No cop block in corruption probe: Brazil’s Bolsonaro

Source:AFP Published: 2020/5/13 18:23:40

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro wears a face mask during a press conference on the coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil on Friday. Photo: AFP

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro denied on Tuesday that he had top police officers fired to shield his family from investigations, as potentially damning revelations continued to fly in a case that has hurt the far-right leader.

 An obstruction of justice probe opened after Bolsonaro fired the federal police chief. 

It took an explosive turn as investigators viewed a video of a cabinet meeting at which the Brazilian president allegedly indicated that he wanted changes to the police top brass in order to muzzle ongoing investigations.

Bolsonaro acknowledged talking about his family at the April 22 cabinet meeting, but said he was referring to protecting their physical safety. He said that had been a top concern since he himself was stabbed during his 2018 presidential campaign.

"I never said the word 'investigation.' My concern since the stabbing has always been for my family's security," he told journalists.

He said on Twitter that he would have no problem publicly releasing any part of the video pertaining to the investigation.

The public saga goes back to April 24, when popular justice minister Sergio Moro resigned over the firing of federal police chief Mauricio Valeixo.

Moro, an anti-corruption crusader, accused Bolsonaro of improper "political interference" in the police's work.

According to a series of leaks to the Brazilian media, the president and his cabinet used off-color language and insults in talking about various politicians and Supreme Court justices.



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