BRASILIA – The Attorney General of Brazil said on Tuesday that the state of Rio de Janeiro lives in a climate of “land without law” after the regional Legislative Assembly decided to release three of its deputies who were imprisoned on suspicion of corruption, a decision annulled Tuesday by an appellate court.
Raquel Dodge made the statement on Tuesday when he entered the Supreme Court to revoke the decision made by the Rio legislature on Nov. 17 to free three state deputies accused of corruption, conspiracy, money laundering and evasion.
“The simple fact that the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro, by a large majority, ignored the factual framework of common crimes described, indicates the anomaly and exceptionality of the institutional body experienced at this time and demands the immediate and firm response of the Supreme Court,” Dodge said in a statement.
The three deputies who had been imprisoned under suspicion of serious corruption and who were released one day later thanks to their colleagues in the Assembly are Jorge Picciani, president of the Legislative Assembly and father of current Transport Minister Leonardo Picciani, Paulo Melo and Edson Albertassi.
According to Dodge, the Rio de Janeiro Legislative Assembly’s resolution “is an eloquent proof of the lawless land climate that dominates that state,” in addition to illegally violating a judicial decision and disrespecting the principle of separation of powers.
On Tuesday, the appellate court ordered the re-imprisonment of the three deputies, who are members of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), led by Brazilian President Michel Temer.
According to the indictment, these deputies are part of a powerful and complex network of diversion of public transport funds, which also involved former Rio Governor Sergio Cabral, who has been imprisoned for a year after being sentenced to 50 years in prison by a court for his involvement in other corruption cases.
The state of Rio de Janeiro experiences a severe economic crisis, aggravated by multiple corruption scandals that have seen several of its leaders dismissed and led to a serious outbreak of violence since the 2016 Olympic Games.