To adhere to alternative sentence, January 8 coup plotters will have to plea guilty

Agreement includes delete social media accounts, pay a fine, take part in community services and attend democracy course

Translated by: Ana Paula Rocha

Brasil de Fato | São Paulo (SP) |
Coup plotters invade Congress, the Supreme Court building and Planalto Palace on January 8, 2023 - Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

On September 22, the Attorney General’s Office (PGR, in Portuguese) presented an agreement proposal for the group of ten coup plotters involved in the January 8 attacks and who are already defendants in an inquiry at the Supreme Court.

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To adhere to the agreement, which provides for the adoption of alternative measures to serve the sentences, the coup plotters will have to admit their participation in the encampments in front of the Army headquarters in Brazil’s capital city, Brasília, and their roles in inciting an attempted coup.

By accepting the agreement, the defendants commit to deleting their social media accounts, paying a fine, taking part in 300 hours of community service, and attending democracy courses.

The fines range from 5,000 to 20,000 reais (US$ 1,000 to US$ 4,000) and are distributed according to the defendants’ financial resources. If a coup plotter adheres to the agreement, the Supreme Court's criminal charges will be immediately suspended.

If the defendants did not commit to the measures provided for by the agreement, the charges will be resumed by the Supreme Court and the coup plotters will be subject to penalties imposed by the Court.

According to the PGR, 301 of the 1,125 defendants for the January 8 crimes are willing to adhere to the agreement. The Office says the option will not be offered to those who invaded the Planalto Palace, the Supreme Court building and the Chamber of Deputies building, as the crimes are considered serious.

Arrested for the second time

Marcos Soares Moreira, a coup plotter who participated in the January 8 attacks and had been released under the condition of complying with precautionary measures and wearing an ankle monitor, was arrested again last Friday.

On his social media accounts, Moreira posted a video attacking the Supreme Court ministers. "To me, there is no difference between being here or there [in jail]. I will never surrender to you, criminals who have the power of a pen in your hands, but are still criminals. Alexandre de Moraes, Rosa Weber, all of you, criminals, you tramps,” said the coup plotter.

In his dispatch ordering Moreira's arrest, Minister Alexandre de Moraes recalled that he was prohibited from using social media. "Even though he was aware of this prohibition and demonstrated total contempt for Justice, the accused published two videos on TikTok, in which he attacked this Court and hurled many insults at the honor of STF ministers. In one of the posts, he called on protesters to, on October 12 [Children’s Day], 2023, take to the streets 'against this absurd agenda that the Supreme Court is putting forward to be voted on to allow the murder and homicide of babies'."

Last week, Brazil’s Supreme Court began judging the possibility of decriminalizing abortion until the 12th week of pregnancy. Minister Rosa Weber, who will retire on October 2, voted for decriminalizing abortion, a controversial issue in Brazil, particularly after Bolsonaro’s presidential term, which was a very conservative government.

Edited by: Nadini Lopes e Nicolau Soares