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Is CONIB maneuvering to open a criminal investigation against Breno Altman?

Is CONIB maneuvering to open a criminal investigation against Breno Altman?

After the Rio de Janeiro prosecutor rejected the application against the founder of Opera Mundi, the Brazilian-Israeli federation reopened the case in São Paulo and obtained a positive decision.

Breno Altman and the logo of the Israeli Brazilian Federation

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Opera Mundi – An investigation was opened by the Federal Police against Brenno Altmann, journalist and founder opera Mundi, They seem to have contrasting backgrounds. The decision taken by Public Prosecutor Mauricio Fabretti, from the Federal Public Ministry of São Paulo (MPF-SP), who requested this measure, violates the understanding previously reached by his colleague Cintia Melo Damasino Martins, from Rio de Janeiro, who ordered the investigation to be frozen. With the same content.

On October 16, 2023, the Federal Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro (MPF-RJ) recorded a statement by businessman Thiago Costa Mourao, condemning “the hate speech and racism of journalist Breno Altmann against Jews, describing them as rats, in a clear reference to Nazism.” , as stated in Fact Notice No. 1.30.001.004703/2023-15. The supposed evidence of this episode is a post by the journalist on Network X, formerly Twitter, with the following statement:

“We may hate Hamas, and disagree with its policies and methods. But this organization is a crucial part of the Palestinian resistance against the colonial state of Israel. And remember the Chinese proverb, at this moment the color of cats does not matter, as long as they catch mice.

Required by Opera MundiThe complainant, aged 37, stated that he had nothing to do with CONIB and that he filed a complaint against the journalist because he understood that there was “anti-Semitic content” in the publication in question.

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The accused explained, on several occasions, that the Chinese proverb was a metaphor for Hamas’ role in the rebellion against Israeli colonialism: despite the criticism that might be directed at this organization, according to the journalist, for its leadership role in the conflict. It was undeniable.

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Of Jewish descent, with many ancestors murdered by the Nazi regime, Altmann rejects the comparison with the propaganda of Hitler's followers: “It is nothing more than a maneuver to brand any criticism of Zionism and the State of Israel as anti-Semitic.”

Archive request – On October 31, the Rio de Janeiro public prosecutor refused to open an investigation, concluding that the journalist had not committed any racist crime. “The distinction called for by the Criminal Code is linked to the aim of abolishing or restricting human rights and fundamental freedoms in various spheres or spheres of life in society, which is not constituted in the excerpt published by Breno Altmann,” it was stated. Written in a document entitled “Promotion of Archiving”, PR-RJ-Manifestação-43731/2023.

Cynthia Martinez also highlighted that “the author of the aforementioned post uses a metaphor […]So the term “rats” as an adjective is not attributed to a specific individual or race, but rather is part of a popular saying, as the author of the post points out. He concludes his order, “It is necessary not to request a police investigation into this case, given that journalist Brenno Altman is not guilty of any intent.” Since this intention is not clear, the typical crime of racism stipulated in Law No. 7716/1989 has been excluded. Given the above, the Federal Public Prosecution requests that this case be duly filed in accordance with Article 395, Section Three of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

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According to the Brazilian Code of Criminal Procedure, if the Public Ministry closes the investigation and then obtains judicial approval, only a collective review body under the Public Prosecutor's Office itself can decide to continue the investigation, with a new prosecutor appointed.

Repeated accusation.. But CONIB, despite the request to keep the investigation in Rio de Janeiro, submitted to the São Paulo MPF, on November 7, a criminal report on the same facts, in addition to filing a precautionary measure in the state's federal court. The journalist's social media suspension, “under penalty of imprisonment,” prohibited him from “participating in lives, videos, or demonstrations of the same nature and goal as fanaticism.”

On November 21, São Paulo Public Prosecutor Mauricio Fabretti asked Judge Silvio Gemac to send the case files from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo, with the aim of investigating jurisdiction, which was granted a day later. He acted quickly, getting the case transferred to the Rio Federal Court, which approved the prosecutor's decision that refuted the investigation.

However, according to criminal lawyer Romulo Garzillo, due to the new wording of Article 28 of the Brazilian Code of Criminal Procedure, archiving a criminal investigation will no longer depend on judicial approval.

a Opera Mundi“When the MPF is archived, the case cannot be discussed again unless there are new facts or evidence to be investigated,” Garzillo stated. In the Crime News case against the journalist, the Israeli organization used the same facts, without new evidence, to open a new investigation in São Paulo.

“The argument that approval has not yet been granted, and that the judge can then reopen the investigation, does not work. The MPF always has the final say regarding archiving, the lawyer explains. “Only if an appeal is submitted by the victim or legal representative, within 30 days, the MPF Commission can decide to cancel the archiving.”

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In this sense, according to Garzillo, the judge who authorized the sending of copies of the Rio de Janeiro records can, “at most, if there are any congenital anomalies.” [decisão absurda, que contraria a própria lógica do ordenamento jurídico, fere mortalmente o bom senso e despreza as normas jurídicas estabelecidas]send the already archived files for re-analysis by the ministerial body.

For the criminal, archiving control procedures fall within the responsibility of the public ministry, not the judicial authority. However, the decision to change the venue of the Breno Altmann case has not been approved by any public prosecutor's office, which may constitute an illegal action.

Judicial order – With the transfer of the files, in any case, on November 27, Public Prosecutor Fabretti, on behalf of the Public Prosecution, took the precautionary measure, replacing CONIB, because the entity did not have the legitimacy for this type of legal action. But it supported only part of the requests, acknowledging “the suspension of the defendants’ accounts.” […] It would be a measure that would excessively affect freedom of expression, […] It may even characterize prior censorship. But contrary to what the Rio de Janeiro public prosecutor said, he asked the National Police to open a police investigation against the journalist.

On November 29, the substitute judge of the 8th Federal Criminal Court in São Paulo, Maria Carolina Akl Ayoub, declared herself competent to hear the case. The platforms X (formerly Twitter) and Meta were then ordered to remove the posts written by Brenno Altmann.

The journalist, who has not been heard at any stage so far or even summoned, received an email from the X Network, last December 22, informing him that the Federal Police requested his data to open a police investigation.