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Accused in Cameraman Case Claims He Was Paid to Attend Protests
02/14/2014 - 09h26
FROM RIO DE JANEIRO
In a statement made in Rio's Bangu prison complex early on Thursday morning, Caio Silva de Souza, the 22-year-old accused of killing the cameraman Santiago Andrade, 49, claimed he was offered money to attend protests in the city.
Souza and another demonstrator, Fábio Raposo, 22, are accused of setting off the firework that killed Andrade during a protest in Rio last Thursday.
In his statement, Souza said he did not know the details as to where the money came from, nor did he confirm whether he accepted it. He refers merely to "people" who offered to pay for the transport and food of protestors who came back to later demonstrations.
He believes "the parties march with flags at the protests are the ones that pay the demonstrators." He also said that people distributed stones and other materials to demonstrators.
He identified the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL, in its Portuguese acronym); the United Socialist Workers' Party (PTSU) and the Independent Popular Front (FIP) as the parties present at the protests. All three have denied financing any violent acts.
Souza's statement was taken without his lawyer, Jonas Tadeu Nunes, whom the police say they could not find in time. Nunes has said that he will abandon the case if a statement taken in his absence is allowed to stand in court.
Souza identified Raposo as the one who lit the firework that killed Andrade. He said the tattoo artist gave him the firework saying "light it, light it."
"However, Fábio was the one who lit it, while the declarant [Souza] held the device, which he then threw on the floor once it was lit," says the statement, which was published in the newspaper Extra.
Souza said he left the firework pointing towards the police and he did not intend to hit the cameraman.
"I don't know who lit it. I just know that they both confirmed their participation in the incident," said the officer in charge of the case, Maurício Almeida.
Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE
|Caio Souza was arrested in Bahia; he admitted lighting the firework that killed Andrade, a cameraman with TV Band|