The Ethics Council of the Rio de Janeiro City Council took this Thursday (23) the testimony of councilor Gabriel Monteiro (PL), accused of breaking parliamentary decorum. He was listened to for over three hours. It was the last act of the instructional phase of the process, which can lead to the cancellation of the mandate.
After the testimony, councilor Chico Alencar (PSOL), rapporteur of the case, assessed that there are several contradictions in the reports collected. In all, 12 hearings were held, eight with witnesses for the defense and four for the prosecution. “We are not evaluating this process based on the Penal Code, but based on the Code of Ethics and Parliamentary Decorum”, said Alencar.
Youtuber and former military policeman, Gabriel Monteiro is in his first term and was the third most voted councilor in Rio de Janeiro in the last municipal elections. He is the target of allegations of rape, sexual and moral harassment and for forging videos on the internet. The charges were filed by former aides to the councilor.
Councilor Alexandre Isquierdo (União), president of the Council of Ethics and Parliamentary Decorum of the City Council of Rio, talks about the ethical-disciplinary process for alleged breach of decorum by councilor Gabriel Monteiro (PL). – Tomaz Silva/Agência Brazil
The unauthorized recording of an intimate video involving a minor is one of the actions investigated. According to Chico Alencar, the councilor told the ethics committee that the girl lied that she was 18 years old. “She said that she filmed consensual intimate relationships to guard against possible reports of rape. This is quite unique. And she sees no ethical problem in this filming with this allegation of self-protection,” he added.
Also under review is a video in which a poor child is instructed to say that he is hungry. Gabriel Monteiro once again maintained that it was an action to promote a “crowd pool” for the benefit of the girl and her family and that between R$ 80,000 and R$ 90,000 were raised through the initiative. According to Chico Alencar, when she was heard, the girl’s mother presented a different amount, claiming to have received R$ 70 thousand.
The staging of the theft of a purse was also the subject of the testimony given by the councilor. On Tuesday (21), the head delegate of the 42nd Police Station, Luis Armond, said that a homeless resident was offered money to simulate the crime. According to the police investigation, not all those involved in the scene were aware that it was a staging, which could lead to unpredictable outcomes.
“From the point of view presented by the councilor, it was a social experiment around the theme of femicide. His idea was to show society that people sell themselves, specifically in the video for R$400, to commit an act of femicide. what councilor Gabriel Monteiro told us”, said councilor Alexandre Isquierdo (União Brazil), president of the Ethics Council.
Chico Alencar added that Monteiro said that he did not consider anything that was done unethical and that the offer was in the name of a greater social objective. “[Monteiro] also stated that he does not hire anyone to come out as a villain. Effectively, the videos show that they do have villains and a hero, in the singular”, evaluated Chico Alencar.
Lawyers defending Gabriel Monteiro say that none of the accusations has been proven and that the councilor’s testimony was clear and concise. They maintain that the complaints presented by the former advisors were articulated by businessman Pedro Rafael da Silva Sorrilha. They would be retaliating against the councilman, who would have exposed his involvement in the “trailer mafia”.
According to the defense, the minor with whom Gabriel Monteiro had relations lied about her age even on social media. In addition, lawyers claim that the mothers followed the videos involving the children. They do not deny that instructions were given to them. “We see this even in professional recordings such as soap operas. Children are not mature enough to say what needs to be said. So it was asked, but there were no insinuations or lies. And the child was benefited by this action”, said lawyer Gustavo Lima .
Gabriel Monteiro even requested that the testimony be broadcast live and encouraged supporters to demand the members of the Ethics Council. According to Isquierdo, each councilor received an avalanche of messages, but the request was not granted. “We have not acted in a pyrotechnical way”, he pointed out.
The end of the instructional phase of the process coincides with the suspension of the work of the council, in view of the recess of the City Council. In the first week of August, the case will be resumed and Chico Alencar will have to present his vote. Then, a period of five working days will be opened for the defense’s closing arguments and, finally, the final report is voted on. If there is a request for punishment, the final word belongs to the plenary.
Councilman Chico Alencar (Psol), rapporteur of the ethical-disciplinary process for alleged breach of decorum by councilor Gabriel Monteiro (PL) – Tomaz ilva/Agência Brazil
The possibility of a new infraction was also raised in the testimony given by the councilor. The commission asked him about the videos produced for the Gabriel Monteiro TV platform, in which there is fundraising with followers who are associated. He was asked if images of his work as a parliamentarian were used to attract new members.
“Guided by the lawyers, he preferred not to respond,” said Chico Alencar. In May, the City Council approved a change in the organic law of the municipality preventing the monetization of content on the internet that has the exercise of public function as its object. Alencar states that he found on Gabriel Monteiro’s platform a scene where he is, in the exercise of his mandate, carrying out an inspection in a health unit.
Lawyer Sandro Figueiredo, who is part of the councilor’s defense, said that he was instructed not to answer questions that were outside the scope of the proceedings. “The complaints specifically deal with three videos, in particular that of the girl in the mall, the girl in the beauty salon and the alleged homeless person. It also deals with the case involving intimate relationships with the minor, deals with moral harassment and harassment When questions about monetization came up, obviously, the defense objected,” he said.
Chico Alencar acknowledged that the possible infraction is not a specific object of the process, but said that they are taken into account as a context. “All this is valid from a future perspective, but it is not the basis of the rapporteur’s vote,” he added.
Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News