Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro faces ‘crimes against humanity’

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption Brazil’s far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro announced he will suspend his presidential campaign following the move Three senators have recommended that Brazil’s far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro be charged…

Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro faces 'crimes against humanity'

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption Brazil’s far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro announced he will suspend his presidential campaign following the move

Three senators have recommended that Brazil’s far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro be charged with committing crimes against humanity.

He was jailed in 2003 for ordering the murder of a man, Daniel Gloni, whom Mr Bolsonaro says was in a romantic relationship with his wife.

The former army captain also faces murder charges in a separate case.

He won the Brazilian first round of voting last month but is expected to come a close second in the second round on 25 October.

Announcing that he will suspend his campaign, he said he rejected the allegations and wanted his name cleared.

However, he added: “In order to move forward with my campaign, I will suspend it at least till the judicial inquiry is completed.”

Mr Bolsonaro has also been accused of incitement to hatred and the promoting of fascism.

He described those who have urged a prosecution of him as “anti-people” elements trying to weaken the country.

After Sunday’s announcement, the initial opposition to his candidacy coalesced and Mr Bolsonaro’s former vice-presidential running mate, Hamilton Mourao, announced his intention to lead the campaign, the BBC’s Alastair Leithead reports from Sao Paulo.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption Bolsonaro is currently leading in the polls but his support may decline as he faces charges against him

Mr Gloni was killed on 22 August 2003 after leaving a pub in São Paulo, Brazil. His corpse was found in a burnt-out car nearby.

The 55-year-old’s father and two uncles had told the ABC he was in a love triangle with the couple’s then-27-year-old daughter.

The couple named Bolsonaro and his wife as suspects, but the army – which was ruled by Mr Bolsonaro until late 2003 – did not lay charges until 2011.

The case was reopened in July 2018 and Mr Bolsonaro, 77, was charged with ordering the murder of Mr Gloni.

The August indictment also accused him of “membership in a terrorist organisation [and] crimes against humanity committed in the Gubitosa commune in the state of Rio Grande do Sul between 1 November 1998 and 27 December 2002”.

Mr Bolsonaro denied the accusations and has always denied his family ever organised killings.

He said that he did attend Gloni’s funeral and believed his murder was justified by his relationship with his wife, according to Agence France-Presse.

“I believe the family has committed an injustice and crimes against the reputation of the society,” he was quoted as saying.

Mr Gloni’s brother, Lucius, said the senator was a “dangerous criminal” and that he should be “hanged”.

“Whatever Bolsonaro does – be it be it a law, sentence or public message – it will bring no good to us,” Mr Gloni added, saying he was one of four victims of violence committed by Bolsonaro supporters.

In an attempt to distance himself from his supporters, Mr Bolsonaro has twice attempted to ban Brazilian supporters from attending political rallies, citing concerns that the attendance of foreign protesters could harm the country’s image.

He also called for “full and open” debates with his rivals in an effort to prevent violence during elections, but many continue to accuse him of inflammatory statements.

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