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JOURNALIST Glenn Greenwald has vowed to stay in Brazil despite threats from far-right President Jair Bolsonaro to jail him for claiming that Justice Minister Sergio Moro is corrupt.
Mr Bolsonaro warned that the Rio-based US journalist “may be imprisoned” for publishing information on news website The Intercept that alleged Mr Moro had been part of a plot to keep left-wing former president Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva in prison.
But Mr Greenwald hit back, saying the President “does not have the power to order people to prison."
“Contrary to Bolsonaro's wishes, he is not (yet) a dictator. He has no power to order people to be arrested.
“There are still courts in operation. To arrest someone, you have to present evidence to a court that they have committed a crime. This evidence does not exist.”
He said that he would not be intimidated by the threats and would remain in the country.
“I have the power to leave Brazil voluntarily — and I had that power all the time. But I did not and will not, despite these threats. Because? Because I know there’s nothing against me. I will defend the democracy of my children’s country,” he said.
The row erupted after The Intercept published articles that included evidence of phone and Telegram app messages between Mr Moro, then the judge in charge of the Car Wash corruption cases, and Deltan Dallagnol, the main state prosecutor.
It is alleged that the pair colluded to keep Lula in prison on corruption charges despite a lack of evidence, preventing the popular politician, who was leading in the polls, from running in last year’s presidential election. Mr Bolsonaro won the election and handed Mr Moro his Justice Ministry post soon after.
A new law was introduced by Mr Moro on Friday allowing “dangerous” foreigners to be removed from the country. Mr Greenwald is married to Brazilian MP David Miranda and the pair have two adopted children. Mr Bolsonaro accused him of plotting the marriage in order to avoid being deported from Brazil.
“He would not apply to the new rules because he is married to another man and they have adopted children in Brazil. Scoundrel, scoundrel … to avoid a problem he marries another scoundrel and adopts a child in Brazil.
“You can remain calm [Greenwald], you will not leave,” Mr Bolsonaro raged.
The Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism warned: “Without free journalism, the other freedoms will also die. Enough persecution.”
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