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Washington, Apr 1 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made by Dias Toffoli, Brazilian President of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) on March 14 that he had enacted an Administrative Act ordering the opening of a criminal investigation into fake news and internet threats targeting the STF and its ministers and family members, Library of Congress reports said.
Law Library of Congress
Toffoli declared that there was no democracy without an independent judiciary and that STF had always worked for defense of freedoms, especially the freedom of the press.
Alexandre de Moraes, designated to lead the investigation, said he would begin working on it immediately.
The authority of the President of the STF to open an inquiry is provided for in article 43 et seq. of the Court’s Internal Rules updated through Oct. 2018 STF website, which states that in the event of a violation of criminal law at the headquarters or annex of the court, the President shall initiate an investigation, if it involves an authority or person under his/her jurisdiction, or delegate this assignment to another minister.
The order was apparently targeting agents of the Brazilian Internal Revenue Service who, in February 2019, allegedly leaked documents regarding Gilmar Mendes and his wife.
The criminal investigation was not seen as appropriate by various other ministers of the STF, but Moraes mentioned that the investigation included the leaking of information and confidential documents and attributing the practice of illegal acts to members of the Supreme Court and/or insinuating that the members of the Court have committed such acts.
Moraes added that court has a legal duty to preserve secrecy, and verifying the existence of financial planning schemes and their mass dissemination in social networks which may harm or expose the Judiciary.