Brazil: Charges against Bolsonarist Congresswoman to proceed
Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court (STF) Monday decided by 9 votes to 2 to proceed with charges against Bolsonarist Congresswoman Carla Zambelli for the crimes of illegal possession of a firearm and illegal constraint with the use of a firearm, Agência Brasil reported.
Thus, the STF acquiesced to a request from the Attorney General’s Office following the episode in which she pulled out a firearm and stalked journalist Luan Araújo on the eve of the second round of the 2022 elections. The harassment began after Zambelli and Luan exchanged taunts during a political event in the Jardins neighborhood of São Paulo.
Voting to accept the complaint were case rapporteur Gilmar Mendes, and Justices Alexandre de Moraes, Cármen Lúcia, Edson Fachin, Cristiano Zanin, Luís Roberto Barroso, Dias Toffoli, Rosa Weber, and Luiz Fux.
Mendes believed there was sufficient evidence to open criminal proceedings against Carla Zambelli. Although the defendant carries a gun, its use outside the limits of self-defense, in a public and ostentatious context, even more so on the eve of the elections, in theory, could mean criminal liability, he argued.
Justice André Mendonça voted to send the charges to the lower court.
Justice Nunes Marques voted to reject the complaint and understood that the case could only be brought to justice through a private criminal action filed by Luan Araújo. He also understood that Zambelli had reacted to offenses.
As can be seen from the content of the complaint itself, the accused’s conduct, which consisted of drawing her weapon and going in search of Luan Araújo, with the aim of arresting him in flagrante delicto, was clearly in the context of the offenses directed at her, said Nunes Marques.
Lawyer Daniel Bialski representing Zambelli told Agência Brasil that the MP is innocent and insisted that this condition will be recognized throughout the process.
The defense of Congresswoman Carla Zambelli, in view of the decision of the Federal Supreme Court, determining the receipt and processing of the complaint, expresses its confidence in her innocence, to be recognized when the merits are judged. And, from now on, it clarifies that all the necessary evidence can be produced to prove that she did not commit the criminal offenses for which she was accused, the counselor said.
In a separate case heard Monday, the STF recognized homophobic slurs as a crime of racial insult. With an unsurmountable 7-1 difference, voting was to continue. The Court is hearing an appeal by the Brazilian Association of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transvestites, Transsexuals, and Intersex People (ABGLT) to expand the Court’s decision that criminalized homophobia as a form of racism in 2019.
(Source: Agência Brasil)