Brasilia, Aug. 31 (EFE) – Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, his wife Michelle and six associates appeared before the Federal Police on Thursday to testify about allegedly keeping jewels and valuables received during official trips to Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.
The misappropriated objects should have been handed over to the State Archives when Bolsonaro left office.
According to the investigation, the former president sold some of the jewels through intermediaries.
However, one of his collaborators repurchased them after the state demanded their return.
According to authorities, the matter could be an attempt to embezzle public property, a hypothesis that Bolsonaro has emphatically denied.
The former first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro; the former vice-president of the presidency, Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid; the former head of government communications, Fabio Wajngarten; the lawyer Frederick Wassef; the former vice-president, General Mauro Lorena Cid; and two of Bolsonaro’s advisors, Marcelo Camara and Marcelo Crivellati, were also summoned by the authorities.
All of them are allegedly involved in the sale of the jewels, which Wassef later bought back after the state demanded their return last January, when the progressive Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva came to power.
The statements were taken simultaneously, but separately, as the Federal Police wanted to compare possible contradictions.
The authorities suspect that the money obtained from the sale of some of these jewels was intended to be handed to Bolsonaro.
Consequently judicial authorities lifted the tax secrecy of the former president in order to audit his bank accounts.
The far-right leader is also being investigated in other civil and criminal cases, including one related to the January 8 coup, when thousands of his supporters invaded the offices of the presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court in an attempt to overthrow Lula’s government.
Bolsonaro is expected to be questioned again by the police on Thursday regarding the attempted coup case.
Also, in another serious setback after leaving power, the Electoral Tribunal deprived him of his political rights for eight years, due to abuses of political and economic power he committed during the campaign for last year’s elections. EFE