Brazil police seize Jair Bolsonaro’s passport amid ‘coup’ probe | Jair Bolsonaro News

Police seize document and arrest several allies of former far-right leader as part of investigation into attempted coup.

Police confiscated former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's passport and accused him of drafting a decree to overturn election results, pressuring military leaders to join a attempted coup and plotting to imprison a Supreme Court justice.

Thursday's operation included search warrants against four ex-ministers and the arrest of several former collaborators. Bolsonaro's entourage is under investigation for allegedly planning a military coup following his electoral defeat to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2022.

The former leader, a far-right populist often compared to former US President Donald Trump, was at his beachfront home in Rio de Janeiro state when police arrived early Thursday morning to demand his passport.

Brazilian federal police are now in possession of the document, which was in the capital Brasilia, Bolsonaro family spokesman Fabio Wajngarten said on social media.

According to the decision of Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes which triggered Thursday's operation, Bolsonaro received, in November 2022, a draft decree prepared by his collaborators aimed at annulling the electoral results and issuing mandates of ruling against Moraes, fellow Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes and Senate leader. Rodrigo Pacheco.

At Bolsonaro's request, the draft decree was amended, but Moraes' arrest and the demand for new elections remained, the court order said, citing police investigations.

After changing the decree, Bolsonaro summoned military commanders and pressured them to support a putsch, according to the police account, based on phone records and the testimony of the former aide-de-camp. ex-president during a plea bargain.

“I left the government more than a year ago and I still suffer from incessant persecution,” Bolsonaro told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper on Thursday. “Forget me. Someone else is running the country now.

“A criminal organization”

Bolsonaro has already been deemed politically ineligible until 2030 for spreading election lies and faces several other criminal investigations that could land him in prison. He has denied any wrongdoing and calls the investigations politically motivated.

Last week, federal police raided properties linked to his son, Carlos Bolsonaro, on suspicion of using data illegally collected by the Abin spy agency to attack his father's rivals. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Thursday's operation targeted some of Bolsonaro's closest allies – until recently among Brazil's most powerful men.

Search warrants were issued for properties linked to Walter Braga Netto, Bolsonaro's former running mate; Augusto Heleno, his former national security adviser; former Defense Minister Paulo Nogueira Batista and former Justice Minister Anderson Torres, among others.

According to Brazilian media, three people have been arrested so far in the operation: two army officers and a former Bolsonaro international affairs adviser, Filipe Martins.

The federal police said in a statement that the suspects were accused of participating in “a criminal organization that participated in an attempted coup d’état” aimed at “keeping the then President of the Republic in power.”

They were spreading allegations of electoral fraud “before the elections even took place” to “legitimize military intervention,” the statement said.

Lula said the coup attempt must be investigated to prevent a repeat.

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

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