Top court justice bars move to seize Bolsonaro’s cell phone

Top court justice bars move to seize Bolsonaro’s cell phone

Supreme Court Justice Celso de Mello on Monday evening (Jun. 1) rejected a motion by opposition parties to have President Jair Bolsonaro’s cell phone seized as part of avprobe into his alleged attempts to politically meddle with the Federal Police.

The justice accepted the argument of Prosecutor-General Augusto Aras, who said in a statement to the Supreme Court that it was the job of the Prosecution Service to order such measures in a criminal investigation, not outside parties.

O procurador Geral da República, Augusto Aras, durante sessão do STF que retoma julgamento sobre o compartilhamento de dados bancários e fiscais.

Prosecutor-General Augusto Aras – Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil

“One must not ignore that the monopoly of authority over a public criminal action belongs to the Prosecution Service, which acts as such in exclusivity and on behalf of the state,” Celso de Mello declared.

The motion had been submitted to the top court by the PDT, PV, and PSB after accusations were made by former Justice Minister Sergio Moro when he left his post in April. The parties also requested the cell phones of the president’s son Carlos Bolsonaro and Deputy Carla Zambelli be seized.

Despite having rejected the motion, Celso de Mello dedicated at least eight pages to stressing the importance of complying with court rulings, whatever their type or target within the three branches.

The justice also based his considerations on “news released on social communication media,” adding that Bolsonaro could refuse to turn in his cell phone in case a ruling in this connection were to be enforced.

“In short, failing to comply with a court ruling is a violation of the Constitution itself,” the minister argued.

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