PGR defends summoning governors to testify at Covid-19 CPI

Augusto Aras understood that the visit of the heads of state and Federal District executives to the commission can take place as long as the hearings only address the use of federal resources to fight the pandemic

DIDA SAMPAIO/ESTADÃO CONTENTThe prosecutor maintains that “any person (…) who uses, collects, keeps, manages or administers public monies, goods and values’ of the Union has a duty to render accounts’

In opinion to the Federal Supreme Court (STF), the attorney general of the Republic, Augusto Aras, defended the possibility of calling governors for the CPI to Covid-19. He understood that the visit of the heads of state and Federal District executives to the commission may occur as long as the testimonies deal only with the use of federal resources passed on by federal government to fight the pandemic. Governors of 18 states and the Federal District went to the Supreme Court to try to block the summons of some of them. In defending the rejection of the request, Aras emphasizes that “it is the main function of the National Congress to oversee the correct application of federal resources, even if they have been transferred to states, the Federal District and municipalities.” The prosecutor maintains that “any person (…) who uses, collects, keeps, manages or administers public money, goods and values’ of the Union has the duty to be accountable. State governors and mayors are no exception to this rule”.

According to the attorney general, the Supreme Court has even validated judgments of the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) who applied sanctions directly to heads of the municipal Executive Power. Aras also maintains that by “using, storing, managing or administering the Union’s resources, state and municipal managers do not act in the respective sphere of autonomy of the federative entities”. Finally, he recalls that the CPI of Covid-19 based the call of some governors on the need to deepen the investigation into the use of federal funds transferred to regional entities, due to the “existence of evidence of irregularities in the application of federal resources”.

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In the evaluation of the PGR, the testimony of the governors is not intended to interfere in the affairs of the States and, therefore, the acts of the public power pointed out in the action did not violate any fundamental precept of the Federal Constitution. In a statement sent to the Supreme Court, the Attorney General of the Senate also defended the depositions. The rapporteur of the action at the STF is Minister Rosa Weber. On Tuesday, 8th, the minister released the governor of Amazonas, Wilson Lima, from appearing at the Federal Senate for a hearing.

*With information from reporter Letícia Santini

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