Rio de Janeiro, May 2, 2022 – The Committee to Protect Journalists on Monday expressed disappointment in response to news reports that a court in Brazil again postponed the jury trial of five men charged with the 2012 murder of well-known Brazilian sports journalist Valério Luiz de Oliveira. The trial was delayed after the lawyers representing the alleged mastermind left the court on the first morning of the trial, alleging that the presiding judge was not impartial, according to those reports.
“It is abundantly obvious that the legal strategy for the accused killers of Valério Luiz de Oliveira is simply to delay the trial by any means necessary, no matter how absurd, and the Brazilian justice system must put an end to this farce and ensure the trial actually takes place,” said Natalie Southwick, CPJ’s Latin America and the Caribbean program coordinator, in New York. “It is unacceptable that, nine years after public prosecutors charged the alleged perpetrators, they have yet to face trial and instead keep hiding behind increasingly desperate attempts to derail the process. This decade of impunity only fuels the cycle of deadly violence against the Brazilian press.”
Oliveira was killed on July 5, 2012, and in March 2013, the Goiás state public prosecutor charged five men for their alleged roles in Oliveira’s murder. Since then, multiple appeals from defense attorneys and decisions by the Goiás Court of Justice have postponed proceedings, as CPJ documented. The trial is now scheduled to begin on June 13, 2022, and the Goiás Court of Justice fined the lawyers over 121,000 reais (US$24,000) for leaving the trial, according to news reports.