After being released from the Federal Police (PF) superintendency in Brasília, the president of the Liberal Party (PL), Valdemar Costa Neto, must continue to comply with precautionary measures. Valdemar was granted provisional freedom by the minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Alexandre de Moraes, this Saturday (10).
Even without being the target of an arrest warrant, Valdemar was detained after the PF found a supposedly irregular weapon and a gold nugget at one of his addresses during the searches launched by the PF in the operation that targeted former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and allies, on Thursday (8). The operation was authorized by Moraes.
According to Valdemar’s defense, the arrest was carried out without a relevant fact. The lawyers also said that the weapon would be registered and the nugget would have a low value, which would not constitute a crime.
In a statement, Costa Neto’s defense explained that the nugget has been “kept as a relic for years.” Regarding the weapon, the PL president’s defense explained that it is registered and belongs to a close relative of Valdemar, and that it was forgotten several years ago in his apartment.
On Friday (9), after the Custody hearing, Moraes had decided to keep Valdemar in prison, but changed his mind considering that he is over 70 years old and had not committed a crime of violence or serious threat.
On Friday (9), when justifying the maintenance of the prison, Moraes said that the search and seizure warrant against the president of the PL was motivated by the suspicion of “very serious crimes”, with violent abolition of the State, coup d’état and association criminal. In the decision, the judge also recalled that Valdemar was already convicted of crimes of passive corruption and money laundering, in November 2013, in the PT’s monthly allowance process.
The citation of Valdemar’s previous conviction by Moraes clashes with other positions adopted by the minister and the higher courts, especially the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), in relation to President Lula (PT), who was also convicted and imprisoned for corruption, but does not accept the label of “uncondemned”, “thief” or “corrupt”. In this sense, the Courts have adopted a series of decisions against members of the opposition and press vehicles – including in the 2022 electoral period – who insist on remembering the PT member’s past.
Even when free, Valdemar must comply with the precautionary measures already imposed in Moraes’ previous decision. The president of the PL is prohibited from maintaining contact with the other people being investigated, including through lawyers. Valdemar is also prohibited from leaving the country.
According to Moraes, if Valdemar fails to comply with the measures, he will have to return to prison.
Moraes’ decision to prevent contact between lawyers is unprecedented and generated a reaction, albeit timid, from the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB). On Friday (9), the president of the Order, Beto Simonetti, asked Moraes to review the decision.
In the petition, the OAB endorses the accusations against former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) due to criticism of the electoral system and says that it “does not take sides in political-party disputes”.