Investigation concludes Brazilian journalist arrested for drugs was set up by police

An internal investigation of the São Paulo civil police has determined, three years after the case started, that the arrest of Brazilian reporter Roberto Cabrini was a result of a police set-up, according to Folha de S. Paulo. The journalist, host of the program Conexão Repórter on television station SBT, was held for two days, accused of transporting 10 bags of cocaine in his car in April 2008.

The day he was arrested, Cabrini was accompanied by a businessman who had promised to give him videos proving several police officers were linked to the organized crime group Primeiro Comando da Capitales. According to the investigation, the businessman bought the drugs to frame the reporter, explained Revista Contigo.

The internal affairs police report did not explain the motive behind the police officers' involvement in the set-up, but hypotehsized that Oscar Maroni Filho, owner of a nightclub that the journalist described in an article as a "luxury brothel," was involved, reported O Estado do Paraná.

"I was the victim of some bad elements of the police, who were the target of my complaints," said Cabrini, as quoted by Folha de S. Paulo. The journalist added that Maroni also was one of the people bothered by his reports.

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.