Bolsonaro, military agents under investigation for attempted coup

The Supreme Court has issued arrest and search and seizure warrants

Published on 08/02/2024 - 13:44 By Pedro Peduzzi* - Brasília

Operation Tempus Veritatis is targeting several military personnel who were part of former President Jair Bolsonaro’s government. Launched Thursday (Feb. 8) by the Federal Police, the crackdown investigates the existence of an alleged criminal organization that may have been involved in an attempted coup d’état.

Among the individuals being investigated are former Institutional Security Cabinet head General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira, former Chief of Staff General Walter Souza Braga Netto, and former Defense Minister General Paulo Sérgio Nogueira de Oliveira.

In light of the news, President Lula said he hoped the full force of the law would be applied against those who attacked democracy by financing the camps where the people responsible for the attempted coup of January 8, 2022, were settled.

“It’s difficult for a president to comment on a Federal Police operation carried out in secret. I hope there is no excessive action and that the full force of the law is enforced. We know about the attacks on democracy. We need to know who financed the encampment. Let’s wait for the outcome of investigations,” he declared.

The statement is an excerpt from President Lula’s interview on Rádio Itatiaia. The remark refers to the operation which includes 33 search and seizure warrants and four preventive arrest orders, as well as 48 precautionary measures, among which a ban on maintaining contact with other people under investigation or leaving the country, with passports being handed over in within 24 hours and a suspension from exercising public duties.

The court rulings were issued by Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes. Among them is the seizure of onetime President Jair Bolsonaro’s passport.

The crackdown was launched after Bolsonaro’s former aide, Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid, signed a plea bargain with Federal Police investigators. The agreement was sent to the Prosecutor-General’s Office and has been ratified by the Supreme Court.

On X, lawyer Fabio Wajngarten, Bolsonaro’s counsel, wrote that “in compliance with today’s rulings,” the former president will hand over his passport to the authorities.

The judicial measures are being enforced in the states of Amazonas, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Paraná, and Goiás, as well as the Federal District.

The Brazilian Army is monitoring the execution of some of the warrants.

*Felipe Pontes contributed to this article.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Graça Adjuto

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