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Brazilian Policeman Suspect of Torturing Journalists Surrenders

Suspect policeman Odnei Fernando da Silva A Brazilian civilian police inspector who is accused of heading the militia that kidnapped and tortured two O Dia journalists and their driver in Rio de Janeiro's Batan favela on May 14, 2008, surrendered to Brazil's authorities on June 16.

Odnei Fernando da Silva, also known as "01", "Dinei" and "íguia" (Eagle), went with his lawyer to the headquarters of the Department for Repression of Criminal Actions and Special Investigations (DRACO) to give himself up. He had been on the run since June 4, when a warrant for his arrest was issued.

In an initial statement, da Silva denied any involvement in the abduction and torture of the newspaper's three employees. He suggested he had an alibi, claiming that he was at a party in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Bangu at the time of the crime.

Asked about his relationship with the gang's alleged No. 2, Davi Liberato de Araújo, he said he had known him since childhood but no longer kept his company.

Da Silva was taken to a special detention center for policemen inside the Gericinó prison complex.

Reacting to the news, international press organization Reporters Without Borders stated that the group hailed this latest progress in the investigation and hoped that the police "would quickly establish exactly who was responsible for the barbaric treatment inflicted on O Dia's employees."

On June 4, a man arrested on suspicion of being a member of the militia that kidnapped and tortured  the O Dia employees was shown to the press by members of DRACO.

He was identified as Davi Liberato de Araújo, 32, also known as "02" because he is alleged to be second-in-command of the militia. Liberato, who is serving a jail sentence in which he is now periodically allowed out, claims he was in prison at the time of the kidnapping.

At that time, the police also announced that an arrest warrant had been issued for da Silva, a former prison guard who previously imprisoned for homicide.

The DRACO reported that it was investigating the possibility that members of the military police were also involved in the Batan militia and that the militia used a clandestine cemetery.

The "O Dia" reporter who was one of the three people who were kidnapped has meanwhile claimed that, while being tortured, she recognized the voice of an assistant to Coronel Jairo, a member of the Rio de Janeiro state parliament. Jairo has denied having anything to do with the militia and condemns its activities.

RSF

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  • Show Comments (1)

  • ch.c.

    Odnei Fernando da Silva and his militia should not worry at all !!!!!
    Everyone knows how it works in Brazil :
    – The Brazilian justice arrest the criminal(s) with big fanfare, thus high medias coverage.
    – The Brazilian justice send them in prison for years. The crowd society is happy.
    – but…..later, on appeal, the Brazilian justice with Nooooo fanfare…..free those criminals. The new judgment found there were improper judicial procedures, thus finding the criminals INNOCENTS !

    Nothing will ever change.

    In the case of Sister Dorothy it was someone different because she was a foreigner. Therefore more media coverage….but sme results : the murderer is FREE….WITH THE BLESSINGS OF THE BRAZILIAN SUPREME COURT OF INJUSTICE MEMBERS !!!!!!!!!

    A simple example that happened around 2-3 years ago :
    – in a brazilian municipality, average size, one administration official murdered someone. He recognized his crime. He was not fired from the administration because they said he commited nothing wrong against the administration. He was sentenced to jail for years. On appeal, JUST a few months later…..the criminal was FREED….because he had…… NOOOOO PREVIOUS POLICE RECORDS !!!!!!!

    That is how is the Brazilian INjustice……in their everyday judgement of murderers !!!!!!

    And if by any chance, for whatever reason or pressure they cant really proclaim the innocence of the criminal, it goes for over 10 years in the Surpreme Court decision. But in the meantime…the murderer is ….FREEEEEEEE….of course.
    And 10 or 15 years later when the Supreme Court finally make their judgment, they still decide to have the criminal——-INNOCENTED !

    And that doesnt irritate the media or the society, because it became an OLD story that no one care any more !!!!!!!!!!

    And so goes the Brazilian Supreme Court of Injustice….on a daily basis for the hundreds of crimes commited daily….against innocents !!!!!!

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