World

Brazil police seizing Bolsonaro passport, arresting close aides

2024.02.08 10:24


© Reuters. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro listens his chief of workers, Army General Walter Souza Braga Netto (R) close to Brazil’s Vice President Hamilton Mourao (C), throughout a ceremony on the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil February 24, 2021. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcel

By Lisandra Paraguassu, Ricardo Brito and Gabriel Stargardter

BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazil’s federal police on Thursday sought to confiscate former President Jair Bolsonaro’s passport and arrest a few of his closest aides, sources stated, as a part of an investigation into an alleged coup try after he misplaced the 2022 election.

The operation displays a tightening web round Bolsonaro, his household and a few of his strongest allies for actions earlier than and after his unsuccessful reelection effort. The confiscation of his passport can be particularly worrying for the previous president, a far-right firebrand who solid himself as a Brazilian model of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

A federal police supply instantly concerned in Thursday’s operation stated seized passports can point out the potential of future arrests, forcing suspects to remain in Brazil to face any fees.

Bolsonaro has already been dominated politically ineligible till 2030 for spreading election falsehoods, and faces a number of different legal probes that might land him in jail. He has denied wrongdoing and calls the investigations politically motivated.

Last week, in one other signal of Bolsonaro’s mounting authorized woes, federal police searched properties linked to his son, Carlos Bolsonaro. The Rio de Janeiro metropolis councillor, who has denied wrongdoing, is suspected of utilizing information illegally collected by spy company Abin to assault his father’s rivals.

Police visited Bolsonaro’s seaside home on Thursday and advised him handy over his passport, stated three sources, who requested anonymity to debate an lively operation. The former president will adjust to the order, Bolsonaro household spokesman Fabio Wajngarten stated on social media.

In an announcement on Thursday, the federal police didn’t identify the targets of the operation, however stated they’re accused of taking part in “a criminal organization that acted in an attempted coup d’etat” geared toward “keeping the then-President of the Republic in power.”

The sources stated search warrants have been additionally issued for properties linked to Walter Braga Netto, Bolsonaro’s former operating mate; Augusto Heleno, his former nationwide safety adviser; former Defense Minister Paulo Nogueira Batista and former Justice Minister Anderson Torres, amongst others.

Bolsonaro’s former worldwide affairs advisor Felipe Martins is one in every of 4 folks arrested, the sources stated.

Reuters tried to contact the targets of the police operation and their legal professionals, however obtained no instant response.

Police stated of their assertion that the targets of Thursday’s operation fashioned a gaggle in 2022 spreading claims of electoral fraud “even before the election took place” to “legitimize a military intervention.”

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who defeated Bolsonaro within the 2022 election, stated the coup try needed to be investigated to maintain it from occurring once more.

“Without Bolsonaro there would have been no coup attempt,” Lula stated in a radio interview.

Every week after Lula took workplace in January 2023, Bolsonaro supporters who have been camped outdoors military headquarters invaded and vandalized authorities buildings in Brasilia, calling for a navy takeover.

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