According to his lawyers, Jair Bolsonaro, the former president of Brazil, has given up his passport as he is being investigated by the police for his alleged involvement in a failed attempt to maintain his position of power on January 8, 2023.
On Thursday morning, federal police conducted 33 raids and made four arrests across Brazil, targeting important allies of the former far-right leader.
Bolsonaro’s vacation residence in Rio de Janeiro’s southern coast was visited, and he was given a 24-hour deadline to surrender his passport and refrain from communicating with the other individuals involved. His passport was subsequently confiscated by the police at the Liberal party’s headquarters in Brasília, according to one of his attorneys who spoke to GloboNews.
Brazilian media reports that the operation is targeting military officials and prominent figures from the previous administration. Among those targeted are Gen Walter Braga Netto, who is running alongside Bolsonaro in the 2022 election, and Valdemar Costa Neto, the president of the Liberal party. The headquarters of the party in Brasília were also subject to a raid.
According to reports, the four individuals arrested by the police are said to have previously worked as aides for Bolsonaro.
According to a statement from the federal police, the operation was approved by the supreme court and is investigating a criminal group that allegedly plotted a coup and aimed to dismantle the democratic legal system in order to gain political benefits by keeping the former president in office.
The police reported that the group spread false information about election fraud in 2022 in order to justify and legitimize a potential military intervention before the actual voting occurred.
According to the police, some members of the group worked to assist in a coup d’état, with the assistance of military officers who were familiar with special forces strategies.
In an interview with a nearby radio station, Brazil’s leader, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, emphasized the importance of discovering the source of funding for the January 8th rebellion that attempted to overthrow his administration in the previous year. He also expressed his belief that the event would not have occurred without Bolsonaro. Lula stated that he will patiently await the results of the ongoing investigations.
He stated that many individuals ought to be examined due to the indisputable evidence of an attempted coup, a disregard for democracy, and efforts to dismantle the democratic process that has been established for numerous years.
According to comments published by Folha de S Paulo on Thursday, Bolsonaro stated that he has been experiencing relentless persecution even though he left the government over a year ago.
The 68-year-old leader of the far-right movement is currently under investigation for various criminal activities, including an alleged embezzlement involving jewelry. In the previous year, he was barred by an election court from participating in political positions until 2030 due to spreading false information during the 2022 election.
Bolsonaro continuously cast doubt on the trustworthiness of Brazil’s voting system and never accepted defeat following the election. He and his political party submitted a petition to invalidate votes recorded on the majority of electronic voting machines, which would have resulted in overturning the outcome.
The petition was denied and Alexandre de Moraes, the head of Brazil’s electoral authority, stated in his ruling that the challenge seemed to be attempting to encourage anti-democratic protests and cause chaos.
This report was contributed by The Associated Press.