Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Brazil’s top justice opens criminal inquiry against Elon Musk

Brazil’s top justice opens criminal inquiry against Elon Musk
Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Inc., at the Tesla automotive plant in Gruenheide, Germany, on Wednesday, 13 March 2024.

Brazil Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes opened an inquiry into whether Elon Musk obstructed justice, escalating a spat with the billionaire over his social media platform X. 

Moraes said in a document released by the court the billionaire “started a disinformation campaign” and that X — formerly known as Twitter — is committing abuse of economic power in order to “illegally influence public opinion.” Musk was also added to a criminal inquiry that investigates anti-democratic acts by so-called “digital militias.”

The court’s response comes after Musk said he would defy court orders and lift restrictions imposed on some X accounts in Brazil. The billionaire targeted Moraes in several of his social media posts during the weekend, accusing the justice of betraying the constitution and calling for his impeachment. 

Coming shortly, 𝕏 will publish everything demanded by @Alexandre and how those requests violate Brazilian law.

This judge has brazenly and repeatedly betrayed the constitution and people of Brazil. He should resign or be impeached.

Shame @Alexandre, shame.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 7, 2024

It’s unclear which accounts Musk was referring to when he said he would disobey the court’s order. As of Sunday night, a number of accounts linked to right-wing Brazilian entrepreneurs, former politicians and digital influencers remained blocked. 

In his Saturday post, Musk also said that the Brazilian court was threatening to cut off access to X in the country. Local news media reported on Sunday that network operators were warned by regulator agency Anatel of a possible need to take down access to the X platform.

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