Brazilian politician surrenders after injuring policemen while resisting arrest

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Supporters of Brazilian politician Roberto Jefferson demonstrate close to his house in Comendador Levy Gasparian

By Rodrigo Viga Gaier, Ricardo Brito and Lisandra Paraguassu

RIO DE JANEIRO/BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazilian politician Roberto Jefferson surrendered early Sunday evening after wounding two policemen while resisting arrest ordered by the country’s Supreme Court.

President Jair Bolsonaro tried to distance himself from his ally posting a video on social media after his arrest, saying someone that fires at policemen should be treated as a criminal.

Two officers were injured by shrapnel of a grenade thrown by the former congressman. Both went to the hospital and were later released, the statement said.

In a video posted on social media on Sunday morning, the congressman showed an image of federal police officers arriving at his house, and later admitted in another video that he had aimed at the police car but not at the officers.

Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes had ordered Jefferson to be taken to jail after the former congressman and president of PTB political party released a tape offending justice Carmen Lucia, due to decisions she made related to the presidential elections.

In his decision, Moraes said Jefferson did not comply to conditions to his house arrest.

Jefferson was already under investigation for the alleged involvement in producing fake news, and on Friday released statements offending justice Carmen Lucia, who had decided to transfer part of Bolsonaro’s air time to presidential candidate and former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva after the leftist complained about offenses in the adversary’s political ads.

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Two opposition senators, Randolfe Rodrigues and Eliziane Gama had asked the Supreme Court to punish Jefferson for offending Lucia.

Political tension has risen ahead of the presidential election runoff next Sunday. Bolsonaro had previously tweeted a condemnation of Jefferson’s comments on the Justice and his resistance to prison. Lula said the issue should now be solved by the police and blamed Bolsonaro for increasing political violence.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier and Alexandre Caverni, Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; editing by Diane Craft)

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