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The Brazilian Federal Police on Wednesday found that President Jair Bolsonaro committed a criminal offense for breach of secrecy, by publicly leaking details of an ongoing criminal investigation. However, it is unlikely he will face any legal consequences while in office given his presidential immunity. Federal police detective Denisse Ribeiro noted in a report sent to theSupreme Court that Bolsonaro was responsible for breach of secrecy laws "with the purpose of spreading information known to be false, with damaging repercussions for the public administration." However, Ribeiro stopped short of recommending charges against Bolsnaro as he is immune from prosecution. According to Article 53 of the Brazil Constitution, any member of both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate receives parliamentary immunity. As such, the president cannot be prosecuted for violations of civil or criminal law while in office.

Bolsonaro allegedly intentionally leaked information from a sealed inquiry into a purported hack to Brazil's Superior Electoral Court (STE) during a live stream last August to stir up doubt about the country's election integrity. Bolsonaro has been very critical of STE in the past, having made many unsubstantiated claims regarding their legitimacy and ostensible fraud. Prior to his eventual electoral victory in 2019, Bolsonaro claimed that he would have been elected in the presidential elections but for fraud and election tampering. No evidence has been found thus far to substantiate this claim.


The Supreme Court will now review the recommendations of the federal police and send them to the prosecutor general's office, which will decide whether nor to investigate further or seek charges. Bolsonaro is yet to comment on these findings


Mr. Alessandro Jacob speaking about Brazilian Law on "International Bar Association" conference

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