The decision was decreed today by STF judge Luís Roberto Barroso, who subsequently referred the case for deliberation by the Senate, who is responsible for maintaining or not the removal of the parliamentarian.
The magistrate justified the removal with the “concrete gravity” of the case and with the need to prevent the senator from using the office to hinder the 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 which the country already has more than 150 thousand deaths due to the disease ”, indicated Roberto Barroso.
The Federal Police of Brazil found 30 thousand reais (about 4,500 euros, at the current exchange rate) hidden between the buttocks of Senator Chico Rodrigues in an operation that investigates embezzlement of public money destined to fight the pandemic of covid-19.
However, Judge Luís Roberto Barroso denied a request for arrest or house arrest against the senator.
“In view of the lack of configuration of the flagrant situation and the well-founded doubt about the possibility of decreeing preventive detention, the senator must be removed from the parliamentary function, in order to prevent him from using his office to hinder investigations or, even more serious, persist in committing crimes, “decided the Supreme Judge.
Barroso also ordered the removal of the secrecy of the investigations, but he kept the search videos secret from the courts for showing “the investigator’s intimacy too much”, considering that it would be “unnecessary public humiliation”.
Chico Rodrigues was one of the targets of “Operation Desvid-19” carried out at the request of the Federal Comptroller General (CGU), an inspection body, in the state of Roraima, last Wednesday.
The agents were investigating an alleged criminal scheme to embezzle public funds by sending bids to the Roraima Department of Health, which would involve approximately R $ 20 million (three million euros).
CGU reported that it identified several indications of the practice of inflated prices in contracts carried out by the Roraima Department of Health for the purchase of protective equipment for health professionals and rapid tests for the detection of covid-19, among other items.
The state of Roraima received around 171 million reais (26 million euros) from the central government through the National Health Fund (FNS) in 2020.
Of this total amount, 55 million reais (8.3 million euros) were transferred specifically to combat covid-19.
After the scandal was made public, Chico Rodrigues, who served as deputy leader of the Government of the Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, in the upper house of Congress, was also removed from this position.
“The senator from Roraima, Chico Rodrigues, is no longer the deputy leader of the Government in the Federal Senate. His departure was published this morning in the extra edition of the Official Gazette, ”said the executive in a statement.
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