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President says he continues to trust investigated former minister

President Jair Bolsonaro commented again on the case involving former Education Minister Milton Ribeiro, the target of a Federal Police operation that investigates crimes of influence peddling and corruption in the allocation of funds from the National Education Development Fund (FNDE). during your live weekly, this Thursday (23), Bolsonaro reaffirmed his confidence in the former minister. “I still believe in Milton. If anything comes up, [que] answer for your actions”.

In a reference to the declaration that he would put his “face on fire” by the former minister, when the allegations came to light in March, the president acknowledged that he had exaggerated. “I exaggerated, but I put my hand on fire for Milton”.

One day after being arrested with four other people, the ex-minister had the habeas corpus granted this Thursday, by decision of the judge Ney Bello, of the Federal Regional Court of the 1st Region, in Brasília. The decision is also valid for the others involved in the same case: Gilmar Santos, Arilton Moura, Helder Diego da Silva Bartolomeu and Luciano de Freitas Musse. For the magistrate, due to the fact that he is no longer a minister and that there is a time lapse between the investigated facts and the arrest, detention would be unnecessary at the moment.

The PF operation was triggered after identification, by the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU), of evidence of criminal practice for the release of public funds. The court orders were issued by the 15th Criminal Court of the Federal District and the investigation runs in secrecy. The investigation runs under secrecy.

Suspicions of embezzlement of FNDE resources, which would have been practiced when the MEC was headed by Minister Milton Ribeiro, were also the subject of an inspection by the Federal Audit Court (TCU) in April, after the release of an audio in which he he said he favored city halls of municipalities linked to pastors Arilton Moura and Gilmar Silva, who would have acted as intermediaries with the municipalities in the release of resources, in exchange for payment of bribes. In the same audio, Ribeiro says that President Jair Bolsonaro would have made a “special request” for him to meet Pastor Gilmar. The case culminated in the dismissal of Milton Ribeiro and also led to the opening of an investigation in the STF and PF, in addition to an extraordinary inspection by the TCU itself.

About the audio, revealed by the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, the president stated that there is no irregularity. “There was a conversation, a conversation that he spoke publicly. He spoke to several people. ‘Look, we serve all mayors, regardless of parties, now preferably those nominated by such pastor.’ function of this video, it went to the press, Milton resigned”, he pointed out.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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