Brazil’s Bolsonaro Denies Conspiracy As Police Question Him

Hearing Wednesday afternoon at the headquarters of the Brazilian Federal Police, Jair Bolsonaro denied any conspiracy against President Lula, and claimed to have never discussed the organization of a coup.

Jair Bolsonaro, the former Brazilian president, was auditioned on Wednesday July 12 for the fourth time in less than three months. Since his return from the United States, the former head of state has been questioned by the authorities on several cases.

This time, he was asked to explain the statements of Marcos do Val, a right-wing senator, who said last February that he had participated with Jair Bolsonaro in a meeting during which there was talk of scaffolding a plan to prevent his adversary, Lula, from becoming president of Brazil.

Jair Bolsonaro confirmed that a meeting with this senator had indeed taken place on December 8, when his mandate was still in progress but the presidential election had already consecrated Lula. He, however, denied discussing any coup plans with Marcos do Val. “None of this was discussed,” he told the Federal Police.

The senator said last February that during this meeting with the far-right president, a scheme had been fomented to try to register, without his knowledge, the president of the Brazilian Supreme Court, Alexandre de Moraes, enemy of the bolsonarists, for try to recover potential compromising remarks to incriminate him. They would then have used this recording to have Lula’s victory annulled.

Marcos do Val had claimed to have been “forced” by the former president to participate in the coup, then changed his version shortly after, ultimately minimizing the alleged involvement of Jair Bolsonaro in this affair. He then said that Jair Bolsonaro was present at the meeting, but that he had remained “silent”, and that he had therefore not participated in the development of the plan.

After his deposition, Fabio Wajngarten, a lawyer and adviser to Bolsonaro, told reporters that “the name of Minister Alexandre de Moraes was never mentioned, let alone an attempt to register with the president” of the Supreme Court, according to CNN Brasil.

Since April, Jair Bolsonaro has been interviewed several times by the authorities. A first time in the context of the case of Saudi jewelry, illegally imported into Brazilian territory, then for the investigation of the riots of January 8, when Brazilian democratic institutions were invaded by supporters of Bolsonaro.

The far-right president was also questioned during an investigation for alleged falsification of vaccination certificates against Covid-19. He was subsequently sentenced to eight years of ineligibility for disinformation and abuse of power.

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