Barroso’s determination will be sent to the Senate, which has the final say on the removal of the parliamentarian.
The senator was the target of an operation by the Federal Police authorized by the STF and launched on Wednesday (14) in Roraima. During the searches, the politician was caught with money in his underwear.
The Federal Police, representing the STF, even asked for the senator’s pre-trial detention, in addition to his removal from office. The Attorney General’s Office (PGR) protested for house arrest with electronic monitoring and the prohibition on Rodrigues from communicating with other investigators.
Barroso rejected both types of imprisonment, and defined only the removal of the mandate and the ban on communication between Rodrigues and the investigated.
After being caught with money in his underwear, Chico Rodrigues leaves the government’s deputy leadership
The action of the PGR and the Federal Police sought to dismantle a millionaire scheme of embezzlement of public resources that should have gone to combat the new coronavirus. The alleged deviation involves more than R $ 20 million in parliamentary amendments. The Federal Comptroller General (CGU) also participates in the investigation.
In deciding to leave, Minister Barroso points out the “concrete gravity” of the case and says that Rodrigues should be prevented from using the position to hinder investigations.
“The concrete gravity of the crimes investigated also indicates the need to guarantee public order: the Senator would be using his parliamentary function to divert money destined to face the biggest pandemic of the last 100 years, at a time of severe scarcity of public resources and in that the country already has more than 150 thousand dead due to the disease “, affirms Barroso.
“For these reasons, I decree the removal of Senator Francisco de Assis Rodrigues (‘Chico Rodrigues’) from his elective term for a period of 90 days, with the possibility of renewal, if necessary, as well as the prohibition of contact with the other investigated until the completion of the survey, “says the document.
In a note released on Wednesday, Chico Rodrigues stated that he is not involved in any illegal act.
Chico Rodrigues in note: ‘I will prove that I have nothing to do with illicit of any kind’
The Federal Police told the STF that evidence that Chico Rodrigues committed the crime of money laundering and embarrassing the investigation of a criminal organization.
And that, “if the investigated did not hold the mandate of senator of the Republic, there would be no doubt about his immediate arrest in the act”.
“The money bills found in the Senator’s body did not have their lawful origin proven, and it is highly likely that they result from the crime of embezzlement committed due to the overpriced contracts investigated. Such values, therefore, come from activity ”, said the PF.
When deciding on Rodrigues’ removal, Minister Luís Roberto Barroso transcribed part of the Federal Police report on this Wednesday’s operation. The text describes the seizure of money at the senator’s house in Boa Vista and the attempt to hide money in underwear.
PF finds money in the underwear of Senator Chico Rodrigues, deputy government leader in the Senate
“We continue to search the safe located in the room of Mr. Pedro Rodrigues, son of the Senator, in which no values or documents related to the facts under investigation were found. However, at that moment, Senator Chico Rodrigues asked Delegate Wedson if he could go to the bathroom. Delegate Wedson said yes, but said he would accompany him “, says the PF report.
“At this time, Deputy Wedson noticed that there was a large volume, in a rectangular shape, on the back of Senator Chico Rodrigues’ robes, who wore blue shorts (like pajamas) and a yellow shirt. Considering the volume and its shape, the Deputy Wedson suspected that the Senator was hiding values or even some cell phone “, the document continues.
The report goes on to say that, when asked about the “volume”, Chico Rodrigues denied any wrongdoing. The deputy who commanded the search and seizure then decided to do a personal search on the senator. The action was filmed, but the video was kept confidential by Barroso.
“As shown in the images below, when doing the personal search in Senator Chico Rodrigues, at first, there were found inside his underwear, next to his buttocks, bundles of money that totaled the amount of R $ 15,000.00, as described in item 3 of the attached Apprehension Term “, says the PF report.
In the decision, Minister Barroso mentions that the PGR manifested itself against the decree of preventive detention, at the same time that it emphasized that the Constitution does not prohibit the imposition of other precautionary measures.
The PGR also argued, according to Barroso’s order, about the “previous need for diligences that indicate the connection of material of illicit origin found with the activities of Parliamentarian”.
The MP also affirmed that “it is not possible, for the time being, to state that the values momentarily hidden by the Senator would actually come from suspected crimes, or that they would be related to the activities of Senator of the Republic, despite its sustainability as an investigative line” .
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