Bolsonaro ordered to face questioning over Brazil riots

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A Supreme Court judge ordered Brazil’s ex-president Jair Bolsonaro Friday to face questioning by police over his supporters’ invasion of the presidential palace, Congress, and high court on January 8.

Justice Alexandre de Moraes ruled Bolsonaro had to appear before federal police within 10 days to answer to questions over accusations he incited the rioters, who called for the ouster of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who defeated Bolsonaro in last year’s elections.


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“I grant the request by the prosecutor general’s office and determine the federal police must take Jair Messias Bolsonaro’s testimony within a maximum of 10 days,” Moraes wrote in the ruling, obtained by AFP.

Thousands of Bolsonaro’s far-right supporters stormed the halls of power in Brasilia on January 8, trashing offices, vandalizing artworks and calling for the military to intervene to oust veteran leftist Lula.

The scenes drew widespread comparisons to the January 6, 2021 riots in Washington, when supporters of ex-president Donald Trump -- Bolsonaro’s political role model -- invaded the US Capitol building in a failed bid to overturn his election loss.

The riots in Brasilia came one week after Lula, who previously led Brazil from 2003 to 2010, took office after narrowly beating Bolsonaro in a brutal, divisive election last October.

Prosecutors called for Bolsonaro to be investigated over a video he posted online -- and later deleted -- two days after the attacks, in which he portrayed Lula’s election as illegitimate.

However, prosecutors said their probe of the ex-president would not be limited to the video, but a “full investigation of all acts before and after January 8.”

Bolsonaro, who left for the US state of Florida in the final days of his term, returned to Brazil on March 30, vowing to oppose Lula’s government.

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