By Gram Slattery and Carolina Pulice
RIO DE JANEIRO, April 21 (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that he would pardon an allied federal congressman who was sentenced to nearly nine years in prison by the Supreme Court, a move likely to heighten tensions between the nation’s executive and judiciary during an election year.
In a 10-1 ruling on Wednesday, Brazil’s top court, known as the STF, established that Silveira had interfered with the free exercise of government and had threatened the nation’s judicial authorities.
Silveira, a right-wing former police officer from Rio de Janeiro, provoked controversy in 2021 after questioning the integrity of several STF ministers, calling on supporters to invade the court and saying that an anti-democratic decree in place during Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship should be reinstituted.
Bolsonaro’s move is the latest escalation in his feud with the court, and could add to the likelihood of a constitutional crisis ahead of October’s presidential vote, in which Bolsonaro is seeking re-election.