Considering the episodes in which Mauro Cid is under investigation in the digital militia investigation, if he provides elements in his plea bargain that implicate Jair Bolsonaro (PL), the former president could be involved in crimes with high penalties that could result, including , in prison.
The framework of the conduct can still be changed throughout the investigation, as well as the conclusion that there was no crime.
Among the premises of the accusation is that the person being investigated confesses to the conduct carried out and points out who contributed to the actions, in addition to presenting elements corroborating what was said.
For Cid or Bolsonaro to eventually become defendants, it is necessary for the Public Prosecutor’s Office to file a complaint — which did not happen — and for it to be received by the Judiciary.
Proceeding in secrecy at the STF (Supreme Federal Court) under the rapporteur of minister Alexandre de Moraes, inquiry 4874, in which the plea agreement took place, brings together the investigation into the sale of jewelry presented by authorities, alleged forgery of vaccination cards and the circumstances of the minutes and dialogues of a coup nature found on Cid’s cell phone.
In the decision authorizing search and seizure against different agents, including Mauro Cid’s father, related to the jewelry presented by international authorities to the former president, Moraes cites the investigation into the crime of embezzlement, with a penalty of 2 to 12 years of imprisonment, and also money laundering, which can lead to a punishment of 3 to 10 years in prison.
For the crime of embezzlement to be established, the gifts sold must be understood as public goods, which Bolsonaro’s defense disputes. Furthermore, an eventual conviction of the former president must depend, for example, on proving that he ordered the sales or that the scheme worked to his benefit.
Rossana Leques, criminal lawyer and master in criminal law from USP, says that in the case of the crime of money laundering, it is not enough to say that the property was sold and the money was used, it is necessary to prove that the operations carried out had the intention of removing the connection of values obtained criminally with the commission of the crime itself.
In August, Cezar Bitencourt, the lieutenant colonel’s lawyer, stated that Cid would confess to having sold the jewelry at the behest of Bolsonaro, but then presented a back and forth of versions, until the proposal for a plea bargain. According to Veja magazine, Cid said in his statement that he handed over the money obtained from the sale of two watches to Bolsonaro.
In an interview, Bolsonaro has already said that Cid had “autonomy” as his assistant and that he did not order anyone to sell anything or receive anything.
In May, Moraes ordered Cid’s preventive detention in a decision related to suspicions surrounding the falsification of his vaccination card, that of his wife, Bolsonaro’s youngest daughter and the former president himself.
In the decision, the magistrate said there was strong evidence of crimes of ideological falsehood, use of false documents and insertion of false data into an information system. Experts consulted by Sheet assess that, even if the suspicions are confirmed, a conviction for the three crimes would be unlikely.
Mariângela Gama de Magalhães Gomes, professor of criminal law at USP, explains that the crime of using a false document, for example, already absorbs the crime of forgery – both have the same penalty, from 1 to 5 years, in the case of document forgery public.
The crime of entering false data, in turn, which has the highest penalty, 2 to 12 years in prison, is the most specific, requiring the participation of a public official and the data being included in a system.
Guilherme Brenner Lucchesi, criminal lawyer and professor of criminal procedural law at the Federal University of Paraná, explains that whoever ordered and participated in the plan would already be involved in committing the offense.
Another possible crime cited in Moraes’ decision is criminal association, which could increase the sentence from 1 to 3 years.
At the time of his arrest, in his statement to the PF, Cid did not answer questions, and his defense claimed he did not have access to the entire content of the investigation. Bolsonaro praised the soldier and told the PF that, if Cid committed any crime, it would have been without his knowledge.
In the investigation into digital militias, when describing what would be the lines of action of the supposed criminal organization being investigated, Moraes cites the crimes of attempted violent abolition of the democratic rule of law, which carries a prison sentence of 4 to 8 years, and also attempted coup d’état, which carries a sentence of 4 to 12 years. As the investigation is confidential, it is not possible to know for sure which elements point in this direction in relation to Cid.
According to a PF report already released, a draft of a state of siege decree was found on Mauro Cid’s cell phones, as well as a type of study on the feasibility of intervention by the Armed Forces to reverse the result of the 2022 elections and explicit dialogues about a coup.
At the time, Bolsonaro’s defense stated in a statement that the dialogues found reinforced that the former president did not participate in coup articulations and that the former advisor’s cell phone had become a “simple mailbox” for “the most diverse lamentations” .
For now, Bolsonaro is formally investigated in an investigation that determines the responsibility of intellectual authors and people who instigated the acts of January 8th. A recent decision in the investigation initially points to evidence of authorship of the crime of incitement to crime — the penalty for which is detention, from 3 to 6 months, or a fine.
Rossana states that, in theory, in the case of the existence of a coup plan that was only considered, there is no crime. On the other hand, in relation to January 8th, it would be necessary to demonstrate some level of participation in the organization of these acts themselves.
Mariângela says that the unfulfilled draft decree, in turn, could be proof that there was an intention to carry out a coup. She emphasizes, however, that a link between the document and Bolsonaro would depend on evidence in this regard.
Brenner states that, for the crime of incitement to be considered, it would be necessary to prove an explicit manifestation. Speech between the lines, for example, would not be a sufficient element. He also says that he does not see January 8 as an attempt at these crimes, as he does not consider that the means used would be suitable for carrying out a coup d’état.