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Brazil's Supreme Court judge shelves request to seize Bolsonaro's cellphone

Jun 02, 2020
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FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro walks after a meeting at the Ministry of Defense headquarters, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brasilia

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s Supreme Court Judge Celso de Mello shelved on Monday night a request made by political parties to seize President Jair Bolsonaro’s cellphone as part of an investigation on whether or not he tried to meddle with law enforcement for personal reasons.

De Mello agreed with a statement made by the government’s Attorney General Augusto Aras that it is up to public prosecutors to request due diligence within a probe, adding that political parties have no legitimacy to do so.

But the Supreme Court judge criticized Bolsonaro’s recent remarks that he would not comply with an possible court order determining the seizure of his cellphone.

“Such an unusual threat of disrespect for the eventual judicial order emanating from the competent judicial authority, which is totally unacceptable in the perspective of the constitutional principle of the separation of powers, if effectively fulfilled, would constitute a very serious transgressive behavior on the part of the President of the Republic,” de Mello said.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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