Crime & Justice

Bolsonaro summoned to testify next week re Brazil coup attempt

Brasilia, Apr 20 (EFE).- The Brazilian Federal Police have determined that ultrarightist former President Jair Bolsonaro must testify next week within the framework of the investigation into the failed January coup attempt against the government of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The case, for which Bolsonaro is under investigation, is being handled by Brazil’s Supreme Court and is focused on identifying those who promoted the coup attempt and those who financed the mobilization of thousands of ultrarightist activists who attacked the headquarters of the presidency, the National Congress and the high court in Brasilia on Jan. 8, 2023.

On the day of the massive attack, Bolsonaro was in the United States, where he had traveled on Dec. 30, while he was still president so that he would not have to present the presidential sash to the leftist Lula, whose victory at the polls the previous October he had failed to recognize and upon which he had consistently cast doubt.

The Bolsonaro supporters who assaulted the three branches of government for the previous two months had been camped out at the gates of Brazilian army barracks demanding that the military stage a coup, a stance that Bolsonaro had not condemned and had even endorsed.

A total of 2,151 people were arrested for their parts in the attack, of whom about 300 remain behind bars although the rest, while at present free, will have to answer in court for their actions.

The high court has included Bolsonaro among the people it is investigating with the aim of determining whether – although he is still in the US, where he returned on March 30 – he incited the attack or if he played any role in planning the coup attempt.

The ex-president is being investigated in about a dozen other regular court cases and in four that are before the Supreme Court, as well as in other matters being pursued by the Electoral Court.

One of those latter cases, focusing on his campaign to discredit the electronic voting system that Brazil has used for decades, will be brought to trial in the coming weeks, and – if he is found guilty – Bolsonaro could have his political rights revoked for eight years.

EFE ed/mp/bp

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