Brazilian Bolsonaro ordered to hand over jewelry and firearms | News from Jair Bolsonaro

The former president is under scrutiny for reports that his administration tried to bring $3.2 million in jewelry to Brazil.

A Brazilian court has ordered former President Jair Bolsonaro to return jewelry he allegedly received from the Saudi government as a gift when he was president.

Wednesday’s ruling by Brazil’s Federal Court of Auditors comes days after Brazilian police opened an investigation into an alleged attempt to smuggle in a jewelry set, worth more than $3.2 million. dollars, in the country.

These trinkets, intended for the then president and his wife Michelle, were intercepted in 2021 by customs officers. But authorities are hoping to recover a second set of jewelry, worth an estimated $75,000, which is believed to have entered the country undetected.

Both sets of jewelry were reportedly given as gifts by the Saudi government.

Wednesday’s court order gives Bolsonaro five days to return any jewelry donated by Saudi Arabia to his possession, as well as two weapons he received from the United Arab Emirates in 2019.

Additionally, the order initiates an audit of all official gifts Bolsonaro obtained during his presidency, which lasted from 2019 to 2022.

The court further said the seized $3.2 million jewelry package would remain in custody at the presidential offices. Members of Bolsonaro’s administration had previously unsuccessfully tried to free the jewels while the far-right politician was in power.

The set includes a diamond necklace, ring, watch and earrings from luxury Swiss jeweler Chopard. The jewels had been discovered in the backpack of an assistant to Bolsonaro’s energy minister, when the employee was returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia.

Under Brazilian law, public officials can only keep gifts that are “both highly personal and of minimal monetary value”, court president Bruno Dantas told the public hearing.

Travelers entering Brazil with goods worth more than $1,000 are also required to declare them and pay hefty import taxes.

Bolsonaro’s administration could have brought the items into the country tax-free as official gifts to the nation. However, they would have belonged to the collection of the presidential palace, and not to the president and his family.

Dantas said the presidential palace was “the rightful owner” of the items in question.

The issue has been in the headlines in Brazil since it was first reported in early March in the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper.

Last week, Justice Minister Flavio Dino announced an investigation into the jewelry scandal, calling on police to determine whether Bolsonaro staff attempted to cross the border “without complying with legal procedures” for government gifts or high value items.

Bolsonaro has denied any involvement in illegal activities, telling CNN Brazil he was “crucified” for a gift he neither asked for nor received.

However, on Monday, her lawyer acknowledged the second set of jewelry as gifted, saying in a letter to police that he would provide an account of those gifts.

Bolsonaro has lived in the United States since late December, shortly before his successor, leftist politician Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva, took office. Lula defeated Bolsonaro in a runoff for the presidency in October.

Bolsonaro, however, is yet to concede defeat. He and his political allies claimed without evidence that Brazil’s electoral system was prone to fraud, leading some supporters to call for a military coup against Lula’s presidency.

Bolsonaro is being investigated for any involvement in a Jan. 8 attack that saw his supporters storm key government buildings in the capital Brasilia.

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