new anti-corruption investigation against a son Bolsonaro

Flavio Bolsonaro is a senator but the facts alleged relate to the period when he was a regional deputy. The eldest son of the Brazilian president has already been involved in a scandal earlier this year.

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Flavio Bolsonaro, on the left, accompanies his father Jair Bolsonaro, in Brasilia, on November 21st. Eraldo Peres / AP

The prosecutor's office in Rio de Janeiro announced on Saturday (November 23rd) that it had opened a new investigation against the eldest son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Flavio, accused of having paid "Ghost workers" to divert public money.

The investigation was opened "For administrative improbity related to the employment of ghost employees, who would not have held office within the firm" of Flavio Bolsonaro, explained the prosecution in a statement. The son of the far-right president, 38, is a senator. But the alleged facts relate to the period when he was regional deputy of the State of Rio.

Earlier this year, just after Jair Bolsonaro took office, another scandal involving his son Flavio tainted the beginning of his term, when he was elected under the promise of eradicating corruption.

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A Supreme Court decision could revive everything

The government agency responsible for monitoring financial transactions, the COAF, had highlighted in December "Atypical transactions" a total of 1.2 million reais (about 270,000 euros) in 2016 and 2017 on behalf of his former driver, Fabricio Jose de Queiroz, inconsistent with his declared income.

The COAF also detected 48 suspicious deposits of Flavio Bolsonaro, with a total value of 96,000 reais (about 22,000 euros), made in June and July 2017, although the person has always denied any wrongdoing.

An investigation was initiated by the prosecutor's office, but it was suspended in July, after Supreme Court President Dias Toffoli decided that judicial authorization was needed to obtain this type of financial data. This decision could become obsolete soon. The Supreme Court dismissed last week a judgment in plenary session whose result could dispense the prosecutors of such authorization.

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