Former Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro will undergo a custody hearing at 2 pm this Thursday (23).
He was arrested this Wednesday (22) in an operation by the Federal Police (PF), which investigates the practice of influence peddling and corruption for the release of public funds from the MEC.
On Wednesday night (22), the Federal Court confirmed to the CNN that the former minister was allowed to remain in São Paulo and participate in the hearing virtually.
The reason for the authorization was not disclosed because the case is under secrecy in the courts.
Initially, Ribeiro’s defense was denied non-transfer requests, and the ex-minister was expected to go to the Federal Police Superintendence in Brasília.
In addition to Milton Ribeiro, the other prisoners in the PF operation will also undergo a custody hearing this Thursday (23).
In addition to Milton Ribeiro, pastors Gilmar Santos and Arilton Moura, lawyer and former advisor to the MEC Luciano de Freitas Musse and former advisor to the Municipality of Goiânia Helder Bartolomeu were arrested, according to the Federal Justice’s office in the Federal District.
Pastor Arilton will be heard from Pará, where he is, also by videoconference. Bartolomeu, Musse and Pastor Gilmar will have their custody hearings held in the Federal District, also at 2 pm.
Defense of ex-minister files habeas corpus to revoke arrest
The defense of former minister Milton Ribeiro entered, on the night of this Wednesday (22), with requests to the Federal Regional Court of the 1st Region (TRF-1) for the preventive detention to be revoked or transformed into house arrest.
The lawyers are also asking for access to the process that culminated in Ribeiro’s arrest on suspicion of corruption and influence peddling during his tenure at the Ministry of Education.
Both the habeas corpus and the writ of mandamus have already been distributed and are with the judge Ney Bello.
The main argument of the team led by lawyer Daniel Bialski is that judge Renato Borelli, from the 15th Federal Court of Brasília, did not present the arguments for preventive detention to the defense or the former minister.
Ribeiro’s defense also states that “nothing indicated or indicates the need for prison”, since the crimes attributed to the former Minister of Education “are not classified as heinous or violent”.
The lawyers also say that Ribeiro’s freedom does not constitute a “risk to public or economic order”. “What risk to “public order” could the patient now bring??? [sic]”, asks the defense in the court piece.
CGU investigation finds Milton Ribeiro’s suspicious financial movement; PF looks at car sale
The ongoing investigation by the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU) has identified a suspicious financial transaction by former Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro, who was arrested by the Federal Police (PF) this Wednesday (22), which sparked alerts in the team. of the organ.
The finding came about three weeks ago and changed the direction of the investigation.
A senior source with access to the investigation’s findings says there was a surprise and that the CGU team has since worked to cross-reference this move with other evidence and Milton’s direct relationship with the pastors.
Until then, the crossings made by the disbursements of the National Fund for the Development of Education (FNDE) and the benefited municipalities did not prove to be prosperous. But the finding of atypical financial gains had a decisive impact on the investigation, which is still ongoing.
A financial transaction worth R$60,000 between Victoria Bartolomeu, daughter of pastor Arilton Moura, and Myriam Ribeiro, wife of former Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro, is one of the focuses of the Federal Police investigation that arrested him this Wednesday. (22), the former minister.
The transaction document, obtained by the CNN shows that the pastor’s daughter bought a Sportage Kia car from the minister’s daughter for R$60,000 when he was still Minister of Education.
Bolsonaro’s allies assess ex-minister’s arrest as the worst moment of the campaign
Allies of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) evaluated the CNN that the arrest of former Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro is the worst moment of the reelection campaign.
The perception gains strength when they find that, just over three months ago, the campaign coordination bet that, at the end of June, the current moment, Bolsonaro should already be in a technical draw with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT). The most recent surveys, however, point to a distance from the PT.
As a result, the campaign leadership was planning a new event to try to gain a breath and revitalize the political strategy. The new fact had a name: Tereza Cristina, former Minister of Agriculture, who the president of the PL, Valdemar da Costa Neto, and the minister of the Civil House and licensed president of the PP, Ciro Nogueira, had been trying to get for the vice vacancy.
