The Federal Supreme Court (STF) begins judging this Wednesday (13) the first four defendants who would have participated in the invasion and depredation of the headquarters of the Three Powers, in Brasília, on January 8. The expectation of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) is that the ministers will establish theses that facilitate the trial of another 228 people who were arrested there, accused of crimes such as coup d’état, violent abolition of the Democratic Rule of Law, criminal association , damage and depredation of public property, penalties for which can reach 30 years in prison.
The president of the Court, Rosa Weber, reserved four sessions for the individual trials of sanitation technician Aécio Lúcio Costa Pereira, who is 51 years old and lives in Diadema (SP), imprisoned inside the Senate; Thiago de Assis Mathar, 43 years old, from São José do Rio Preto (SP); lawyer Moacir José dos Santos, 52 years old, from Foz do Iguaçu (PR), arrested at Palácio do Planalto; and Matheus Lima de Carvalho Lázaro, 24 years old, from Apucarana (PR), arrested in Praça do Buriti, the furthest part of Esplanada dos Ministérios, where public buildings in the Federal District are located. Of the four, only Santos is free.
In the final arguments, everyone’s defenses pointed out problems in the complaint, due to the fact that they were generic and poorly descriptive of each person’s individual conduct. Furthermore, they said that the images, seized materials and cell phones did not show acts that demonstrated an organization of protesters capable of overthrowing the government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT), nor even details that could prove what damage they had caused inside the buildings. buildings – almost all said they entered the places to protect themselves from the violence.
The PGR, in turn, bets on the thesis of multitudinous crime, and will seek to convince ministers that they were all part of a cohesive group that sought to install an authoritarian regime in the country, based on an intervention by the Armed Forces that would annul Lula’s election. last year. To prove it, he attached to the complaints banners installed in the camp set up in front of the Army Headquarters, which brought demands for a review of the electoral result.
“The declared objective of the criminals (special purpose of action) was the abolition of the Democratic Rule of Law and the deposition of the legitimately constituted government. The purpose was announced in the emulations promoted by the coup masses, either in previous moments, notably when mutineers in the camp erected in front of the Army General Headquarters, or during the execution of the crimes”, stated the organization in the closing arguments.
In an interview with CNN, deputy attorney Carlos Frederico, appointed to act on the case, stated that he hopes that the ministers establish “legal theses that facilitate the subsequent work of the Supreme Court, given the large number of defendants that must be tried”. “The actual practice of what each person did does not matter, but rather the mob, the group, those who invaded Congress. The end result is what matters, imputing that group, that crowd, who committed the crime,” he said. He added, however, that in the trial he will address the situation of each defendant and rebut each one’s defenses in the process.
What each of the defendants said
When he was arrested, inside the Senate, Aécio Pereira told the police that he had arrived in Brasília in the morning, coming from São Paulo together with friends from the “Patriotas” group – there are dozens of the type spread across the country, who are characterized by friendliness. to the military and support for former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL).
During interrogation, he stated that his objective was to “fight for freedom”, but that he could not say whether the procedure to achieve this would be to depose Lula. He said that he did not damage anything in Congress and that, when trying to leave the galleries, there were several people breaking glass. He would have then decided to return and remain there, and was later arrested by the Legislative Police.
His lawyers said that, before heading to Congress, Aécio Pereira was searched near the Brasília Cathedral, when it was proven that he was not carrying any object that posed a risk to the physical integrity of other people or to public buildings. “His entry into the plenary was in search of safety,” said the defense, adding that he “was concerned about asking people to get out of there.”
Thiago de Assis Mathar, in turn, said in his statement that he left Penápolis (SP) and went to the Army HQ in São José do Rio Preto, where other protesters told him that the objective in Brasília would be to “participate in the demonstration in support of intervention by the Armed Forces”. Later, in the process, he said that his intention was peaceful and that he entered the Palácio do Planalto “to take shelter, in view of the violent conflict that was taking place outside”.
“Inside the Palácio do Planalto, where he stayed from approximately 3pm to 5pm, he circulated on the floor above the one accessed by the ramp, walked through the corridors, used the bathroom and went down to the roof. He helped to roll up curtains that had been torn off and thrown on the floor, and extended some curtains so that people who were feeling unwell could lie down”, says the term of the statement, which records his answers to the assistant judge’s questions.
He also said that “there was no barrier preventing people from entering the building” and that “he had no intention of staging a coup or deposing the elected government, but only of expressing his discontent”.
Moacir José dos Santos said in a statement that “he considers himself a victim of the State”. He reported that he traveled from Paraná to Brasília with 60 other people and that the march from the Army HQ to Praça dos Três Poderes was peaceful. He reported that he entered the Palácio do Planalto after realizing that the doors were already open and that many people were already inside. He denied having committed violence against police officers and said he did not damage any property. When asked about the objectives of the demonstration, he stated that he was looking for a “better Brazil”, that he defended “the ideals of sacred scriptures and morals”.
“We are faced with citizens who trust the police, who consider them protective authorities, and who certainly felt safe in coming at their invitation,” said their lawyers in the lawsuit. “Being at the scene does not prove that the accused participated in committing crimes. There are no images from security cameras showing Mr. Moacir José dos Santos vandalizing public buildings, attacking authorities or shouting for the dismissal of the government”, they further stated. “The defense emphasizes that the only video he created does not show him destroying the building, it shows the building already destroyed”, added Santos’ defenders.
“The protesters did not act together, a portion demonstrated for one thing, while another portion demanded something else. The witnesses assure that no one knew exactly what to ask for, and that everything was very disorganized, with no common objective, no imitation or suggestion”, says another part of the defense’s closing arguments.
Matheus Lima de Carvalho Lázaro was arrested in Praça do Buriti, far from Praça dos Três Poderes. In his defense, the Federal Public Defender’s Office stated that the messages and videos found on his cell phone demonstrated that he had no “intention to publicize or encourage any action against the State”.
“The text was just a private manifestation in his most intimate circle of private life. And the comments only reflected the accused’s perception of the situation, and not the attitude he took”, argued the Defender’s Office.
“It is noteworthy that the accused constantly says ‘They are breaking…’, ‘They are breaking to invade…’, ‘They haven’t yet broken what they want…’. He is narrating an action of a third party, but not the conduct itself,” he added.
What will the trials be like?
The trials will be held over four sessions, on the morning and afternoon of Wednesday (13) and Thursday (14). Each criminal case will be judged individually. In each one, Minister Alexandre de Moraes will read the report, with a summary of the process, and then the reviewer, Kassio Nunes Marques, will be able to make complements. Carlos Frederico will then speak, on behalf of the prosecution, for the PGR, and then the defendants’ lawyers, who will have one hour each.
Afterwards, Moraes will vote on the guilt or innocence of the defendants. The second to vote will be Nunes Marques. Next, Cristiano Zanin, André Mendonça, Edson Fachin, Luís Roberto Barroso, Luiz Fux, Dias Toffoli, Cármen Lúcia, Gilmar Mendes and Rosa Weber will vote.