janeiro prosecutors and shifted to the jurisdiction of the supreme court, which should deal with it under secrecy afforded to federal lawmakers.
But on Friday the judge, Marco Aurelio Melo, said that would be inappropriate given that Flavio Bolsonaro was not a senator at the time, with the payments occurring when he was a legislator in Rio de Janeiro’s state assembly. He also said court-imposed secrecy was not justified.
Flavio Bolsonaro and the rest of Brazil’s new federal congress inaugurated their session on Friday, a month after President Jair Bolsonaro took office. The politician father and son were elected to their higher posts in October last year.
The scandal initially focused on Flavio Bolsonaro’s former bodyguard and driver, a policeman named Fabricio Queiroz.
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