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Americas

TV crime-show host accused of ordering murders to boost ratings

©

Video by Carla WESTERHEIDE

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-10-10

A crime-show host commissions high-profile killings to get the best exclusives and boost his ratings... It sounds like something from a horror film, but Brazilian authorities accuse TV host and state legislator Wallace Souza of doing it for real.

Brazilian police are investigating a TV crime-show host and right-wing politician Wallace Souza on suspicion that he commissioned killings to boost his audience ratings.

Souza, a state legislator for Brazil’s Amazon state, built his reputation by being the first to report horrific crimes and drug-trafficking busts. But now police suspect the TV host actually ordered at least 5 of the murders he obtained “exclusive images” of.

“In truth, he went as far as creating facts and ordering the crimes he reported to generate news for the programme”, Brazilian police intelligence chief Augusto Vasconelos said.

 

Investigators seized some 175 thousand dollars in cash, as well as illegal firearms and ammunition, from a safe in Souza’s house. His son Rafael and 15 other people have been arrested, but Souza himself remains free because of the immunity granted by his legislative status.

 

The TV hosts’ defense lawyer, Francisco Bailero, said that the allegations are a political ploy against his client and that there was no hard proof backing the police’s claims. Souza has been charged with illegal arms detention and gang leadership, but so far not for murder.

Date created : 2009-08-12

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