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House of Representatives and Senate disobey Supreme Court decision ordering them to provide documents to newspaper

(ABRAJI/IFEX) - The "Folha de São Paulo" newspaper has filed a Writ of Security with the Federal Supreme Court (STF) against the House of Representatives and the Senate, requesting that they hand over documents that show parliamentarians' expenses. The STF previously ruled in favour of the newspaper, but it still has not obtained access to the documents in question.

According to the STF decision, House of Representatives president Michel Temer must give the Folha da Manhã company (which controls the "Folha de Sao Paulo" newspaper) access to the requested information, which is considered public. In the case of the Senate, it has alleged that the parliamentarians' information is confidential and should should be protected. The court order has gone from minister to minister without any final decision, the "Folha de Sao Paulo" stated in an editorial.

A 1 April 2009 House of Representatives resolution obliges all parliamentarians to provide a detailed listing online of certain monthly work-related expenses, such as telephone and taxi bills. The documents the newspaper is requesting cover the period from September to December 2008.

The House of Representatives and Senate have resisted handing over the documents from the period preceding 1 April on the premise that they are confidential. But, according to the newspaper, the expenses they are seeking information on are only those directly related to the members' parliamentary work.

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