The 5th Criminal Chamber of the Court of Justice of Rio told to release this Thursday (15) the former State Secretary of Education of Rio Pedro Fernandes and the ex-deputy Cristiane Brasil.
The two were arrested on September 11 in Operation Cataract, which investigates alleged deviations in social assistance contracts in the state government and in the City Hall of Rio.
The decision establishes precautionary medidass like:
- monthly court appearance;
- prohibition of contact with companies and others involved in the investigation;
- night home gathering.
The judges also ordered the businessman Flavio Chadud, owner of the company Servlog, accused of paying bribes to Pedro Fernandes and Cristiane Brasil in exchange for contracts with the state government and the City Hall of Rio at the time when they were secretaries.
Two other people who were under house arrest were also released, with the same precautionary measures: the businessman João Marcos Borges Mattos (who until May was the State Under Secretary of Education), and the retired delegate Mario Chadud, father of the owner of Servlog, Flavio Chadud.
Pedro was arrested, according to MPRJ, for actions during his tenure at the State Secretariat of Technology and Social Development under the governments of Sérgio Cabral and Luiz Fernando Pezão – before taking up Education in RJ at the invitation of Wilson Witzel.
- Arrested this 6th, Pedro Fernandes is from the 3rd generation of family politicians and worked with Cesar Maia, Cabral, Pezão, Crivella and Witzel
The State Foundation Leão XIII, the target of the investigation, was linked to Pedro’s secretary. The investigation states that the secretary kept 20% of the value of signed contracts – all bribe money, according to the MP.
Upon receiving voice of arrest, Pedro Fernandes presented a positive examination of Covid-19, which made preventive detention at home. He was later taken to a prison.
Cristiane is responsible for acts allegedly practiced between May 2013 and May 2017, when she took over municipal secretariats under the management of Eduardo Paes and Marcelo Crivella.
According to the investigations, Cristiane Brasil received bribes in three ways: in cash, through deposits in other people’s accounts, which returned the values to the former deputy and also through the payment of personal bills.
Cristiane was Secretary of Healthy Aging of the City of Rio de Janeiro and was even appointed Minister of Labor in the Temer government, but her tenure was suspended by the Supreme Federal Court (STF) due to convictions in the Labor Court, revealed by the G1.
On the day of the arrest, Pedro Fernandes’ defense said that the secretary “was outraged by the arrest warrant”.
“His lawyer had been asking for access to the file since the end of July, but he was unable to. The defense made Pedro available to the authorities for clarification on the occasion. However, Pedro was never heard and only learned from the press that he was being investigated by something that is still not sure what it is “, said the lawyers, in a note. “Pedro trusts that everything will be cleared up as soon as possible, and his innocence has been proven,” they added.
Also in a note, Cristiane Brasil stated that the complaint is “a clear attempt at political persecution”.
“They had eight years to investigate this groundless complaint, made in 2012 against me, and they didn’t do it because they didn’t want to,” he said. “But it appears now that I am a candidate for mayor in a clear attempt to persecute me politically, me and my father.”