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  • Wilson Witzel gives a speech in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 13, 2020.

    Wilson Witzel gives a speech in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 13, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 15 September 2020
Opinion

In Oct. 2018, Wilson Witzel was elected as governor due to his plans for fighting crime in the city.

The Brazilian Attorney General's Office Monday filed a complaint to the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) against Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel over charges of corruption.

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Earlier this month, he was accused of being the head of a criminal organization that came up with a scheme to divert public health resources during the pandemic.

Twelve other people were accused of being involved in the scheme including Witzel's wife and former presidential candidate Everaldo Pereira, who is also president of the Social Christian Party (PSC).

The Attorney General's Office also requested for Witzel to lose his position as governor, and asked for the twelve indictees to pay a compensation of about US$19 million.

Ironically, in October 2018, the 52-year-old former judge was elected as governor largely due to his supposed plans of fighting corruption and crime in the city.

Witzel and his wife were also the subjects of a police investigation into fraudulent contracts used in the construction of field hospitals. This operation resulted in the arrest of a former federal deputy and a businessman close to the Witzels.

Rio de Janeiro's Vice Governor Claudio Castro, who is also currently under investigation, will take office on a provisional basis.

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