A special court made up of The judges and MPs unanimously sacked Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel, Due to corruption during the management of the Coronavirus pandemic in the Brazilian state.
The decision came as the culmination of a long political trial that began in June of last year in the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro against WitzelWhich was already Suspended from his post By order of the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ).
The Special Mixed Court in charge of deciding “Dismissal”, made up of five regional lawmakers and five judges, found Witzel guilty of various appointments wrongdoing and misuse of public resources. Aiming to fight COVID-19.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the Brazilian states worst affected by the epidemic, With nearly 44,500 deaths and more than 740,000 cases of coronavirus, according to official data.
Witzel’s dismissal confirms personally Ultimately, Lieutenant Governor Claudio Castro is in office until the 2022 elections. However, he is also suspected of corruption.
The collective body will decide now If he stripped Witzel of his political rights, which could prevent him from running for office in new elections For a period of up to five years.
Witzel, a former judge and former Marine Corps man, was elected Governor of Rio in 2018. He campaigned against a promise to use a “strong hand” against crime and under the slogan of zero tolerance for corruption.
Initially, it was placed as a file An ally of the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, though he later distanced himself Until he became an opponent of his government.
After the outbreak of the epidemic, Witzel was the target of police operations after an investigation began into his role in the alleged diversion of public resources It is planned to build field hospitals to house Covid-19 patients.
He was also charged with coordinating a A “criminal organization” dedicated to corruption and taking bribes A businessman in the health field, who was awarded several emergency contracts to deal with the epidemic.
Based on those investigations, Opposition deputies asked the Parliament of Rio de Janeiro to initiate an impeachment process And which was finally concluded on Friday with the aforementioned decision.
Offending the morals, morals and basic principles of rational public administration, The accused directed his relationship with public affairs with complete negligence, separation and filth that affected all the citizens of Rio de Janeiro.Judge Jose Carlos Maldonado said in his vote.
Witzel has always denied the charges against him He declared himself a victim of “persecution” promoted, according to him, by the highest levels of the state. He also described his dismissal as a “coup.”
I did not submit to the rule of law court, but rather a Investigation courtThe former governor said Friday on his social media networks.
River Brazil’s third most populous state, with a population of about 17.3 million, has suffered for decades from corruption in politics.
Such as Witzel, five of his predecessors in Rio Prefecture, has also been investigated for corruptionWellington Moreira Franco (1987-1991), Anthony Garotinho (1999-2002), Rosinia Matthews (2003-2006), Sergio Cabral (2007-2014) and Luis Fernando Pisão (2014-2018).
With information from EFE