January 15, 2023 at 12:20 JST
Anderson Torres gives a news conference last Oct. 1 while serving as justice minister. (AP file Photo)
BRASILIA--Brazil’s former Justice Minister Anderson Torres, who was in charge of public security in Brasilia during the invasion of government buildings a week ago, was arrested here Saturday on suspicion of “omission” and “connivance.”
Torres was arrested after returning to Brazil the same day. He had been on vacation in Florida, the same U.S. state his ex-boss, former right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, had traveled to after losing last year’s election.
The ex-minister said last week that evidence produced by police was taken out of context when his home was raided.
Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered Torres’ arrest on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear what the charges were, but Moraes cited alleged “omission” and “connivance” by Torres.
Protests last Sunday by Bolsonaro supporters culminated in the storming of government buildings in Brasilia.
The director-general of the Federal Police, Andrei Rodrigues, said earlier in last week “the various omissions, allegedly intentional, carried out by those responsible for public safety in the Federal District contributed to the practice of terrorist acts.”
Brazilian police found a draft decree in the home of Torres on Thursday which they said appeared to be a proposal to interfere in the result of the October election that Bolsonaro lost to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
According to Torres, the document was “leaked out of context” after being seized when he was not at his residence, and was probably part of a pile of papers for disposal.
“Everything would be taken to be shredded in due course,” the former minister said in a post on Twitter on Thursday.
Upon learning of Moraes’ detention order, Torres also said on Twitter on Tuesday that he would interrupt his holiday and return to Brazil to hand himself in.
Justice Minister Flavio Dino had given Torres until Monday to return, after which he said he would have started extradition procedures.
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