Anderson Torres, the former head of public security in Brasilia, was detained by federal police upon his arrival in Brazil.
When thousands of rioters attacked Brazil’s Congress, presidential mansion, and Supreme Court on January 8th, Mr. Torres was in charge of security for the nation’s capital.
The Brazilian Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Torres last week, alleging that he conspired with rioters to carry out attacks on public structures.
No part in the riots, according to Mr. Torres.
The Supreme Court also charges Mr. Torres of omission, or failing to take action, in his capacity as head of security for the capital.
According to Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes, Mr Torres’s “omission was amply proven by the predictability of the conduct of criminal groups and the lack of security that enabled the invasion of public buildings”.
In a statement, Brazil’s Federal Police said Mr Torres was arrested as he disembarked at the capital’s airport at 07:15 local time (10:15 GMT) and taken into custody.
According to report, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva accused allies of his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro of helping the attack on the presidential palace.
President Lula said people within the presidential palace were complicit in allowing rioters to enter government buildings and he vowed to screen employees to improve security.
Mr Torres – who was Mr Bolsonaro’s former justice minister – insists his conscience is clear.
On Friday, President Lula’s justice minister Flavio Dino said authorities would give Mr Torres until Monday to return to Brazil, or he would face extradition.
Police visited Mr Torres’s home and found a document reportedly trying to reverse October’s election result.
Mr Torres said the document was taken out of context – but did say he would return to Brazil to defend himself, calling last week’s riots the most bitter day of his personal and professional life.
Report had it that, he had been on holiday with his family in Miami when the storming took place, but left on Friday evening to fly back to Brasília.
Brazilian Senator Randolfe Rodrigues said Mr Torres’ arrest is “another reminder for those who have spent the past four years disrespecting the law and conspiring against the country”.
“Brazil is telling the world that it will not give room for coup d’etat,” Mr Rodrigues added in a tweet.
Following the riots, Brazil’s judicial authorities ordered the arrest of other top public officials and Fábio Augusto, the police commander, was dismissed from his role.
On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to include right-wing former President Jair Bolsonaro in its investigation of 8 January’s riots.
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