The Justice of São Paulo sentenced Mayor Ney Santos (Republicans), of Embu das Artes (Grande SP), to two years and four months of imprisonment, for firing a firearm in a public road. The conviction is of first instance and, therefore, still appeals.
The mayor of Embu, re-elected in 2020, is being investigated by the police and the Public Ministry of São Paulo for alleged connection with the PCC in a money laundering scheme at gas stations. The politician denies the relationship.
According to the judgment of Judge Tatyana Teixeira Jorge, from Embu das Artes, Santos fired shots at the dawn of December 18, 2015, when he was a councilman, after a confusion between his supporters and those of a local opponent.
The teams entered into discussion after Ney Santos’ team pulled out a banner of congratulations from the opponent and replaced it with another one from the councilman. According to the version recorded by the police, when the mood was already calming down, the politician arrived at the place with security guards and started a push-push.
One of the opposing team members was a martial arts fighter and started a physical fight with Santos. The politician would then have drawn a pistol and shot to the ground in an attempt to intimidate the boy. None of the shots hit the victim.
At the end of the confusion, according to the official version, the security guard hid the gun from the then councilman, collected the capsules from the floor and, before leaving, asked the curious to delete the videos recorded by cell phones.
During the procedural phase, however, three of the four victims changed their versions and turned back, claiming that they lied about the shooting at the time on the advice of the lawyer, provided by the political opponent. The new allegation did not convince the magistrate.
“Therefore, in my opinion, there is a strong indication that the retraction of the version previously supported by the victims Eric, Leandro and Gabriel, was motivated by fear of reprisal or another cause that interfered with the free expression of will, that is the smallness of utility that they would gain from the alleged lie would not justify the sacrifice to which they would submit ”, says excerpt from the sentence.
Still in the sentence, the magistrate showed surprise and discomfort with the delegate responsible for the investigation. The policeman told the judge, when he was heard, that he did not believe in the version of shots because, for him, no one would face an armed person, as the witnesses against Santos claimed.
The judge demonstrates in the sentence that she was so uncomfortable with the policeman’s testimony that she conducted a search on the website of the Court of Justice with the name of the delegate and found a news story that the policeman had been investigated, years before, on suspicion of having received bribes from a dealer and sold machines to criminals. The investigation was closed, according to the magistrate herself.
“I understand that the circumstances of the crime show exacerbated reprobability of conduct in the species, behold, the firearm shots were carried out as a way of intimidating those present, without losing sight of the fact that there were several people close by who could have been hit”, concludes the magistrate.
According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, although it is not a custodial sentence, confirmation of the sentence in the courts could prevent future political candidacies for the Republican.
Ney Santos has been in prison from 2003 to 2005, on suspicion of having participated in the theft of a stock carrier. He was acquitted for lack of evidence. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, it was in this passage through the prison that he met members of the PCC.
In his interrogation in court, the mayor denied firing gunfire, but confirmed that he was involved in the discussion with the opponent’s team for about 10 to 15 minutes. “But at no time did he shoot a firearm, not least because he doesn’t have any [arma] he doesn’t even know how to shoot, ”says an excerpt from his version in the sentence.
In 2019, Santos and his driver were caught by the Military Highway Police with a pistol with a shaved number inside the vehicle. The politician was even taken to the police station, but was subsequently released. There is a lawsuit pending on this.
Wanted by the report, the mayor said, in a note, that he is being the victim of political persecution, that they have forged charges against him and that he will sue the CNJ (National Council of Justice) against what he calls abuse of the Judiciary.
“The defense of Ney Santos understands that, once again, the mayor is being the victim of political persecution, since the accusation was forged to incriminate him, not being anchored in reality. Several witnesses were heard, including a delegate, who denied having heard any firearm firing “, says an excerpt from the note sent to the leaf.
“Two people, who were supposed to be victims, later confessed in court that they had been induced by a political opponent of the mayor to give such a statement. The only person who confirms the fact is a relative of the political opponent in question. The sentence goes against the expertise itself, who did not find the shot. Ney Santos’ defense will take the appropriate measures with the CNJ for abuse of the local judiciary, and will appeal the sentence, “says the note.