Bolsonaro meets with justice minister to discuss leaks

In this photo released by Brazil's Presidential Press Office, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, right, and Justice Minister Sergio Moro attend a military ceremony in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Moro has met with President Jair Bolsonaro, two days after press reports accused him of allegedly coordinating with prosecutors when he was a judge. (Marcos Correa/Brazil's Presidential Press Office via AP)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian Justice Minister Sergio Moro met with President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday after press reports accused him of improperly coordinating with prosecutors when he was a crusading anti-corruption judge.

A statement from the ministry said Bolsonaro and Moro discussed “the criminal invasion of cellphones of judges, prosecutors and journalists.” Moro also told the president that federal police are investigating the leak, it said.

The two were then seen standing next to one another at an official event in Brasilia.

At a separate event, Bolsonaro brought to an abrupt end a news conference after a journalist asked him to comment on the accusations made about his justice minister.

The online news site The Intercept on Sunday published leaked documents and text messages allegedly showing Moro offering guidance to prosecutors in investigations that led to the conviction and jailing of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The conviction helped block da Silva from seeking the presidency again in October’s election.

Moro and prosecutors deny any wrongdoing. But the Brazilian Bar Association on Monday called for the suspension of the justice minister as well as all others involved pending an investigation.

Moro told senators he would be willing to appear before them if they wished to ask any questions, a spokesperson for the justice ministry, Giselly Siqueira, told The Associated Press.

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