RIO DE JANEIRO — Federal prosecutors in Brazil on Tuesday charged the American journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes for his position within the spreading of cellphone messages which have embarrassed prosecutors and tarnished the picture of an anti-corruption process drive.
In a felony grievance made public on Tuesday, prosecutors within the capital, Brasília, accused Mr. Greenwald of being a part of a “criminal organization” that hacked into the cellphones of a number of prosecutors and different public officers final 12 months.
Mr. Greenwald, an ardent critic of Brazil’s far proper president, Jair Bolsonaro, is a deeply polarizing determine in Brazil’s bitter political divide. This notion was fueled when the group he co-founded, The Intercept Brasil, printed articles final 12 months primarily based on the leaked cellphone messages that raised questions in regards to the integrity and the motives of key members of Brazil’s justice system.
The articles forged doubt on the impartiality of a former decide, Sérgio Moro, and of among the prosecutors who labored on a corruption investigation that landed a number of highly effective political and enterprise figures in jail. Among them was a former president, a well-liked leftist whose conviction paved the best way for Brazil’s radical rightward shift and the election of Mr. Bolsonaro. Mr. Moro is now Mr. Bolsonaro’s minister of justice.
In an announcement, Mr. Greenwald referred to as the fees “an obvious attempt to attack a free press in retaliation for the revelations we reported about Minister Moro and the Bolsonaro government.”
In a 95-page felony grievance, prosecutors say that The Intercept Brasil, the information group Mr. Greenwald co-founded, did greater than merely obtain the hacked messages and oversee the publication of newsworthy information.
Citing intercepted messages between Mr. Greenwald and the hackers, prosecutors say the journalist performed a “clear role in facilitating the commission of a crime.”
For occasion, prosecutors contend that Mr. Greenwald inspired the hackers to delete archives that had already been shared with The Intercept Brasil, with a purpose to cowl their tracks.
Prosecutors additionally say that Mr. Greenwald was speaking with the hackers whereas they had been actively monitoring personal chats on Telegram, a messaging app.
Mr. Greenwald moved to Brazil in 2005 after assembly David Miranda, a Brazilian man he later married and who grew to become a federal congressman final 12 months.
Mr. Greenwald first grew to become broadly recognized for his position within the launch of categorised nationwide safety paperwork leaked by the previous National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in 2013. He co-founded The Intercept Brasil in 2016.
Mr. Greenwald expressed concern final 12 months that the authorities may cost him criminally as a reprisal for The Intercept Brasil’s reporting primarily based on the leaked messages.
Mr. Greenwald’s issues had been partly primarily based on stories that federal officers had been investigating his funds.
Those stories led a Supreme Court justice, Gilmar Mendes, to concern a rare order barring the federal police from investigating Mr. Greenwald’s position within the dissemination of the hacked messages.
Prosecutors on Tuesday mentioned they abided by that order till they discovered audio messages which, they argued, implicated Mr. Greenwald in felony exercise.
Manuela Andreoni contributed reporting from Rio de Janeiro and Leticia Casado contributed from Brasília.