Former Brazil justice minister Anderson Torres arrested in riot investigation

Brazil’s former justice minister Anderson Torres, who was in charge of public security in Brasilia during the invasion of government buildings a week ago, was arrested on Saturday.

Torres was arrested in Brasilia after returning to Brazil. He had been on vacation in Florida, the same U.S. state his ex-boss, former president Jair Bolsonaro, had travelled to after losing last year’s election.

Demosthenes Torres, one of the former minister’s lawyers, confirmed the arrest to Reuters.

The ex-minister said on Thursday that evidence produced by police was taken out of context when his home was raided this week.

WATCH | Dissecting recent events in Brazil: 

Bolsonaro, Trump and the Brazil riots | The Breakdown

On Jan. 8, supporters of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro stormed Brazil’s Congress, protesting his election loss. Brazilian Report editor-in-chief Gustavo Ribeiro and Poder360 senior editor Guilherme Waltenberg break down what happened and what role the former Brazilian president played.

Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered Anderson Torres’s arrest on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear what the charges were, but Moraes cited alleged “omission” and “connivance.”

Protests last Sunday by Bolsonaro supporters culminated in the storming of government buildings in Brasilia.

The director general of the Federal Police, Andrei Rodrigues, said earlier in the week “the various omissions, allegedly intentional, carried out by those responsible for public safety in the Federal District contributed to the practice of terrorist acts.”

Document ‘leaked out of context’: Torres

Brazilian police found a draft decree in the home of Torres on Thursday which they said appeared to be a proposal to interfere in the result of the October election that Bolsonaro lost to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

An airplane carrying former Brazilian justice minister Anderson Torres is seen landing in Brasilia, Brazil, on Saturday.
An aircraft carrying Torres is seen landing at an airport in Brasilia on Saturday. He was arrested after flying back from Florida. (Sergio Lima/AFP/Getty Images)

According to Torres, the document was “leaked out of context” after being seized when he was not at his residence, and was probably part of a pile of papers for disposal.

“Everything would be taken to be shredded in due course,” the former minister said in a post on Twitter on Thursday.

Upon learning of Moraes’s detention order,Torres also said on Twitter that he would interrupt his holiday and return to Brazil to hand himself in.

Justice Minister Flavio Dino had given Torres until Monday to return, after which he said he would have started extradition procedures.

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