NewsBrazil's Bolsonaro faces charges over Saudi gift scandal

Brazil's Bolsonaro faces charges over Saudi gift scandal

The police have formally charged Jair Bolsonaro with embezzling gifts from the Saudi government.
The police have formally charged Jair Bolsonaro with embezzling gifts from the Saudi government.
Images source: © East News | FOTORUA
Malwina Gadawa

5 July 2024 08:11

Brazilian federal police have formally charged former President Jair Bolsonaro with appropriating and selling valuables he received as gifts from the Saudi government while he was head of state, Brazilian media reported.

The police have charged Bolsonaro with conspiracy to commit a crime, money laundering, and embezzlement. According to the "Folha de S.Paulo" newspaper, he faces up to 12 years in prison for the latter crime.

Problems of the former president of Brazil

The former president denies any wrongdoing, according to SBT television.

The case involves jewellery valued at £2.6 million, including a diamond necklace, ring, watches, and earrings, given to Bolsonaro and former first lady Michelle Bolsonaro by the Saudi government.

Some of this jewellery was confiscated in October 2021 at São Paulo airport by border guards who found it in the backpack of a government adviser to Bolsonaro, reported Reuters.

In addition to Bolsonaro, the police have also charged 11 other people, including his former lawyer Frederick Wassef, close associate Mauro Cid, and former minister of mining and energy Bento Albuquerque, according to SBT.

Bolsonaro's eldest son, Flavio, stated that his father was a victim of "shameless persecution."

This is the second charge Bolsonaro has faced since leaving the presidency. In May, police formally charged him with falsifying his COVID-19 vaccination certificate, a media recall.

Reuters explained that the prosecution can now decide whether to press charges against Bolsonaro based on the police's allegations. The former president can be formally charged if a judge agrees to the prosecution's request.

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