Ronnie Lessa and Elcio Queiroz were charged with murder by ambush and remain confined in the Porto Velho federal prison.
The Rio de Janeiro Justice Court (TJRJ) on Tuesday confirmed that a court will try former police officer Ronnie Lessa and former military officer Elcio Queiroz, both of whom are charged with the murder of Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes.
"This is an important step... Unanimously, the TJRJ decided that the defendants will be tried," PSOL councilwoman Monica Benicio tweeted.
Franco's murder occurred on the night of March 14, 2018, in Rio de Janeiro. Her vehicle was shot thirteen times by an HK MP5 submachine gun, a high-precision weapon used only by elite police forces.
Almost three years after her death, the investigations carried out by the Public Prosecutor's Office have shown indications of the involvement of members of the security forces.
"A link between Bolsonaro's family and the Marielle Franco murder case appeared [...] as details emerged that one of Bolsonaro's sons fell in love with the daughter of Ronnie Lessa, who is one of the two former policemen accused of the killing" More + ��https://t.co/BUoJhuxZUq— Zel Florizel��️O PL 3877/2020 VAI FERRAR O BRASIL (@ZellFlorizel) January 14, 2021
Three politicians from Rio de Janeiro have been considered suspects in the planning of the execution. They are councilman Marcelo Siciliano, former councilman Cristiano Girao, and Domingos Brazao, a member of the State Audit Court. All three, however, have denied their involvement in the crime.
Lessa and Queiroz were charged with murder by ambush and remain confined in the Porto Velho federal prison in the state of Rondonia.
Marielle Franco, who was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro's shantytown Mare, worked in defense of black women, youth, and the LGBTI community.
"She refused to remain silent about unlawful police executions and fearlessly denounced injustice, even hours before her brutal murder," Amnesty International recalled.