The Brazilian Senate Approves a Project That Hardens Criminal Legislation

Brasilia, Dec 11 (EFE) .- The Brazilian Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that toughens criminal legislation to fight crime and that includes some proposals from Justice Minister Sergio Moro, who led in his time as judge the Lava Jato anti-corruption operation investigations.

The text, which was already approved last week by the Chamber of Deputies, continues now for the sanction of the Brazilian president, the ultra-rightist Jair Bolsonaro, who can eventually veto some points of it.

The bill modifies various articles of criminal and procedural legislation and includes measures to combat organized crime, drug and arms trafficking, militia action; and crimes committed with violence or serious threat.

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It also modernizes the mechanisms for police investigations and creates new figures such as that of a judge of guarantees, who will supervise the proceedings and will be different from the magistrate who will issue a ruling on the case.

The text includes some proposals by Moro, who until the end of last year was the judge responsible for Operation Lava Jato and condemned dozens of politicians and businessmen, including former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, now released.

Among them, the creation of a data bank to register firearms and another to store biometric information and explicit authorization to the states of the country to build maximum security prisons.

The congressmen filed, however, some of the initiatives presented by the current Minister of Justice, such as the one that exempted the police from causing casualties in situations of 'justified fear, surprise or violent emotion'.

They also withdrew another measure defended by Moro, such as the prison after a conviction ratified in a court of second instance and even when the prisoner has pending appeals in higher courts.

Currently, there is a different bill that is currently being processed in Congress and that proposes precisely to execute a sentence once it is ratified in second instance, which could return Lula to prison.

That text has already received a first approval in the Senate Constitution and Justice Commission, although for its final promulgation it still has a long process ahead in both legislative chambers.

The parliamentarians also included in the project, baptized as 'anti-crime' and approved on Wednesday, other measures drawn up by themselves and by a commission of jurists coordinated by the Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes.

Public Security is one of the flags of Bolsonaro, who defends 'hard hand' against crime, usually says that 'good bandit is dead bandit' and states that if a policeman kills a criminal, whatever the circumstance, he should receive a 'decoration' instead of being investigated. EFE

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