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Former governor of Rio de Janeiro is closer to impeachment and will be tried by mixed court

The outgoing governor will still be tried by a mixed court made up of deputies and judges, who will decide on the permanent loss of mandate.

Deputies of the Legislative Assembly of Rio approved on Wednesday night (23) the continuation of the impeachment process of the outgoing governor, Wilson Witzel (PSC). The decision was made unanimously, with 69 votes to 0.

With this, the parliamentarians pave the way for a possible definitive removal of the former judge, who will still be tried by a mixed court.

Witzel, already temporarily removed from office by the STJ (Superior Court of Justice), is accused of having led a scheme of diversion of resources destined to fight the pandemic of the new coronavirus.

It is the first time in the history of the state that the Assembly has authorized in plenary proceedings against a governor for a crime of responsibility.

In his defense before the vote, Witzel said he is the victim of moral and political lynching and that democracy is at risk.

He spoke by videoconference during a session in the Assembly. Exalted at various times, Witzel said he had no right to a defense in the House and in the courts.

“The streets are calm, quiet, it’s not because people are afraid of Covid. It is because they are silenced by everything that is happening, astonished to see a governor removed from office without the right to defense, ”he said.

Witzel said he would not give up his defense and his mandate, and said the error against him would be repaired. He also cited errors that, in his view, were not fixed. “Like President [Fernando] Collor, victim of an impeachment, who in 2014 was acquitted.”

Since he was accused, Witzel has said that he is the victim of a national pulverization for being an opponent of President Jair Bolsonaro. On Wednesday, the outgoing governor again quoted him, saying the president was “too light-hearted” in accusing him of committing acts to harm his family.

Witzel, a former judge elected in 2018, also criticized the politicization of judges, members of the Public Ministry and the Public Defender’s Office.

“If this House adheres to lava-boating, there will no longer be anyone who can defend society. I see that unanimity has already been formed, I am already being condemned by the Assembly without the right of defense ”, he said.

After the publication of the voting result in the Official Gazette, the Court of Justice of Rio will be notified to form the mixed court, composed of five deputies chosen by the Assembly and five judges drawn by lot. This commission will decide whether Witzel will be impeached.

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