RIO DE JANEIRO – A Brazilian hacker claimed at a congressional listening to Thursday that then-President Jair Bolsonaro needed him to hack into the nation’s digital voting system to show its alleged weaknesses forward of the 2022 presidential election.

Walter Delgatti Neto didn’t present any proof for his declare to the parliamentary fee of inquiry. However his detailed testimony raises new allegations towards the previous far-right chief, who’s being investigated for his position within the Jan. 8 riots within the capital metropolis of Brasilia.

Delgatti instructed lawmakers he met in individual with Bolsonaro on Aug. 10, 2022, for between 90 minutes and two hours on the presidential residence. He mentioned he instructed the chief he couldn’t hack into the digital voting system as a result of it wasn’t related to the web.

Bolsonaro’s legal professionals mentioned in an announcement they’ll take judicial motion towards Delgatti, who they accused of “bringing false information and allegations, without any evidence.”

The legal professionals acknowledged the hacker met with the previous president and mentioned the far-right chief ordered his protection minister to open investigations on the nation’s electoral system primarily based on claims he had heard from the hacker.

Creomar de Souza, founding father of political threat consultancy Dharma Politics, mentioned Delgatti’s testimony “is yet another brick in a wall of problems around Bolsonaro and some of his allies.” De Souza mentioned the previous president is in deeper authorized bother as a result of his base in congress needed the congressional inquiry to develop into a platform for his protection — and it has as a substitute put him deeper in scorching water.

Bolsonaro’s political nemesis, leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, gained the Oct. 30, 2022, presidential election with simply 50.9% of the votes.

Delgatti mentioned Bolsonaro needed the tried hack to indicate voters that Brazil’s voting system was not dependable.

He mentioned that after he defined why he couldn’t hack into the electoral system, the Bolsonaro marketing campaign requested him to tamper with a borrowed voting machine to make it seem, lower than a month earlier than the election’s first spherical, that the machine had been efficiently hacked and outcomes may very well be compromised. The fraudulent hack was to be shared with information media, Delgatti mentioned, nevertheless it was canceled.

When the dialog acquired too technical, Delgatti mentioned, Bolsonaro referred him to the Ministry of Protection, which the president had requested to arrange a report itemizing potential weaknesses within the voting system for the physique that supervises elections.

Delgatti mentioned he met with Ministry of Protection technical consultants to debate the digital voting system on 5 events. The primary time, he mentioned, was proper after assembly with Bolsonaro, when he was pushed from the presidential residence to the Ministry of Protection, coming into by means of the again entrance.

Bolsonaro lengthy stoked perception amongst his hardcore supporters that the nation’s digital voting system was vulnerable to fraud, although he by no means offered any proof.

In June, a panel of judges concluded Bolsonaro abused his energy by casting unfounded doubts on the digital voting system and barred him from operating for workplace once more till 2030.

Delgatti, who rose to fame in 2019 for leaking messages from a number of prosecutors concerned in an anti-corruption probe that put dozens of high politicians and businessmen behind bars, instructed the fee that he spoke to Bolsonaro yet one more time, over the telephone.

Throughout the name, he mentioned, Bolsonaro instructed him the telephone of Supreme Courtroom justice Alexandre de Moraes had been tapped and requested him to say possession of the tapping in case authorities investigated the case.

De Moraes, who at one level additionally led the highest electoral court docket that supervised the election, was a recurring goal of Bolsonaro and his supporters. They argued that de Moraes and the remainder of the court docket had been biased towards Bolsonaro and favored his important opponent, Lula.

Delgatti mentioned Bolsonaro promised him a presidential pardon in case he ended up being investigated for his actions.

Throughout Thursday’s listening to, Bolsonaro’s allies within the fee questioned Delegatti’s credibility.

In 2015, Delegatti was jailed for mendacity about being a federal police investigator. Two years later, he was investigated for allegedly forging paperwork, which he denies. A number of individuals have additionally accused him of embezzlement — allegations that resurfaced throughout Thursday’s listening to.

In Brazil, witnesses caught mendacity earlier than a parliamentary fee of inquiry may be imprisoned, mentioned Luis Claudio Araujo, a legislation professor at Ibmec College in Rio de Janeiro.

Members of parliamentary commissions have the facility to research, but in addition move on info to prosecutors and federal police, Araujo mentioned.

The congressional listening to provides to the quite a few authorized complications going through Bolsonaro for actions throughout his time period in workplace.

Federal police earlier this month alleged Bolsonaro obtained money from the almost $70,000 sale of two luxurious watches he obtained as presents from Saudi Arabia whereas in workplace. Officers raided the properties and workplaces of a number of individuals purportedly concerned within the case, together with a four-star military common. Bolsonaro has denied any wrongdoing involving the presents.


Related Press author Mauricio Savarese in Sao Paulo contributed to this report.

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