But the arrest of Milton Ribeiro left the campaign’s summit paralyzed this Wednesday.
Opposition approaches signatures needed to open MEC CPI
Opposition to the Jair Bolsonaro government has advanced in an attempt to garner support to resurrect the creation of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) of the Ministry of Education (MEC) after the arrest of former minister Milton Ribeiro.
According to the leader of the opposition in the Senate, Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP), 26 of the 27 minimum signatures necessary for the creation of the CPI have already been obtained.
Randolfe’s idea is to get two or three more signatures by the end of this week, to have a margin of safety. In April, the opposition obtained 27 signatures, but parliamentarians withdrew their support, which prevented the installation of the collegiate.
Understand the Federal Police’s “Paid Access” operation
According to the PF, the “Acesso Paid” operation aims to investigate the practice of influence peddling and corruption for the release of public resources from the National Education Development Fund (FNDE), linked to the Ministry of Education (MEC) .
The preventive arrest warrant issued against Milton Ribeiro cites the crimes of passive corruption, malfeasance, administrative advocacy and influence peddling.
“The crime of trafficking in influence is provided for in article 332 of the Penal Code, with a penalty of 2 to 5 years of imprisonment. Facts typified as crimes of passive corruption (2 to 12 years of imprisonment), malfeasance (3 months to 1 year of detention) and administrative law (1 to 3 months) are also investigated, all provided for in the Penal Code.
“The investigation began with the authorization of the STF due to the privileged jurisdiction of one of the investigated”, the PF informed in a note.
The police based the investigation on documents, testimonies and the “final report of the preliminary summary investigation” from the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU).
“Possible indications of criminal practice were identified for the release of public funds”, says the PF.
Remember the complaints that overthrew Milton Ribeiro from MEC
In an audio obtained by the newspaper “Folha de S.Paulo” and in reports from “O Estado de S. Paulo”, Ribeiro is involved in what would be a scheme to favor pastors in the ministry.
In a recorded conversation, the minister says that he received a request from President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) for the release of funds from the portfolio to be directed to specific prefectures from the negotiation made by two evangelical pastors who do not hold positions in the federal government.
In the recording, Ribeiro says that it is “a special request from the President of the Republic”. “It was a special request that the President of the Republic made to me on the issue of [pastor] Gilmar”, says the minister in a conversation with mayors and two other pastors, according to the newspaper.
Ribeiro continues: “Because my priority is to first serve the municipalities that need it most and, second, to serve all those who are friends of Pastor Gilmar.”
Pastors Gilmar Santos and Arilton Moura are mentioned in the audios. According to the newspaper, the two religious men have been negotiating with city governments to release federal funds for works in day care centers, schools and the purchase of technology equipment.
In the leaked conversation, Bolsonaro’s minister indicates that, with the release of resources, there may be a counterpart.
“The support we ask for is no secret, it can be [inaudível] it is support on building churches”. In the audios, it is not clear how this support would be given.
Last year, to save parliamentary amendments from a bigger cut, the government blocked R$9.2 billion of expenses from ministries and state agencies, which mainly affect Education.
Ribeiro denied that he favored pastors. In a note sent to CNN the minister also said that the president “did not ask anyone for preferential assistance, he only asked that he could receive everyone who came to us”.
Ribeiro left the Ministry of Education on March 28.
“I will not say goodbye, I will say see you soon”, says the Minister of Education in the letter delivered to Bolsonaro. Ribeiro is the subject of an investigation by the Federal Police (PF) and the Federal Supreme Court (STF) on suspicion of favoring pastors in the distribution of funds from the Ministry of Education (MEC).
In the letter, Ribeiro says that his life “has undergone a major transformation” since the publication of a report that implicated him in a scheme to favor pastors within the MEC.
In an exclusive interview with the policy analyst at CNN Renata Agostini, the current Minister of Education, Victor Godoy, said that he ordered all transfers from the portfolio that are being investigated to be suspended.
* Gabriel Hirabahasi, Teo Cury, Thais Arbex, Renata Agostini, Caio Junqueira, Luciana Amaral, Julliana Lopes and Vianey Bentes, from CNN, contributed to this report
Source: CNN Brasil