Defense of the former president denied that he had offended journalists, and that criticism was only directed at “certain professionals”.| Photo: André Borges/EFE

Former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) was fined R$50,000 by the São Paulo court for allegedly criticizing journalists in 2021. this Friday morning (26) in a lawsuit brought by the state’s Union of Professional Journalists (SJSP).

Bolsonaro’s defense said, in the case file, that “there was never censorship” for the criticism by the former president, and that statements were only made to “certain professionals” of the press, and not “to the class of journalists”.

The rapporteur of the process, Vitor Frederico Kümpel, states in the report that the former president would have made “proven manifestations of exacerbated verbal aggression in relation to the category of journalists”, violating the right to freedom of expression (see in full).

“It is not an absolute right, with limitations in the Constitution itself, since the principle in question cannot violate the honor, image, intimacy or private life of citizens. Finally, freedom of expression cannot directly attack the dignity of the human person or any other fundamental principles of the Republic”, he said.

The previous decision of the first instance, which fined him R$ 100,000, was reduced by Kümpel, who claimed it was “excessive” and that he only seeks “reparation” for the alleged damage.