Judge absolves man who stabbed Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro during election campaign

A judge in Brazil has absolved the man who stabbed then-presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro in his torso last year, citing his mental illness and ordering him held indefinitely in a prison mental institution.

Adelio Bispo de Oliveira has been in police custody since Sept. 6 when he was accused of stabbing Bolsonaro while the now president was campaigning in the streets of Juiz de Fora in southeastern Brazil. The blade pierced the candidate’s intestine and put his life in danger. Police said Bispo confessed to the attack.

Judge Bruno Savino ruled on Friday that Bispo’s preventive detention should be converted into an indefinite internment in an asylum within the federal prison system.

The judge had already declared on May 27 that the attacker could not be jailed because he was mentally ill, so the ruling had been expected.

Bolsonaro said he will appeal the decision.

“Now, if Adelio wanted to say who paid him to try to kill me, it would have no legal value because he is crazy,” the far-right president told O Globo newspaper. “They tried to assassinate me. I believe I know who it was, but I cannot say because I do not want to prejudge anyone.”

The judge ruled that Bispo must complete his hospitalization within Brazil’s federal prison system to minimize the risk of an escape and another attack. During his examination by experts he said he intended to attack Bolsonaro again as well as former President Michel Temer.

At the moment of the attack, Bolsonaro was on the shoulders of a supporter, looking out at the crowd and giving a thumbs up with one hand. He was already leading polls with his pro-gun and anti-corruption agenda, while drawing widespread criticism for several racist and homophobic comments.

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CBC | World News