Investigations into attempted coup in Brazil Bolsonaro wants to challenge

Investigations into attempted coup in Brazil: Bolsonaro wants to challenge judges

Jair Bolsonaro's defense has requested that the judge in charge of the investigation, which suspects the former far-right Brazilian president of involvement in an attempted coup, be removed.

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In a request addressed to the Supreme Court, the former head of state's lawyers argue that Judge Alexandre de Moraes, in charge of the case at the Supreme Court, “describes himself as a direct victim” of the actions that affect the investigation.

This situation jeopardizes “the impartiality necessary to carry out its duties,” the defense assesses in this letter dated Wednesday, which AFP consulted on Thursday.

In addition to his “rejection,” lawyers are demanding that the judge’s decisions in this case be declared “null and void.”

Last week, Judge Moraes ordered police to confiscate Mr Bolsonaro's passport and carry out arrests and searches in his immediate circle.

The defense request is currently being considered by the President of the Supreme Court, Luis Roberto Barroso, we learned from the court.

The former president, who served from 2019 to 2022, is, along with many of his officials, targeted in an alleged “coup d'etat” that would have been planned before January 8, 2023.

That day, thousands of Bolsonaristas, rejecting the defeat of their champion against leftist leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the October 2022 presidential election, looted places of power in Brasilia and demanded military intervention.

According to investigators, the Bolsonaro camp conspired before the election to declare a state of emergency, have Judge Moraes arrested and call new elections when a victory for Lula seemed increasingly likely.

Alexandre de Moraes has regularly suffered the wrath of Jair Bolsonaro for leading several investigations against him in his dual role as judge of the Federal Court and president of the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE).

The former president was sentenced to eight years in prison by the TSE last June for spreading false information.

Judge Moraes' office did not immediately respond to requests from AFP.