RIO – The court formed by judges and deputies that judges the impeachment of the outgoing governor Wilson Witzel decided, on Thursday, that he and his family will have to leave the Laranjeiras Palace. There were 6 votes in favor and 4 against the proposal of the process rapporteur, Mr Waldeck Carneiro (PT). He announced that he will deliver the judgment next week, before the full deadline. From the publication, the period of 10 days for the vacation of the palace, the official residence of the governor, and 20 days for the presentation of Witzel’s defense, will begin. The court also decided to continue the impeachment process and to reduce Witzel’s salary.
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– If he is removed from the position of governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, by decision of this Special Court, the most excellent Mr. Wilson José Witzel, now denounced, will no longer meet the conditions to use, in a justifiable manner, in accordance with the Law , the Palácio das Laranjeiras as his private residence – proposed Waldeck Carneiro.
Witzel is living with his wife Helena and their three children in the palace, which is a 5,000-square-meter historic building, half of which is residential, on the second floor. The external area is 25 thousand square meters.
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Lawyer Ana Teresa Basilio protested the suggestion of evicting the palace, but was unsuccessful, and the topic was put to a vote by the President of the Court of Justice, judge Claudio de Mello Tavares.
– There is an express decision of the STJ allowing the governor to remain in the Laranjeiras Palace, and this issue is not the subject of the present case – argued Ana Teresa.
One of the opposite votes was that of deputy Alexandre Freitas (Novo):
– I am favorable, if it were up to me he would not be there. But I don’t see that possibility in the legislation.
See how the vote went
Deputy Waldeck Carneiro (PT)
Judge José Carlos Maldonado
Congressman Carlos Macedo (Republicans)
Judge Teresa de Castro
Judge Inês Chaves
Deputy Dani Monteiro (PSOL)
Judge Fernando Foch
Deputy Chico Machado (PSD)
Deputy Alexandre Freitas (New)
Judge Maria Bandeira de Mello
Eviction action denied
Last month, the court had denied a request made by a lawyer in a popular lawsuit for the Witzel family to be evicted from the palace. According to the judge, the decision of the Superior Court of Justice that removed the governor from his duties in August, also authorized him and his family to remain in the official residence. Witzel’s defense was made by his wife, Helena.
Reactions between deputies
Witzel’s stay in the palace was the target of criticism by state deputies after the impeachment process was approved. A request for urgent voting on a bill that would transform the state governor’s official residence into a cultural center was filed with the Legislative Assembly of Rio (Alerj).
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The project prohibits the use of the Laranjeiras Palace as an official residence, and determines that the property be transferred to the management of the State Department of Culture. Author of the application and the project, which was presented in June after the first operations on deviations in Health, deputy Anderson Moraes (PSL) stated that the objective of the proposal is “to make the governor fulfill at least one campaign promise”, in reference to the fact that Witzel said, during the elections, that he would continue to live in his house, in Grajaú:
– It is a historic palace that is being devalued by recent events. Our aim is to give access to the population, which never had it. We were going to let the proposal go through normally, but, after the report that showed him drinking whiskey and smoking a cigar on the spot, with all the perks, we decided to speed up – stressed the deputy.
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Witzel was criticized after giving an interview to GLOBO in the palace by deputy Renan Ferreirinha (PSB). During the interview, he smoked a Cuban cigar and was served by a waiter:
– Witzel is removed from the position of governor and has not been working effectively for the state. So why do you still use Laranjeiras Palace? Why are you still enjoying the stewardship paid with public money?
Deputy Chicão Bulhões (Novo) spoke on a social network: “At the expense of the taxpayer, Witzel remains at the Palace, giving interviews, eating, drinking, smoking a Cuban cigar and playing the victim”.
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