By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Less than 24 hours after the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) voted against the annulment of the Rousseff-Temer presidential ticket, political turbulence has once again rocked the Temer Administration. The Administration has been accused of using Brazil’s Intelligence Agency (ABIN) to investigate the life of a Supreme Court Justice.
Newsweekly magazine Veja’s latest issue is running a story that President Temer ordered ABIN to look into the life of Justice Edson Fachin, the judge overseeing the Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption investigation. The story cites as a source an assistant to the President who has asked to remain anonymous.
The Presidency quickly denied any allegations stating that the Administration does not investigate the lives of Brazilians. “The government does not use the public machine against the Brazilian citizens, much less it will do any type of action that does not respect the strict dictates of the law,” said the statement issued by President Temer’s press corps over the weekend.
The note also states that ABIN fulfills its functions within the limits of the law. “There has not been, nor has there ever been, the government’s intention to combat the Lava Jato operation,” the statement added.
Local news media reported on Saturday that President Temer called personally Supreme Court Chief Justice, Carmen Lucia Rocha to deny the allegations. Despite the President’s call, the Chief Justice issued a statement stating her concern about possible investigations into her Court.
Calling the action, if confirmed, ‘inadmissible’ and a serious crime against democracy and freedom, the statement issued by Chief Justice Rocha states that “The Supreme Federal Court vehemently rejects illegitimate, unconstitutional and immoral lurking against any citizen and, even more, against one of its members, especially if it is aimed at embarrassing the Court,” also stated the note.
The statement goes on to say that the practice of a dictatorship is contrary to the freedom of individuals, and ‘absolutely unacceptable in a democratic republic, and therefore has to be repelled, exemplarily prosecuted and sentenced under current legislation’.