BRASILIA — A Brazilian federal district commission on Wednesday voted in favor of recommending that Attorney General Rodrigo Janot files a formal criminal complaint against far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro.
In recent weeks, Janot has begun assessing whether to file criminal charges against Bolsonaro, including his alleged coverup of torture.
Human rights groups have argued that Bolsonaro is potentially complicit in crimes by members of his disbanded 1980s “dirty war” secret police force.
“We’re happy,” said Bruno Caldas, a lawyer for Amnesty International Brazil. “But Janot has given us a lot of time. Now he has to act.”
Janot has also suggested that a vote to impeach President Michel Temer for allegedly being linked to corruption charges could have been influenced by corruption attempts against Bolsonaro.
Brazil’s top electoral court held a hearing this week on Temer’s fate, and if it decides to disqualify him for corruption, it could throw the results of last year’s presidential election into chaos.
Bolsonaro is currently leading in opinion polls, but his presidential bid has been hit with a series of legal challenges.
His leftist rival Fernando Haddad, the Sao Paulo mayor, has complained about the nature of his campaign. A team of counter-protesters protested against Bolsonaro’s candidacy outside the federal district commission’s meeting.