The Brazilian justice continues this Thursday the trial against former president Jair Bolsonaro, charged with abuse of power and misuse of the media.
This is a case where, if found guilty, Bolsonaro could lose his political rights for the next 8 years, with which he could not stand for the next presidential elections, in 2026.
The central cause of the trial, which began last Thursday, is a meeting to which
Bolsonaro summoned fifty foreign ambassadors to the official residence of the Presidency, on July 18, 2022, to seriously discredit the electoral system and accuse the Justice of maneuvering in favor of the current president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
The ex-president already received a first vote in favor of his disqualification in the trial before the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and, This Thursday, the analysis and vote of the other six magistrates that make up the electoral court are expected and that will define the political future of the right-wing leader.
In the session this Tuesday, the investigating judge in the process against Bolsonaro found him guilty of abuse of power in the 2022 elections and voted in favor of disqualifying him for 8 years.
The magistrate Benedito Gonçalves considered proven that Bolsonaro used his then position as head of state «to degrade the electoral environment», «incite a state of collective paranoia» and fabricate «conspiracy theories» with «false information» and «egregious lies».
«It is not possible to close your eyes to the anti-democratic effects of violent speeches and lies that jeopardize the credibility of the electoral Justice,» said the investigating judge in the summary reading of his vote, of 382 pages in total.
Bolsonaro’s lawyer, Tarcisio Vieira, maintains that the evidence against his client «is fragile for a sanction of this magnitude» and anticipated that in case of conviction, the decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court.
A political disqualification would leave Bolsonaro out of the next presidential elections in 2026 and would open a race for the leadership of the right in Brazil, for now without clear alternatives.
This Thursday the third plenary session resumed, when the other six judges will continue to demonstrate. Although a postponement of the trial is not ruled out, in the event that one of the magistrates requests more time to examine the case.
Follow the minute by minute of the new day of the trial against Bolsonaro.
Hearing could conclude in minutes
The Brazilian outlet O Globo reports that the session will close after the André Ramos Tavares vote due to the STF trial session that begins at 2 pm local time (12 pm in Colombia).
With that, the trial will resume this Friday at noon (10 am Colombia) with the votes of the three Supreme Court ministers: Cármen Lúcia, Nunes Marques and Alexandre de Moraes, president of the TSE.
André Ramos Tavares begins his vote
The next magistrate to cast his vote is André Ramos Tavares. The score, so far, is 2 votes in favor of disqualifying Jair Bolsonaro for eight years against one in favor of acquitting him.
The vote is broken
Magistrate Floriano de Azevedo Marques voted in favor of condemning Jair Bolsonaro and advocated that the former president be ineligible for eight years starting last year. The score is now 2-1.
In justifying his vote, he said that Bolsonaro «broke the presidential liturgy» in his meeting with the ambassadors. He also disagreed with Raúl Araújo’s argument that the former president’s conduct did not influence the outcome of the elections.
The vote of Floriano de Azevedo Marqués begins
After the vote of Raúl Araújo, who tied the sentence against Jair Bolsonaro, Floriano de Azevedo Marques began his vote.
In what until now appears to be a vote against former President Jair Bolsonaro, the magistrate said that «the abuse and misuse of authority are clear». «There was abuse of political power because (Bolsonaro) used his power as President of the Republic to emulate the electoral strategy for his own benefit, he would act in a normal, immoral and extremely serious manner,» he added.
The vote is tied
Up to this point, two magistrates have voted: Benedito Gonçalves, who voted on Tuesday for the disqualification, and Raúl Araújo, who voted this Thursday for the acquittal.
The votes of 5 magistrates are still missing.
Will a decision be known today?
Given the extension of the vote of magistrate Raúl Araújo, who spoke for more than an hour and a half, the local media indicated that it is possible that the trial of the action that could disqualify former president Jair Bolsonaro will be left for this Friday.
This Thursday’s session must be closed before 2 pm (local time), when the Federal Supreme Court (STF) begins the day’s session.
Araújo dismisses request for disqualification
One of Jair Bolsonaro’s hopes in the TSE trial: Raúl Araújo recognized the former president’s abusive act, but voted against the former president’s ineligibility.
In the vote, Araújo affirmed that the meeting between the former president and the ambassadors presented «facts that are known not to be true» and that have already been denied. He also acknowledged that the event had an electoral nature, but said that Bolsonaro addressed issues, such as the printed vote, that can be discussed.
Bolsonaro says he was waiting for a visa application
Jair Bolsonaro landed at the Santos Dumont airport during the election of magistrate Raúl Araújo.
At a press conference with journalists, the former president said he was waiting for «a request for a visit.» The expectation of the defense was that the magistrate would intercede in favor of Bolsonaro.
Eduardo Bolsonaro talks about persecution
During the trial of the action that could disqualify his father, the deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro opened a public hearing in the Chamber of Deputies with a speech on the persecution of the Judiciary.
In a speech at a meeting of the Commission for Public Safety and the Fight against Organized Crime, the deputy stated: «Conservatives are affected.»
What has Bolsonaro said?
Bolsonaro, absent from the first sessions of the trial, planned to travel from Brasilia to Rio de Janeiro, where, he assured, he has a «broad» agenda.
At the airport, the former president once again defended his innocence. «I did not commit any crime when meeting with ambassadors. Wanting to take away my political rights for abuse of political power is inexplicable,» he told the press. He added that he still trusted the «impartiality of the majority of the TSE judges» for a favorable verdict.
«It is absurd or what you are doing. You are looking for hair in the ovo (…) It is an injustice with me, my God of heaven» – Jair Bolsonaro just now, before boarding for Rio de Janeiro pic.twitter.com/bth3RLZj9H
— William De Lucca (@delucca) June 29, 2023
We explained what would be decided today
This Thursday, in the third hearing of the trial, the other six TSE judges are expected to rule, although a postponement is not ruled out, if any of them ask for more time to examine the case.
The verdict, which could include the disqualification of Bolsonaro, is defined by the majority (at least 4 of 7 votes).
What does Araújo’s decision imply?
The Brazilian journalist Bernardo Mello Franco explains that, with his intervention, Araújo «hit the nail on the head and the horseshoe». As he explains, the magistrate «did not interrupt the trial with a request for review, as Bolsonaro wanted, but he obtained the request from the defense ignoring the draft of the ‘coup’.»
Raúl Araújo votes against including ‘coup project’ in action
Right at the beginning of his vote, Araújo differed from the speaker, Benedito Gonçalves, regarding the inclusion of the so-called «coup project» in the action against Bolsonaro and spoke of «undue extension of the demand».
According to Bolsonaro’s defense, the draft found in the house of former minister Anderson Torres is an «apocryphal document that cannot legally be considered» as evidence and, therefore, «cancelling its inclusion would be admitting the relationship of those investigated with the draft.» .
The minister of the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) Raúl Araújo, second to vote in the ruling on the ineligibility of Bolsonaro, retracted his position assumed last February and rejected the inclusion of the coup draft found in the house of former minister Anderson Torres in the process being reviewed this morning.
The third hearing begins
Minister Alexandre de Moraes announced the opening of the electoral session of the TSE that resumed the trial of Jair Bolsonaro.
On Tuesday, the rapporteur Benedito Gonçalves voted in favor of the eight-year disqualification of the former president. The vote continues today with Raúl Araújo, Floriano de Azevedo Marques, André Ramos Tavares, the vice president of the TSE, Cármen Lúcia, Nunes Marques and, finally, the president of the Court, Minister Alexandre de Moraes.