Brazil’s Supreme Court minister Alexandre de Moraes voted for the conviction of Aécio Lúcio Costa Pereira, the first defendant to be trialed for the invasion and destruction of government buildings in Brasilia on January 8 this year.
Moraes was the first minister to vote on the prosecution this Wednesday (13) and said there is no need for describing the criminal actions individually, “since they behaved as a mob, one inducing the other, (acting as) coparticipants in crime”. After Moraes’s vote, the minister responsible for reviewing the case, Kassio Nunes Marques, will vote.
“It was all damaged. Many areas were destroyed. It was all part of a crime, a mob. For instance, everyone who participates in a lynching is a murderer. I bring Supreme Court case law, which has long recognized the nature of these multitudinous crimes. Therefore, the arguments brought by the Public Prosecutor’s Office are corroborated by the evidence presented in the case”, said the magistrate.
“It was a very violent act against the Democratic state. Why did he record himself and post on social media platforms? Because he was sure about getting a coup. The certainty of impunity ended up incriminating them.”
Moraes determined a total sentence of 17 years: 15 years and six months in closed conditions and one year and six months in open conditions. The minister also sentenced Aécio to pay a fine of 44,000 reais (US$ 9,000).
Understand the accusations
Aécio Pereira was arrested while still inside the Senate building. Matheus Lázaro invaded Congress and was arrested near Buriti Park, about five kilometers away from Three Powers Square. Thiago Mathar and Moacir dos Santos were detained at Planalto Palace. However, in early August, Moacir’s arrest was revoked.
The Strategic Group to Combat Undemocratic Acts (GCAA, in Portuguese), part of the Attorney General’s Office, mentioned the offenses and crimes of armed criminal association, violent abolition of the democratic rule of law, coup attempt, qualified damage through the use of violence and serious threat and damage to listed heritage. All told, the sentences can mean 30 years in prison.
In a statement to the Federal Police, Aécio Pereira said he did not damage any public property. In a video recorded in the Senate, the defendant sent a message to his colleagues saying: “Friends of Sabesp (São Paulo state’s Basic Sanitation Company) 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. Take the avenues. Support us.”
Edited by: Nadini Lopes and Thalita Pires