Ronnie Lessa and Élcio Queiroz will face a grand jury in the death of Marielle Franco

A Rio de Janeiro judge made the announcement on Tuesday (10), a few days before the two year anniversary of the crime

Translated by: Ítalo Piva

Brasil de Fato | São Paulo |
Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Gomes were shot dead on march 14th 2018 - Mario Vasconcellos/Câmara Municipal do Rio de Janeiro/AFP

Former police officer Ronnie Lesa, and court marshaled policeman Élcio Vieira, will face a grand jury accused of the murder of Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman Marielle Franco (PSOL), and her driver Anderson Gomes.

The trial was set this tuesday (10) by the Rio de Janeiro justice department, on the eve of the two year anniversary of the crime that killed Marielle and Anderson, on march 14th 2018.

The conflicts between the prosecutors’ case and the defense must be settled by a jury”, wrote judge Gustavo Gomes Kalil.

The defense attorney for Élcio de Queiroz, Henrique Telles, in an interview to G1 News, promised to appeal the decision. “My group of lawyers and I, are analyzing the case. Our contention is with the announcement. There is no proof against my client”. Who are the accused?

At the time of the crime, Ronnie Lessa lived in the same gated community as Jair Bolsonaro, in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood of Rio. The former military police officer, who was once also part of the civil police, as well as the Rio SWAT unit (BOPE). He was known for committing crimes on demand, and for his precision and cold blood when pulling the trigger.

In 1998, Lessa was awarded honors at the Rio City Council (Alerj). The award was given by deceased congressman Pedro Fernandes Filho, grandfather to Pedro Fernandes Neto, current education secretary to Rio de Janeiro governor Wilson Witzel.

According to records, he was honored “for the professional manner in which he is living his life as a military police officer”.

Segundo registros, ele seria homenageado “pela maneira profissional como vem pautando sua vida profissional como policial militar”.

Lessa was relieved of duties as an officer after he suffered a bomb attack in Rio de Janeiro, ten years ago. In the investigation conducted at the time, it was determined that the attack occurred due to a fight between criminal groups.

The explosion occurred when the policeman drove by in his bullet proof car, a silver pickup truck, on Mirinduba street, a few meters away from the 9th police district in northern Rio de Janeiro.

Élcio Queiroz is accused of driving the getaway in the crime that killed Marielle and Anderson. He was court marshaled from the military police in 2016, after it was discovered he illegally worked as a private security guard in a Rio gambling den.

Edited by: Rodrigo Chagas