Latin America & Caribbean

Jair Bolsonaro: Man who stabbed Brazil's leader is 'mentally ill'

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Media captionMoment Jair Bolsonaro is stabbed at rally

A man who stabbed Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during his campaign last September suffers from mental health issues, a federal judge has concluded.

Judge Bruno Savino ruled on Monday that Adélio Bispo de Oliveira was not fully aware of his actions at the time and cannot be jailed over the incident.

Instead he should be referred to a mental health institution, he said.

Mr Bolsonaro, who required surgery after the incident, said he believed the attack was politically motivated.

However police had earlier said they would investigate Mr de Oliveira's mental health after he told them he was acting "on God's orders".

Judge Savino said his decision on Monday was based on reports presented by Mr de Oliveira's defence lawyers.

Mr Bolsonaro, 64, suffered a deep and life-threatening wound to his intestines and lost 40% of his blood when he was stabbed in the stomach at a rally in Minas Gerais last September.

The far-right politician was placed in intensive care, fed intravenously and had to have a colostomy bag fitted. The bag - a small pouch used to collect waste from the body when the digestive system is no longer functioning as a result of an illness or injury - was removed in January.

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Image caption Adélio Bispo de Oliveira told investigators he was acting "on God's orders"

Mr Bolsonaro, who took office as the country's new president on 1 January this year, is a divisive politician whom some analysts have compared to US President Donald Trump.

Adélio Bispo de Oliveira, meanwhile, is a left-wing supporter who had been very vocal in his criticism of Mr Bolsonaro, posting messages on Facebook denouncing his policies.

Immediately after the attack in September, he was grabbed by supporters of Mr Bolsonaro, manhandled and beaten before being taken into police custody.

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