Geovane case: PM’s accused of killing young man in BA go to STJ to avoid popular jury

After losing all possible appeals at the Bahia Court of Justice (TJ-BA), in order to prevent the defendants from being tried by a popular jury, the defense of the seven PM’s of the Geovane case will try to reverse the situation in the Superior Court of Justice (STJ). The decision to send the case files to Brasília was published on the morning of this Wednesday (01), in the Official Gazette of Bahia.

The death of Geovane Mascarenhas, 22, came to light after the MAIL had exclusive access to images of the approach of three military police officers to the victim, on August 2, 2014, on the sidewalk, the last time he was seen alive. After being decapitated inside the Rondas Especiais (Rondesp) base in Lobato, Geovane had his genitals, hands and tattoos ripped off. His remains were covered with plastic, charred and left in two different parts of Salvador, to make identification difficult.

After investigations by the Civil Police, the MP-BA denounced 11 PMs for the crimes of qualified homicide, theft and concealment of a corpse. However, in March 2018, the Diário da Justiça Eletrônico (DJe) released the names of seven of them, who will go to the popular jury. The other four were exonerated.
In addition to the then corporal Jesimiel, the police officers whose names were published in the DJe are: sub-lieutenant Cláudio Bonfim Borges, sergeant Daniel Pereira de Souza Santos; and soldiers Roberto Santos de Oliveira, Alan Moraes Galiza dos Santos and Alex Santos Caetano. Private Jailson Gomes Oliveira will go to the jury for the same crimes, with the exception of concealing a corpse.

On July 19 of this year, the defense of the police asked the TJ-BA for the case to be referred to the higher courts – Superior Court of Justice (STJ) and the Federal Supreme Court (STF), but denied by the 2nd Vice-Presidency, signed by the judge Márcia Borges Faria. However, the defense appealed to an extraordinary appeal, which was granted by the TJ-BA on Wednesday morning.

“We see this issue of the appeal having gone up to the higher courts as a victory. We’re going to have a more impartial court there, a court that was not influenced by some biased matters. So, we are confident that everyone will be acquitted, because we know that we already have police officers who were acquitted in this process and there is a chance to acquit the rest. They are suffering for a crime they did not commit”, declares the defendant’s lawyer, Dinoemerson Nascimento.

Lawyer Dinoermerson Nascimento says that STJ will be able to free the police from a popular jury (Photo: Disclosure)

At the STJ, the process will be distributed to a rapporteur, who will be in charge of the entire process. There is no timetable for this judgment to take place. “The defense hopes that the requests will be considered as soon as possible, but there is no way to set a deadline, because a lot depends on the amount of agendas there in the higher courts”, says the defendant’s lawyer, who also intends to appeal to the STF.

However, that is not what Jurandy’s family lawyer, Paulo Kleber Carneiro, says. According to him, the intention is for the police to be tried for the least amount of crimes, taking into account the extinction of punishment, by the State, of the right to sentence or execute a sentence imposed on someone due to the expiration of the time limit.

“All these resources are a maneuver that are intended to delay the process and, mainly, to obtain the prescription of some crimes, due to the delay of the STJ, because there are many processes to be evaluated. For example, the crime of concealing a corpse and kidnapping has the statute of limitations of nine and twelve years, respectively”, says Paulo Kléber Carneiro.

Lawyer Paulo Kleber Carneiro says that sending the case to the STJ is a maneuver to prescribe crimes (Photo: Disclosure)

Despite Dinoemerson’s confidence that the police will be exonerated, Paulo Kleber recalls that the defense of the PM’s has already suffered a defeat by the STJ itself, right at the beginning of the procedural instruction.

“It was at the end of 2017. Their defense appealed to the STJ against receiving the complaint from the Public Ministry, asking for a summary acquittal, alleging lack of evidence linking the police to the murder, but it was denied. From there, the hearings began and the judge understood that the police officers should be tried by the Jury Court. They have filed all sorts of appeals, but all have been denied and now they go back to the STJ, which, I believe, will not get anything either,” she declares.

In addition to the criminal process, the police officers also respond to the Disciplinary Administrative Process (PAD), of Ordinance 56D/291-15/15. The investigation has now been completed. In other words, the Internal Affairs Department of the PM has closed its investigations and since March of this year the report has been at the General Command of the PM, in the Quartel dos Aflitos, awaiting the opinion of the general commander, Colonel Paulo Coutinho.

The report once again sought the PM to find out the institution’s position in relation to the conclusion of the PAD, but so far I have not had a response. The progress of the PAD is also monitored by the State Public Defender’s Office (DPE/BA), through the Specialized Coordination for the Protection of Human Rights, which has been demanding a position from Coutinho, but, until then, also without success.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Geovane case PMs accused killing young man STJ avoid popular jury

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