Bruno Calandrini, the police detective investigating the corruption case involving former Education Minister Milton Ribeiro, asked the Federal Supreme Court to arrest high-ranking members of the Federal Police for interfering in the investigation, according to news website Metrópoles.
A close ally of President Jair Bolsonaro, Mr. Ribeiro was arrested in June on charges of influence peddling, malfeasance, and corruption. He allegedly allowed two evangelical preachers to control the distribution of education resources to mayors through kickbacks.
In two leaked conversations, the former minister was heard saying that he was complying with a request from Mr. Bolsonaro by getting the preachers involved in ministry affairs, and that the president had warned him ahead of his arrest of the imminent risk of him being the target of a police operation.
Mr. Calandrini had complained in a police officers’ group conversation that interference from his superiors prevented him from carrying out the investigation independently. Leading members of the force supposedly interfered to prevent Mr. Ribeiro from being transferred from São Paulo to the police superintendency in Brasília.
Mr. Calandrini has become the target of an internal probe over the allegations and could face punishment.
The news that the police officer requested his superiors’ arrest was reportedly badly received within the corporation. Police directors said there was no interference and that Mr. Ribeiro was not transferred to Brasília due to poor planning on Mr. Calandrini’s part.
Mr. Calandrini’s request will be analyzed by Supreme Court Justice Cármen Lúcia.