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Brazil arrests capital’s military police leaders for alleged role in Jan. 8 riots


BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian federal authorities on Friday arrested leaders of the capital’s military police in a raid carried out as part of an investigation into the Jan. 8 riots, in which supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed government buildings.

The officials had previous knowledge the riots were being planned and failed to stop them, the Supreme Court said.

The military police commander for the federal district, Klepter Rosa, was arrested along with former commander Colonel Fabio Augusto Vieira and five other top officials.

The officers were accused of a slew of crimes such as attempted coup d’état, qualified damage to public property and violation of their duties as police authorities.

Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who authorized the raid, said in his decision that there was “significant evidence” that the military police authorities had “advance knowledge” of the preparations for the riots.

In the riots, a crowd of Bolsonaro supporters invaded and ransacked the Congress, presidential palace and Supreme Court.

Moraes added the officials “maliciously failed to act, giving way to the coup-plotting purposes of the anti-democratic horde that attacked the three branches of the Republic.”

The justice also said too few military police officers were dispatched to adequately deal with the riots.

The federal district’s military police and its public security secretariat did not immediately respond to requests to comment.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Peter Frontini)

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