Investigations into attempted coup Bolsonaro is not allowed to leave

Investigations into “attempted coup”: Bolsonaro is not allowed to leave Brazil

Former President Jair Bolsonaro was banned from leaving Brazilian territory on Thursday after he was the target of a police operation as part of an investigation into an “attempted coup” that culminated in unrest on January 8, 2023 in Brasilia.

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This large-scale operation, which also targeted former ministers, generals and close associates of Mr. Bolsonaro, tightens the legal influence on the former far-right leader (2019-2022), who has been surrounded by business since his electoral defeat against Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in October 2022.

“Jair Bolsonaro’s passport was handed over to the relevant authorities in Brasilia before noon,” one of his lawyers, Fabio Wajngarten, announced on X.

The federal police announced in a press release that they had carried out 33 searches and issued four arrest warrants as part of an investigation against “a criminal organization that was involved in an attempted coup (…) in order to gain political advantages.” the retention of the then president (Jair Bolsonaro) in power.

A week after Lula's inauguration, on January 8, 2023, thousands of Bolsonarists ransacked places of power in Brasilia, demanding military intervention to overthrow the leftist president. Riots are reminiscent of the storming of the Capitol in Washington by supporters of Donald Trump two years earlier.

“Relentless Pursuit”

“It has been more than a year since I governed and I continue to suffer relentless persecution,” Jair Bolsonaro told a journalist for the daily Folha de S. Paulo on Thursday.

“Forget me, there is someone else running the country,” he added.

His successor answered him from a distance: “The fact is that there was an attempted coup (…) that could not have taken place without Bolsonaro,” Lula said on local radio Itatiaia and still demanded respect for the “presumption of innocence.”

For his part, Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco criticized “crazy actions by an irresponsible minority.”

According to the Brazilian press, three people were arrested on Thursday: Filipe Martins, Mr. Bolsonaro's former foreign policy adviser, and two soldiers.

According to investigators, Mr. Martins “occupied an important position” in the development of the coup plans.

In addition, four generals were targeted in the searches, including two former defense ministers in the Bolsonaro government.

One of them, Walter Braga Netto, was then his vice-presidential candidate in the 2022 election. The other, Paulo Sergio Nogueira, was commander-in-chief of the army before becoming a minister.

Another prominent figure targeted by the operation: the influential General Augusto Heleno, former minister of the Cabinet for Institutional Security and considered one of Jair Bolsonaro's gray eminences.

“Fake News”

For political scientist André César, Thursday's police operation marked a “turning point” because investigators “provided evidence that there was a coup movement.”

The federal police conjure up an attempt to “spread suspicions of fraud in the 2022 presidential election before the vote in order to legitimize military intervention.”

The police then report on “the practice of acts to abolish the democratic constitutional state through a coup with the support of the military.”

In particular, investigators cite a plan to arrest Alexandre de Moraes, president of the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), and call new elections.

According to investigations, this plan was to be implemented through a decree, the terms of which Mr Bolsonaro presented to senior military officials at a meeting on December 7, 2022, a week after his defeat by Lula and three weeks before the transfer of power. Ultimately, this decree never saw the light of day.

The black beast of the Bolsonaro clan, Alexandre de Moraes, also a Supreme Court judge, ordered the opening of numerous investigations against the ex-president.

Under his aegis, the TSE sentenced Jair Bolsonaro to eight years in June for spreading false information about the electronic voting system.

Last week, one of Bolsonaro's sons, Carlos, was reinstated by police as part of an investigation into illegal espionage under his father's presidency.