Brazil: what legal consequences for Bolsonaro when he returns to the country on Thursday?
For all the offenses attributed to him , Jair Bolsonaro could spend nearly 40 years in prison.
Jair Bolsonaro, who announced his return to Brazil on Thursday for the first time as ex-president after a three-month exile in the United States, is in the crosshairs of justice for several cases and faces sentences of prison.
The far-right ex-president is facing five Supreme Court investigations in cases that could lead to prison sentences.
Four of them relate to alleged offenses committed during his mandate (2019-2022), and a fifth to suspicions of incitement of his supporters to take part in the riots of January 8 in Brasilia.
One of the investigations was opened in 2020, when his former Minister of Justice accused him of interfering with the Federal Police to protect relatives suspected of corruption.
He is also being investigated for misinformation about the electronic ballot box or COVID.
With presidential immunity, he could only be tried by the Supreme Court.
Now, cases can be handled by courts of first instance, where procedures are generally shorter.
In the highly unlikely event that Jair Bolsonaro is sentenced to the maximum sentences for all of the offenses with which he is charged, he could spend almost 40 years behind bars, according to Carla Junqueira, lawyer and doctor of law from the University of Sao Paulo.
The former head of state himself recently acknowledged that this risk was real. A warrant for his arrest can come without warning, he told the daily Wall Street Journal in February.
In Brazil, a convicted person can only be imprisoned when all appeals have been exhausted, unless they represent a danger to society.
< p class="e-p">Pre-trial detention is also possible if a judge believes the suspect risks compromising the investigation, for example by destroying evidence.
Jair Bolsonaro is unlikely to be definitively condemned by all instances (there are four in Brazil) in the short term. The judgment of all appeals can take years.
Supporters of ex-president Jair Bolsonaro swarmed outside the Congress building in Brazil's capital, Brasilia, in January.
Jair Bolsonaro is also 16 investigations at the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE).
He could be sentenced to eight years of ineligibility, which would prevent him from running for president in 2026. The ex-president is particularly implicated for his repeated verbal attacks against the electronic ballot box system.
Complaints also denounce the use of the state apparatus for electoral purposes.
His government, for example, had Congress approve an increase in social minima a few months before the ballot last October, which he finally lost to leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. But the most advanced investigation, which according to specialists represents a real threat to his political future, relates to a meeting with ambassadors last July in Brasilia.
In front of diplomats from around 40 countries, Mr. Bolsonaro showed a PowerPoint presentation full of false information on electronic ballot boxes, which earned him to be suspected of abuse of power.
The far-right ex-president is also under pressure due to another scandal, which has made headlines in the Brazilian press: he is accused of having illegally entered the Brazil jewelry donated by Saudi Arabia.
The case was revealed by the daily Estadao, which reported the seizure by Brazilian customs of a set of diamonds valued at three million euros intended for former first lady Michelle Bolsonaro.
These jewels were in the bag of an assistant to a Bolsonaro government minister who was returning from an official visit to Riad in October 2021, and they had not been declared beforehand .
Another batch, of men's jewelry, arrived in the possession of Jair Bolsonaro, who returned them last week through his lawyers, at the request of the Court of Auditors .
On Tuesday, Estadao revealed the existence of a third batch, including a diamond-set Rolex watch, which the former president received during a #x27;a trip to Saudi Arabia in 2019, and that he would have kept.
According to Brazilian law, when it comes to gifts received from a third country, only gifts of a very personal nature or a minimum value can be kept by the head of state.
For the current Minister of Justice, Flavio Dino, Bolsonaro could be subject to prosecution for illegal appropriation of public property or for tax evasion.