More than a month after the destruction of the headquarters of the three Powers, the STF (Supremo Tribunal Federal) it’s at PGR (Attorney General’s Office) are still looking for solutions so that the hundreds of criminal actions against those suspected of participating in and encouraging coup attacks January 8th do not impede the work of the bodies.
There is a consensus that, in any scenario, there will be an overload of services and a likely need to call in reinforcements.
Until now, the PGR sent complaints against more than 650 people to the Supreme Court. According to the agency, 49 of these complaints target people classified as executors, one is against a public agent and 602 against inciters of the acts.
The actions are signed by the Deputy Attorney General of the Republic Carlos Frederico Santos, who coordinates the PGR group that acts in cases related to coup acts.
Informally, he has already consulted prosecutors to reinforce the team that will act in the criminal actions of the cases.
At the Supreme Court, interlocutors of the Minister Alexandre de Moraesresponsible for the investigations, say that their initial intention was to keep the cases under the jurisdiction of the court, which prevents them from being stopped and without judgment – or that there are divergent decisions between the judges if they are sent to the first instance.
However, there is no team at the Supreme Court that is in a position to handle the instruction phase of actions, after receiving the complaints.
In this part of the proceedings, material evidence is presented, such as documents, and witnesses are heard. From there, the judge forms the conviction whether to convict or acquit the defendant.
One possibility that has been considered is the creation of a task force, with the summoning of judges, to carry out this phase of the proceedings.
For custody hearings —the simplest stage, in which magistrates make an initial assessment of prisons—, it has already been necessary to create a joint effort in Justice. Moraes delegated the task to federal and district judges.
There is yet another problem. According to the internal rules of the Supreme Court, the criminal actions that are being processed in the court must be judged in plenary by the 11 ministers.
This, however, can be done virtually, in a system in which court members cast their votes electronically.
From 2014 to 2020, the competence to judge the actions had been shifted to the classes of five ministers.
The return to the plenary of these judgments, as it was in the monthly allowancetook place in 2020, under the management of Minister Luiz Fux, on the grounds that restrictions in the special forum reduced the number of criminal actions in the Supreme Court.
At the time, it was considered a Fux movement in favor of Lava Jatosince the processes would no longer be judged by the Second Panel, which had been imposing successive defeats on the operation.
If the majority of cases do not remain in the Supreme Court, it is possible that Minister Alexandre de Moraes will send the cases to the first instance after the accusations are accepted by the court.
In the STF, only actions related to people with prerogatives of jurisdiction, such as federal deputies, would remain.
As the suspicions involve federal crimes that occurred in Brasilia, the expected path is for them to be sent to one of the criminal courts of the Federal Court of the Federal District.
But that would also cause a problem: there are only three federal criminal courts in the DF, which would be overcrowded with cases related to the coup acts of January 8th.
Although there are disagreements among the ministers themselves regarding what should be done, the common understanding is that the final solution should be presented by Alexandre de Moraes himself, who has a centralizing and controlling profile with his actions.
Currently, seven investigations are open in the Supreme to find those responsible for anti-democratic acts which culminated in depredation in Praça dos Três Poderes, at the request of the PGR.
Three of these surveys investigate the participation of federal deputies suspected of having instigated the acts: André Fernandes (PL-CE), Clarissa Tércio (PP-PE) and Silvia Waiãpi (PL-AP).
In his decisions, Moraes has indicated that it intends to act rigorously against authorities that were related to the acts.
He has already said, for example, that “public agents (current and former) who continue to behave intentionally in this way, cowardly colluding with the breakdown of democracy and the installation of a state of exception, will be held accountable”.
“Absolutely everyone will be held civilly, politically and criminally responsible for acts that attack democracy, the rule of law and institutions, including willful connivance – by action or omission motivated by ideology, money, weakness, cowardice, ignorance, bad faith or bad -caratism,” he said.
Two other surveys try to identify who were the executors and who were the financiers and people who materially helped the acts.
There is also one that investigates the intellectual authors and instigators of the acts. In this survey, Jair Bolsonaro (PL) is investigated.
The former president is suspected of having committed public incitement to the commission of a crime after having posted on Facebook, two days after the attacks, a video questioning the regularity of the elections and deleted afterwards.
In addition, the seventh open inquiry investigates suspected actions and omissions by the retired governor of the Federal District, Ibaneis Rocha (MDB), and the former Minister of Justice and former Secretary of Public Security of the DF Anderson Torres.
Since January 8, at least 1,420 people have been arrested in the act or during operations launched by the Federal Police. Of those arrested in flagrante delicto, until last week 916 had their prison converted into pre-trial detention (with no set period) and 464 obtained provisional release, through precautionary measures.