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Heard for “attempted coup d’état”, Bolsonaro silent in front of the police

Photo: Luis Nova Associated Press Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro arrives at Federal Police headquarters to testify in an ongoing investigation in Brasília.

Ramon Sahmkow – Agence France-Presse to Brasília

4:38 p.m.

  • Americas

Extreme right-wing Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro remained silent on Thursday before police in Brasília, who had summoned him for questioning over his alleged involvement in an “attempted coup 'State' to maintain power.

Surrounded by business, the former head of state, in power from 2019 to 2022 in the leading power in Latin America, is more threatened than ever by this resounding investigation.

“The only reason why he used silence is due to the fact that today he is responding to a semi-secret investigation,” lawyer Paulo Cunha told the press, near the federal police headquarters in Brasília.

The defense had indicated in advance that he would remain silent if it did not have better access to the contents of the file.

According to the local press, several other personalities from his camp, including ex-ministers, also suspected, were questioned by investigators at the same time as him in several cities across the country.

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  • Suspicions of “coup attempt” hover over former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

This new meeting of Mr. Bolsonaro with justice comes before a demonstration planned for Sunday in São Paulo. The opposition leader, sentenced last year to ineligibility until 2030 for disinformation, called on his supporters to a “peaceful rally” which should make it possible to test the extent of his support.

Mr. Bolsonaro maintains his innocence and says he is the victim of “relentless persecution” by the government of left-wing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who beat him in the October 2022 election. “No one tried to putsch in Brazil, this is the big truth,” Mr. Bolsonaro reiterated on Wednesday, during an interview with CBN Recife radio.

On February 8, a large-scale police operation called “Tempus veritatis” (the hour of truth, in Latin) targeted several former close collaborators of the ex-president, with dozens of searches and arrests.

Passport confiscated

Now prohibited from leaving the country, Jair Bolsonaro is suspected of having taken part in a vast plan mobilizing in particular ministers and high-ranking soldiers to ensure that he would remain in power at home. from the 2022 presidential election.

According to investigators, this plan consisted of discrediting the electronic ballot system in force in Brazil, by using “disinformation” to “spread suspicions of fraud in the 2022 presidential election even before the vote was held, to legitimize military intervention.”

Other suspicions include an attempted “military coup to prevent the legitimately elected president from coming to power.”

According to the police, Mr. Bolsonaro had personally altered a draft decree aimed at calling new elections and arresting Alexandre de Moraes.

This Supreme Court judge is the bane of the former president for having launched a series of investigations against him. He is now leading the investigation into an alleged “putschist project”.

The decree ultimately did not see the light of day, but Brazilian institutions were shaken on January 8, 2023, a week after Lula's inauguration, when thousands of Bolsonarista sympathizers ransacked places of power in Brasília. Mr. Bolsonaro was in the United States that day.

The former head of state has already appeared before the police, notably on suspicion of falsification of vaccination certificates against COVID-19 or the alleged misappropriation of gifts received from foreign countries, in particular jewelry offered by Saudi Arabia.

In June, he was declared ineligible for eight years for spreading false information about the electoral system.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116