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News > Latin America

Bolsonaro Must Answer for Pardon to Far-Right Lawmaker

  • President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil, 2022.

    President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @Claudia65807336

Published 26 April 2022

The Brazilian president pardoned an ex-police officer who threatened the Supreme Court, publicly incited violence, and called for military intervention in the democratic process.

On Tuesday, Brazil's Supreme Court asked President Jair Bolsonaro to explain the pardon he granted to far-right lawmaker Daniel Silveira, just 24 hours after the Court sentenced him to eight years in prison.


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The request for explanations was made by Judge Rosa Weber, who analyzed the constitutionality of the pardon for Silveira, who was convicted of serious threats against the court and other democratic institutions and for advocating the dictatorship.

Judge Alexandre de Moraes, who was in charge of the process against Silveira, also requested explanations as to why the convicted person disconnected an electronic ankle bracelet that he must use by court order.

Right-wing political organizations maintain that Bolsonaro granted the pardon acting according to the powers that the Constitution grants to the President of the Republic. However, Brazilian jurists have doubts about the validity of his decision, given that the Supreme Court ruling had not even been published yet.

The former Captain Bolsonaro, who has also defended the dictatorship and attacked the judges on multiple occasions, defended his pardon, arguing that it represented a defense of “freedom of expression” and parliamentary immunity. Silveira was sentenced amid investigations into the spread of fake news and threats against politicians and judges.

This investigation has already caused serious conflicts between the Supreme Court and Bolsonaro, who has also been attacking the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), blaming it for preparing an electoral fraud in favor of the leftist presidential candidate Lula da Silva. While the ultimate reasons for the pardon are still unclear, the Diario do Centro do Mundo recalled that Silveira would have recorded conversations with Bolsonaro without authorization.

"There are indications that the presidential pardon was a consequence of that act, although there is no evidence to support the theory," the Brazilian outlet said, adding that this data has been circulating on the Internet since November 2021.

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