Brazil court of auditors orders Bolsonaro to return Saudi jewelry gift

BRASILIA, March 15 (Reuters) – Brazil’s Federal Court of Auditors (TCU) ruled on Wednesday that former President Jair Bolsonaro must deliver within five days a second finery he had received from the Saudi government.

The decision comes days after Brazilian police launched an investigation into an attempt to smuggle into the country jewelry worth $3.2 million, gifts to the then president and his wife. Michelle by the Saudi King.

On Monday, Bolsonaro’s lawyer said in a letter to police that the former president would hand over the second gift to the state as part of his presidential gift drive.

The TCU court also ordered that the first set of jewelry, seized by customs officials in 2021 from the backpack of a government aide returning from Saudi Arabia, be kept in custody at the presidential offices, in more to open an audit on all the gifts received by Bolsonaro during his mandate.

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Several Bolsonaro administration officials tried unsuccessfully to recover the jewelry – a diamond necklace, ring, watch and earrings – held by customs, according to local media.

Bolsonaro, who remains in exile in the United States, will be called to testify as part of the investigation, Brazilian Justice Minister Flavio Dino said on Monday.

Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Editing by Sandra Maler

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