Removed from the position of governor of Rio de Janeiro since August 2020 by the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), after accusations of a criminal scheme at the State Health Department, Wilson Witzel (PSC) suffered another defeat last Wednesday (23)in a new attempt by his defense to make him regain the mandate.
This time, the State Court of Justice reported that a writ of mandamus asking for the suspicion and incompetence of Judge Marcelo Bretas, of the 7th Federal Criminal Court in Rio, was dismissed as having exceeded the deadline for the defense to file an appeal. from Witzel.
When distributed for trial, the writ of mandamus was already 281 days after Witzel became aware of the conviction, on May 13 of last year. The deadline for filing an appeal is up to 120 days.
Judge Marcelo Bretas had been removed from conducting the proceedings that led to the impeachment of Witzel. For this reason, the defense of the former governor tried to annul the process, since the judge was in the judicial conduct that led to the dismissal of the then head of the Executive Power of the state of Rio.
Despite being removed by the STJ in 2020, Witzel’s impeachment process came to an end only in April last year, when a mixed court composed of state deputies and members of the Court of Justice unanimously decided to revoke the mandate and for the impossibility of holding any public office for the next five years.
The investigations involving the removed governor of Rio de Janeiro were initiated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rio (PR-RJ) and by the State Public Ministry (MP-RJ) and, due to the privileged position of the politician before the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), ), were sent to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR).
The information gave rise to the Placebo and Favorite operations. After the outbreaks, the former secretary of Health of Rio, Edmar Santos, signed an award-winning collaboration agreement with the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) and revealed the criminal installation in the Witzel government, continuing the schemes practiced by former governors Sérgio Cabral ( MDB) and Luiz Fernando Pezão (MDB).
With the new investigations, Operation Tris in Idem was launched, which culminated in the temporary removal of Witzel from the government and the preventive detention of several members of the state executive.
Wiltzel had a meteoric career in politics. Unknown to voters, the former judge surfed the wave of Bolsonarism in 2018 and won the elections promising to give carte blanche to the police and advocating that criminals armed with rifles should be shot “in the head”.
In a term that lasted a year and seven months, Witzel was involved in controversies mainly for the defense of a Public Security policy focused on militarization and direct confrontation. The then governor ended the Public Security Secretariat (SSP) and the measure was harshly criticized by several experts at the time. According to these researchers, the governor dismantled the entire investigation articulation that allows the sharing of data with the civil and military police and legal bodies.
The former judge’s so-called “genocidal agenda” was denounced to international organizations and the then governor was even questioned by the United Nations (UN) and Organization of American States (OAS) for the abusive use of force against poor communities in Rio de Janeiro. Janeiro, especially against favela residents.
The loss of support from President Jair Bolsonaro (today, in the PL, but at the time still without a party) was another milestone in Witzel’s trajectory. After having allied in the 2018 elections, the two became political rivals. The friction between them intensified in 2020 with the covid-19 pandemic.
Bolsonaro claimed that Witzel had ambitions to succeed him in the presidency, in the 2022 elections. When asked about the removal of the governor of Rio in August last year, the president laughed and said that “Rio is catching on”.
Source: BdF Rio de Janeiro
Editing: Eduardo Miranda