Former Brazilian President To Be Prosecuted Over Allegedly Stolen Jewels

Federal police claim Bolsonaro embezzled more than $1 million.

AP/Eraldo Peres
President Bolsonaro at the Alvorada Palace, Brasilia, Brazil, November 1, 2022. AP/Eraldo Peres

Brazil’s attorney general is planning to prosecute President Bolsonaro on charges of embezzlement, corruption, and money laundering before the country’s local elections in August.

The Brazilian federal police are accusing Mr. Bolsonaro and 11 other officials of participating in a scheme to sell jewelry believed to have been gifts from foreign governments such as Saudi Arabia.

A supreme court justice, Alexandre de Moraes, has granted the attorney general, Paulo Gonet, full authority to request more evidence and file the case, or file a complaint, within 15 days after the details of the case were disclosed.

Mr. de Moraes made the details public Monday, after the federal police on Friday filed evidence against Mr. Bolsonaro to the supreme court, according to Folha de São Paulo.

Because the court is in recess this month, the 15-day period only begins on August 1. Mr. Gonet said that he will not provide any evidence against the former president during the local election season, which begins on August 16.

The federal police told the supreme court that Mr. Bolsonaro profited from the sale of Chopard jewelry sets and Rolex watches during his presidency and funneled the money to his account through intermediaries. 

Mr. Bolsonaro is already facing an outstanding indictment, with the supreme court accusing him in March of falsifying his Covid-19 vaccine records. 

The federal police originally said the total value of the jewelry exceeded $4 million, but claimed an “error” after the case was made public, and readjusted the figure to $1.2 million.

Mr. Bolsonaro said on X that he is waiting for “many other corrections” to surface throughout the case. 

He also added that the last “correction” will say that all the “misappropriated” pieces of jewelry are in the National Economic Safe or with the police. Mr. Bolsonaro’s lawyers reported that he had handed over the jewelry as soon as their legality was questioned.

According to the police, he allegedly used the funds to pay for his family’s expenses during their trip to America last year, Jovem Pan News reported. If Mr. Bolsonaro is found guilty on all counts, he could face up to 32 years in prison.

Mr. Bolsonaro’s former aide-de-camp, Mauro Cid, is facing the same three charges as Mr. Bolsonaro after allegedly selling the jewelry in 2022.

A former energy minister, Bento Albuquerque, has been charged with appropriation and criminal association after attempting to bring the jewelry into Brazil illegally in 2021.

Despite the charges and pending prosecution, many Brazilian conservatives continue to back Mr. Bolsonaro, with more than 3,500 supporters gathering to hear his speech at CPAC Brasil this weekend, where President Javier Milei was also in attendance.

The New York Sun

© 2024 The New York Sun Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The material on this site is protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used.

The New York Sun

Sign in or  Create a free account

By continuing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use