The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, pardoned this Thursday the deputy Daniel Silveira, condemned by the supreme court the day before for anti-democratic acts and aggressions against State institutions.
In the decree read by the president in a broadcast on social networks and published in the official newspaper, Bolsonaro argued that “freedom of expression is the essential pillar of society.”
The Supreme Federal Court (STF) had sentenced Silveira, close to Bolsonaro, to 8 years and 9 in prison in a closed regime and a fine of 192,500 reais (41,600 dollars), in addition to requesting that his position as parliamentarian be withdrawn.
“Society is in legitimate shock at the conviction of a parliamentarian protected by the inviolability of opinion granted by the Constitution, who only made use of his freedom of expression,” the president said in the document.
This is a new confrontation between Bolsonaro and the highest court, in a case considered by the far-right leader as an alleged example of authoritarianism by the STF.
The deputy had gained notoriety weeks ago by spending a night barricaded in Congress to prevent the police from placing an electronic anklet on him, in compliance with a court order.
On Wednesday, the STF blamed Silveira by a majority of 10 to 1, for anti-democratic acts and attacks on state institutions, including the court itself, whose members received insults and threats.
“The Constitution does not guarantee freedom of expression as a protective shield for the practice of illicit activities, hate speech and against institutions,” said the rapporteur of the process, Judge Alexandre de Moraes, in his vote.
The decree signed this Thursday by Bolsonaro indicates that the pardon is “unconditional and will be granted regardless” of the criminal conviction.
Later, Bolsonaro referred to the issue again in his usual Thursday live broadcast: “Everything here has jurisprudence from Mr. Alexandre de Moraes; we are strictly complying with what he decided before, ”he assured.
Silveira, a former military policeman and parliamentarian for the state of Rio de Janeiro (southeast), was imprisoned in 2021 for disclosing a video with verbal attacks on Court judges.
The supreme court had requested that the position of deputy be withdrawn, something that should remain in the hands of the Chamber after the appeal instances had been exhausted.
In addition, Silveira had lost the possibility of running for the Senate in the October elections as he had aspired to.
Among the majority of STF judges, the interpretation prevails that the pardon or “grace” decreed by Bolsonaro does not eliminate the effect of ineligibility or loss of Silveira’s mandate as deputy, confided a source from the highest court.