Federal deputy Alexandre Ramagem (PL-RJ) admitted, in an interview with the Metrópoles portal, the possibility that “illicit activities” had occurred at the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (Abin), commanded by him during the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL). The Federal Police (PF) has been investigating whether the body’s structure was used to illegally spy on authorities and political opponents of the then president, in an investigation that has already carried out search and seizure warrants at addresses linked to Ramagem himself and councilman Carlos Bolsonaro (Republicans -RJ), son of the former holder of Planalto.
Ramagem raised suspicions about the actions of Paulo Mauricio Fortunato, director of Operations at Abin throughout his tenure. With the arrival of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) to the Presidency of the Republic, the civil servant rose to occupy the third position in the agency’s hierarchy, until he was removed from office by decision of Minister Alexandre de Moraes, of the Federal Supreme Court ( STF), in October last year. The measure took place within the scope of the investigation that deals with the agency’s use of the FirstMile spy program, revealed by GLOBO.
During one of the phases of the operations launched by the PF, agents seized 170 thousand dollars in cash in Fortunato’s wing, the equivalent of just over R$800 thousand. At the time, he argued that the amount would refer to family savings. Ramagem maintains, without presenting evidence, that the first internal investigations regarding the server’s conduct took place under his supervision.
— It was in this server’s house that 170 thousand dollars were found, almost R$ 1 million. So, I did all the investigation, and that led to his exoneration, and it was demonstrated that there may be illicit activities inside. Why am I now being investigated? This is the absurdity of persecution. This is the absurdity seen in probationary fishing. Why? — asked Ramagem, repeating a rhetoric widely used by Bolsonarists.
In the interview, Ramagem denied having provided confidential information in favor of Bolsonaro or his family while he commanded the Intelligence agency. He also commented on the agency’s use of FirstMile.
— I believe that the vast majority of its use, almost all of it, may have been for intelligence work. Correct. There are good intelligence officers,” the parliamentarian described, then adding: — I believe that a minority may have distorted it. The Brazilian Intelligence Agency is responsible for combating industrial espionage, protecting sensitive knowledge, protecting strategic structures, such as Itaipu…
In January, PF agents searched Ramagem’s office in the Chamber of Deputies and his functional apartment in Brasília. The parliamentarian’s testimony is scheduled to take place at the end of February.