Brazilian public official accused of masterminding journalist's killing

public official from the Brazilian state of Maranhão was accused masterminding the killing of journalist Décio Sá, according to the hit-man's statement, which was leaked out on to the internet on Thursday, June 21, reported the Agência Estado.

Raimundo Cutrim, former secretary of Public Safety for the state of Maranhão, and current member of the Legislative Assembly, was named by the hit man, Jhonathan Silva, who turned himself in for the April 23 killing of the journalist, according to the news portal G1.

Sá was a political journalist who worked for the newspaper O Estado do Maranhão and was the author of one of the most-read blogs in the region. According to police, the stock-jobbing journalist was killed for what he published on his blog, reported the news portal Terra. Six individuals were arrested for participating in the crime, and another three were let free.

Cutrim denied his involvement in the crime. "I didn't read that document, and I know of the facts thanks to my advisers, and I am surprised. Those who know my work know my behavior, and that I always strive to act within the law," said the politician during a press conference on Thursday, June 21, according to the newspaper O Globo.

Although the investigation is being kept under wraps, some documents have been leaked to the public, such as witnesses' testimonies.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.