Brazilian Congresswoman Flordelis de Souza has been charged with ordering the execution of her husband, pastor Anderson do Carmo, who was shot more than 30 times at their home in June 2019.
In a statement on Monday, the Rio de Janeiro state police said a total of 11 people have been charged in connection with the crime, including six of Souza’s children and one granddaughter.
Investigators believe up to 10 of her children may have been involved in the crime, local sources say.
Souza did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent by email. Her office’s telephone number was not answered.
As part of the probe, on Monday the police served nine arrest warrants and 14 search warrants in the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Niterói, São Gonçalo and Brasília, where the congresswoman has an apartment.
Police said Souza’s motive was ‘a struggle for power and her financial emancipation.’
There is currently no arrest warrant for Souza, who is an elected federal deputy and as such enjoys parliamentary immunity.
Police said a copy of the investigation, with evidence of the charges, had been sent to the lower house of Congress. The statement said she could be stripped of her parliamentary position, allowing for criminal proceedings to be pursued further.
Police say Carmo was killed at the couple’s home in Niteroi, a city in south-east Brazil.
Investigators say a vicious family row broke out during which Souza’s husband blocked her from giving ‘preferential treatment’ to her favourite children.
Together, the couple shared 55 biological and adopted children.
They allege that the Congresswoman had tried to poison her husband at least six times before finally ordering several of her children to kill him.
‘The conclusion the investigation reached was this: that she planned this cowardly murder,’ the homicide chief Antônio Ricardo Lima Nunes told reporters.
‘The motive was that she was unhappy with the way in which pastor Anderson lived his life and handled the family finances.’
At the time of his death, Souza testified to police that her husband had been killed during a robbery.
Souza found fame as a gospel singer before entering being elected to congress in 2018.