In a note, a distant governor quoted a sentence by Minister Benedito Gonçalves at this Thursday’s trial: ‘Being a defendant means nothing’
One day after becoming a defendant for corruption and money laundering, the governor removed from Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel (PSC), released a note entitled “Letter to the Fluminense People”, in which he states that he has “clean hands and a clear conscience that, at the end of this process, my innocence will be proven”. At the beginning of the text, Witzel quotes a sentence by Minister Benedito Gonçalves, of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), in this Thursday’s judgment, 11: “Being a defendant means nothing”.
“I woke up today with a broken heart, but in peace! Broken heart when I see that, at a time when Rio de Janeiro needs me most – because one day I swore that, if necessary, I would give my own life for the good of the population, which has been punished for years -, I find myself hands tied. I understand all the zeal of Justice in investigating the facts. However, by removing a government official – who spent his life fighting for justice by exercising the position of judge, giving up the perks and security of his own position and putting himself as a public servant, knowing that he could do a lot for a state – he did not harms only one person; the damage, irreversible, extends to an entire population that has already suffered so much, ”says Witzel.
“So, the questions remain: who will be the only ones harmed by the time lost by this departure? How and when will lost lives, closed ventures and abandoned opportunities be repaired, because our hands are tied? ”Added the outgoing governor.
This Thursday, the 11th, the STJ’s Special Court unanimously accepted the complaint presented by the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) against Witzel. Ministers also extended the removal of the governor-elect in 2018 for another year – he has been removed since August 2020, as determined by the STJ. The 180-day period would end at the end of February. The former judge is accused of having received R $ 554,200 in bribes, through his wife Helena Witzel’s law firm. The prosecution claims that the governor has established a bribe scheme in the contracting of field hospitals, respirators and medications intended to fight the pandemic of the new coronavirus.