Judge Frederico Botelho de Barros Viana, magistrate in aid of the 10th Federal District Court of the Federal District, ordered the suspension of the inquiry required by the Ministry of Justice to investigate alleged crime against the honor of President Jair Bolsonaro involving the edition of the magazine This is which featured on its cover an image of the Chief Executive with a mustache similar to that worn by Nazi dictator Adolph Hitler, which reads “genocidal” and headlines “The Abominable Practices of the Death Merchant.”
The magistrate considered that ‘there is no evidence, even the slightest, capable of justifying the existence of an investigative procedure’. In Viana’s assessment, the article questioned by the Ministry of Justice analyzes debates related to Covid’s CPI and “emphasizes one of the allegations made by senator Renan Calheiros, which compares alleged practices of the current government with practices carried out during the German Nazi regime”.
“The matter does not bring any elements that might suggest the possible need and suitability of applying the penal field. The information presented and the reflections carried out reflect the existence of the guarantee of freedom of expression of thought and also freedom of the press, in no way surpassing the limits to be observed in a Democratic Rule of Law”, pondered the judge.
The judge highlighted that the continuation of the investigation consists of “flagrant illegality”, considering that there is no “just minimum cause capable of substantiating its existence”. “Its establishment even comes closer to an attempt to combat the free expression of thought through the use of the state repressive apparatus, since there is no legitimacy in an investigative procedure that does not have a minimum just cause”, pondered Viana.
In addition to the initiation of an inquiry into the IstoÉ report, based on a representation made by Bolsonaro, the Federal Attorney General even demanded the publication’s right to reply and asked that it be reissued with an alternative cover.
After the report was aired, the headquarters of Editora Três, responsible for publishing the magazine IstoÉ, was the target of criminal attacks. At the time, the company said that “political activists” put up posters and graffiti on the walls of the site, causing damage to physical assets and insulting directors of the media group.
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