Brazilian federal police on Tuesday raided the residences of Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel as a part of a COVID-19 corruption probe, focusing on certainly one of President Jair Bolsonaro’s political foes because the pandemic sweeps the nation.
Two sources and a press release from the federal police stated the search warrants have been a part of an investigation into alleged corruption involving the usage of public cash destined to combat the coronavirus pandemic in Rio de Janeiro state. No arrest warrants have been issued, a supply stated.
In a press release, Witzel stated he was harmless and accused Bolsonaro of “interference” within the probe. He stated he was “stunned and outraged” to see social media posts that instructed the president’s allies in Congress had prior data of the operation, suggesting leaks and the “building” of a false narrative in opposition to him.
The newest in a protracted line of Rio state governors to be snared in corruption probes, Witzel is a former ally-turned-foe of Bolsonaro. The 2 have clashed in current weeks over the best way to sort out the pandemic, and Bolsonaro views the previous choose as a re-election rival.
The probe into Witzel additionally comes simply weeks after Bolsonaro modified the highest official on the federal police amid an unpleasant political scrap with former Justice Minister Sergio Moro. A preferred fraud-fighting crusader, Moro resigned after accusing the president of attempting to put in his decide as the highest Rio cop so as to defend his household from investigations.
Police have been serving 12 search and seizure warrants, the police assertion stated.
The sources stated the probe is trying into alleged irregularities associated to hospitals set as much as deal with sufferers with COVID-19, the respiratory illness attributable to the novel coronavirus.
The police raided the Palacio Laranjeiras, the governor’s official residence, and his private residence within the neighbourhood of Grajau.
The search and seizure warrants have been issued by the Superior Court docket of Justice (STJ), Brazil’s second-highest courtroom.
Reuters information company