Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is under investigation as part of the inquiry into the January 8 riots

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is under investigation as part of the inquiry into the January 8 riots

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is under investigation as part of the inquiry into the January 8 riots

Brazil’s Supreme Court has ordered former President Jair Bolsonaro to be included in an investigation into the January 8 riots in Brasilia.

On Friday, Judge Alexandre de Moraes approved a request from the attorney general and said Mr Bolsonaro would be investigated as part of an investigation into the alleged attempt to overthrow the country’s new government.

The attorney general’s office cited a video that Mr. Bolsonaro posted on his Facebook two days after the Jan. 8 riot. The video claimed President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva – who defeated Mr Bolsonaro in the October election – was not elected, but rather chosen by Brazil’s Supreme Court and electoral authority.

Mr Bolsonaro deleted the video the morning after he first posted it.

Thousands of Mr Bolsonaro’s supporters broke through a blockade and stormed the capital’s presidential palace on January 8. The uprising came just days after the inauguration of Mr da Silva, who was sworn in as president on January 1.

Local media reported that the investigation would examine whether the former president was one of the “intellectual perpetrators” of the January 8 attacks.

“Public figures who continue to cowardly conspire against democracy by trying to establish a state of exception will be held accountable,” Judge de Moraes said.

Bolsonaro supporters armed with metal bars and slingshots ransacked Brazil’s congress, supreme court and presidential palace.

A day after the riots, a palace employee said “the whole place reeked of urine and beer” when describing the scene when officials entered the building.

Mr Bolsonaro’s lawyer, Frederick Wassef, said in a statement to the Guardian that the former president had “always repudiated any form of illegal and criminal act” and that he had been a “defender of democracy”.

Meanwhile, Mr Bolsonaro has been quietly staying in an Orlando suburb since leaving Brazil in late December. He even skipped the January 1 swearing in of his left-wing successor, Mr. da Silva.

The former president was hospitalized on Monday with an abdominal adhesion stemming from a 2018 knife attack, he wrote on his Instagram along with a photo of himself on a bed. He hasn’t posted on how his health has progressed since, but he told Brazilian media on Tuesday that he would return to Brazil before the late January departure he had originally planned, the Associated press reported.

Prosecutors said Friday that although Mr. Bolsonaro released the video after the riot, its content was sufficient to warrant a preliminary investigation into his conduct.

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