The ministers of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) confirmed the conviction of the first defendant tried for participation in the coup acts on January 8 in Brasília. Bolsonaro supporter Aécio Lúcio Costa Pereira, 51 years old, resident of Diadema (SP), was sentenced to 17 years in prison. He was convicted of five crimes: armed criminal association, violent abolition of the Democratic Rule of Law, coup d’état, qualified damage and deterioration of listed property.
In total, seven other ministers fully agreed with the vote of the rapporteur, Alexandre de Moraes, and also defended the conviction for five crimes. Three disagreed: André Mendonça defended the acquittal of the defendant in the crime of coup d’état, while Luís Roberto Barroso voted for him to be acquitted of the crime of violent abolition of the Democratic Rule of Law. Nunes Marques defended the conviction for only two crimes: qualified damage and deterioration of listed property.
The trial session was suspended shortly before 1pm on Thursday. Minister Rosa Weber, president of the Supreme Court, ordered the ministers to return at 2:30 pm to vote on the cases of three other defendants involved in the January 8 attacks.
The first conviction
The vote on the case of Aécio Pereira, which began last Wednesday (14), had tense moments, such as a debate this Thursday between André Mendonça and Alexandre de Moraes – both held the position of Minister of Justice: Mendonça in the government by Jair Bolsonaro (PL) and Moraes when the President of the Republic was Michel Temer (MDB).
“In all these movements of September 7th, as Minister of Justice, I was on duty with a team at my disposal, either from the Ministry of Justice or with police officers from the National Force, who would arrive here in minutes to prevent what happened”, said Mendonça, “I cannot understand, and it also lacks an answer, how the Palácio do Planalto was invaded in the way it was invaded.”
Moraes interrupted and accused his colleague of having insinuated the current government’s responsibility for the coup attacks. He said there was an omission from the leadership of the Military Police of the Federal District, responsible for containing the coup plotters.
“The investigations clearly demonstrate why this facility occurred. Five colonels, commanders of the Military Police of the Federal District, are in prison, precisely because, since the end of the elections, they communicated by saying that they would prepare a way in which, in the event of a demonstration, the Military Police not react”, pointed out Moraes.
Understand the charges
Aécio Pereira was arrested in the act while still on the Senate premises. The Strategic Group to Combat Anti-Democratic Acts (GCAA), of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), pointed to the crimes and crimes of armed criminal association, violent abolition of the democratic rule of law, coup d’état, damage qualified by violence and serious threat and deterioration of listed heritage.
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In a statement to the Federal Police (PF), the defendant stated that he did not cause any damage to public property. In a video recorded in the Senate plenary, the defendant sent a message to his colleagues saying: “Friends of Sabesp who didn’t believe, we’re here. Those who didn’t believe, I’m also here for you, damn it. Look where I am. At the President’s table . Vilsão, Roni. We’re here, damn it. Marcelão, we’re here, damn it. It’s going to work. Don’t give up. Take to the streets. Stop the avenues. Support us.”
Editing: Vivian Virissimo