Supreme Federal Court Denies Flávio Bolsonaro’s Investigation Suspension Request

Flávio Bolsonaro gives an interview during a session of the Federal Senate. (flickr)

Flávio Bolsonaro gives an interview during a session of the Federal Senate. (flickr)

The Brazilian Supreme Court Representative, Marco Aurélio Mello, refused to grant Senator Flávio Bolsonaro’s request to  suspend an investigation being conducted against him. Senator Bolsonaro, son of the current Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, is being investigated for suspicious activity in his bank accounts.

According to the Council for Financial Activities Control (COAF), between June and July of 2017, 48 deposits were made to Bolsonaro’s bank accounts. The deposits totalled over $25,000 and were all made in rapid succession — in one instance, 15 deposits were made in under six minutes.

The investigation began after COAF tracked the suspicious moving of over $325,000 into the account of Fabrício Queiroz, Senator Bolsonaro’s former driver. This inquiry is related to another branch of the famous Lava Jato anti-corruption operation that led to the arrest of 10 state deputies in Rio de Janeiro.

Police suspect the money was intended for bribery and wired to Queiroz by Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly operatives working under Senator Bolsonaro.

While Senator Bolsonaro pledged to aid in the investigations and clarify matters, he did not attend the Public Ministry meeting to offer a statement. Instead, he requested the investigations against him be suspended.

By doing so, Senator Bolsonaro was attempting to benefit from the privileged forum rule in Brazilian politics, which states that top politicians can only be tried for crimes in the higher courts of the country.

However, his request was revoked by the Supreme Court, and the case is now being processed in Rio de Janeiro’s Public Ministry. If found guilty, Senator Bolsonaro could face jail time, in keeping with his father’s promise to “end corruption” in the government.

“If Flávio is proved to be in the wrong, I will be sorry as a father, but he will have to pay for his unacceptable actions,” said President Bolsonaro in a Bloomberg interview. Brazilian news agencies have reached out to Senator Bolsonaro for a statement on the situation, but he has provided no comments.