Director-General of the Federal Police Faces Criticism for Remarks on Bolsonaro’s Arrest

BRASÍLIA, DF (FOLHAPRESS) – Opposition to the federal government has criticized the remarks made by the Director-General of the Federal Police, Andrei Rodrigues, who stated that there is a possibility and legal grounds for the arrest of former President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) in the case of the jewelry.

Legal experts also believe that the head of the police made a mistake with his statement. While they do not see any wrongdoing in his conduct, they point out that the episode opens the door for the politicization of the case and compromises the impartiality of the investigation. Andrei Rodrigues stated in an interview with UOL on Friday (25th) that he is not aware of the investigation’s details but that there is a legal provision for a possible preventive arrest of Bolsonaro.

The Director-General affirmed that, due to his role, he does not participate in investigative work, emphasizing that these activities are conducted responsibly, focusing on the quality of evidence and granting autonomy to the teams.

“The scenario is the law, what is in the Penal Code, what is in the Code of Criminal Procedure, what is in the Constitution, which is our supreme law. And within this legal framework, there is indeed the possibility of arrest, the possibility of search and seizure, which we have carried out several times. We do not rule out any hypotheses,” he said.

Andrei further adds, once again, that he is not aware of the evidence collected and that the arrest is not the “personal desire of the investigator,” emphasizing the need for compliance with legal requirements.

“There are legal assumptions. The team needs to be guided, I insist, by responsibility and the quality of evidence. They must be guided by what is in the law and what is being investigated. If, in this conjunction of elements, they reach the conclusion that there is obstruction, that there is a need to ensure public order, etc., if the legal requirements are met, that is a path, and here I speak hypothetically,” he added.

His statement provoked a reaction from Bolsonaro’s allies, who accuse the Federal Police of being politically biased. Senator Flávio Bolsonaro (PL-RJ) even called for the Director-General’s arrest for abuse of authority.

“There is no reason to pre-judge Bolsonaro in anything he is being accused of because there is no crime. The Chief of the Federal Police making this kind of statement, besides appearing to be the cheerleader of [Minister of Justice] Flávio Dino, shows that he has politicized a respected institution to persecute political opponents. He should be the one arrested for abuse of authority,” he stated in a note to the press.

Along the same lines, the leader of the PL party in the Senate, Rogério Marinho (RN), also pointed out abuse of authority in the Director-General’s statement and further claimed that there is an illegal anticipation of the investigation’s conclusion.

“The state agent who, as the Director-General of the Federal Police, affirms that, based on his experience and the evidence he has access to, there are indications of corruption, illegally anticipates the conclusion of the investigation and gravely offends the republican principle,” he said.

Senator Sergio Moro (União Brasil-PR), a former judge of the Operation Car Wash, also criticized Andrei Rodrigues and considered his statement inappropriate.

“I see no cause for the preventive arrest of former President Bolsonaro. Lula was only arrested after being tried. The Director of the Federal Police’s statement on the matter was also inappropriate since the issue falls under the jurisdiction of the investigating officers and not the leadership of the Federal Police,” the parliamentarian said. Moro also recalled the case of former PF Director Fernando Segovia, who was fired in 2018 after a series of controversies, such as stating in an interview that there was a tendency for the investigation against then-President Michel Temer (MDB) to be archived.

“Now, it’s the same thing, but reversed. The leadership of the Federal Police needs to maintain institutional integrity.”

Senator Alessandro Vieira (MDB-SE), on the other hand, believes that Andrei Rodrigues’ statement does not pose any problems since he took care to make it clear that he does not have access to the details of the investigation.

“The statements made by the Director-General of the Federal Police were all within the realm of legal possibilities, always emphasizing his lack of knowledge about the contents of the investigations involving the former president,” he states.

Opposition Criticizes Director-General of Federal Police for Remarks on Bolsonaro’s Potential Arrest

Procurada, a Polícia Federal informou em nota que os inquéritos são conduzidos pela equipe de investigação, seguindo a Constituição, a legislação penal e processual penal em vigor e os normativos internos.

The Director-General of the Federal Police, Andrei Rodrigues, is facing criticism from the opposition and legal experts for his recent remarks suggesting the possibility of arresting former President Jair Bolsonaro. This has sparked concerns about the potential politicization of the case and the need to maintain impartiality in the investigation.

Legal experts agree that there are no irregularities in Andrei Rodrigues’ comments but find his stance on the case inappropriate. They argue that his statements could compromise the equality of the investigation and provide space for political manipulation.

Wagner Gundim, a professor of law and lawyer, states that the problem lies not necessarily in what was said, but rather in who made the statements. He points out that Rodrigues was interviewed as an expert, emphasizing the impartiality of his technical analysis and his acknowledgement of lacking access to all the documents.

“However, just because the statement is constitutional and legal does not mean that there are no moral and political issues at play… The problem lies in the fact that we cannot dissociate the specialist from the role he holds, a position appointed by the Presidency. This opens the door for politicization,” explains Gundim.

Lawyer Arthur Rollo claims that remarks like Rodrigues’ can reinforce the Bolsonaro supporters’ narrative of persecution. He believes Rodrigues should have stopped at “I’m not familiar with the case” instead of giving an opinion on a matter he is not knowledgeable about. Rollo emphasizes that nobody should speak on something they are not familiar with, especially in a concrete case.

Rollo further argues that the head of the police should not give an opinion “out of respect for the subordinates who are working on the investigations.” He underscores that although Rodrigues used the phrase “in theory,” considering all precautions, he was asked about a specific situation and warns of potential consequences if a warrant were to be issued in the following week.

Renato Stanziola Vieira, President of the Brazilian Institute of Criminal Sciences, believes that Rodrigues’ stance was within the technical limits. He praises his clarity in discussing not only the possibility of arrest but also other precautionary measures. Vieira emphasizes that Rodrigues repeatedly stated that he is not leading the investigation and did not mention whether the prerequisites for such measures have been met.

Despite legal experts acknowledging that Andrei Rodrigues’ comments were legally sound, they express concern about the implications of his political position and the potential for bias in the investigation. The opposition continues to voice its criticism, asserting the need to ensure impartiality and the rule of law in such cases.