Power

Brazil’s long-running ‘fake news inquiry’ inches closer to Bolsonaro

Initially controversial, the Supreme Court's probe into the production and spreading of disinformation online has resulted in several arrests and has set its sights on President Bolsonaro and his politician sons

Brazil's long-running 'fake news inquiry' inches closer to Bolsonaro
The statue of justice, which sits in front of the Supreme Court building, facing the presidential palace. Photo: Rosalba Matta-Machado/Shutterstock

Upon taking office for a two-year stint as head of the Brazilian Supreme Court in November 2018, Justice Dias Toffoli said it was time for the judicial branch to “step out of the spotlight” acting more as umpires rather than active players. Justice Toffoli took charge off the back of a string of headline-catching cases for the court, including one which kept former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — the frontrunner at the time — out of the 2018 presidential election, and later sent him to prison.

However, that promise of temperance was short-lived. In March 2019, the then-chief...

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