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Brazil indicts Bolsonaro over undeclared diamonds — reports

July 5, 2024

Saudi Arabia gave former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and his wife diamond jewelry during his time in office. Police have now moved to indict him for embezzlement, according to multiple sources.

Jair Bolsonaro
The Supreme Court has yet to receive the police report accusing Jair Bolsonaro of embezzlementImage: Amanda Perobelli/REUTERS

Brazil's former president Jair Bolsonaro has reportedly been indicted for embezzlement over diamond jewelry that he received from Saudi Arabia.

During his time in office, the Saudi government gave Bolsonaro and his wife $3.2 million (€2.96 million) worth of jewelry including a diamond necklace, a ring, luxury watches and earrings.

Customs officials seized some of the jewelry at Sao Paulo's international airport in 2021 when it was found in the backpack of a government aide returning from Riyadh.

Supreme Court Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes ordered an investigation and declared that some of the items had been sold and that the sale had not been declared.

On Thursday, security sources told the Associated Press and Reuters that Brazil's federal police indicted Bolsonaro for money laundering and criminal association in connection with the jewelry.

However, the Supreme Court has yet to receive the police report in order to move ahead.

How did the accused react?

Flavio Bolsonaro, the former president's eldest son and a sitting senator, claimed on social media that the news was an example of the "blatant and shameless" persecution of his father.

Police also indicted 10 others in addition to Bolsonaro, according to the reports. Two of them were Bolsonaro's lawyers, Frederick Wassef and Fabio Wajngarten.

"I am going through all of this solely for practicing law in defense of Jair Bolsonaro," Wassef said in a statement.

Wajngarten meanwhile said that police found no evidence implicating him.

"The Federal Police knows I did nothing related to what they are investigating, but they still want to punish me because I provide unwavering and permanent defense for former President Bolsonaro," he said on social media.

Thursday's indictment was Bolsonaro's second since leaving office, after he was indicted in May for allegedly falsifying his COVID-19 vaccination records.

zc/jsi (AP, Reuters)