Brazil: Bolsonaro pardons police officers convicted of massacre
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a graduation ceremony at the Agulhas Negras Military Academy in Rio de Janeiro. (Archives)
Brazil's incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro has pardoned security force agents convicted of crimes committed more than 30 years ago, and his decree applies, according to legal experts, to those responsible for crimes committed over 30 years ago. a prison massacre in 1992.
The presidential decree grants the traditional Christmas pardon, among other things, to officers convicted of crimes in the line of duty there more than three decades old, and which were not considered extremely serious, according to the document published in the official journal.
According to legal experts, including Thiago Bottino, a law professor in Rio de Janeiro, although she does not mention them, the measure applies to the 74 police officers sentenced for the Carandiru massacre.
On October 2, 1992, in this Sao Paulo prison, 111 inmates were killed during an intervention by the military police aimed at putting down a mutiny.
According to the prosecution, the prisoners were executed, while the defense asserts that members of the military police fired in self-defense against the mutinous prisoners. After this killing, Carandiru prison was closed.
Carandiru prison was destroyed in 2002, 46 years after it was built and 10 years after the 1992 massacre .
Despite the fact that the agents of the security forces have been tried and sentenced, multiple appeals to the courts have so far allowed them to appear free, according to the Brazilian press.
After the pardon, which does not impose an automatic release, the defense of a convicted person can ask the court to annul his trial.
The lawyer for the police officers who intervened in Carandiru, Eliezer Pereira Martins, will request the suspension of criminal proceedings after this pardon, according to his statements to the local press.