Brazil’s former president refuses to testify at police interrogation

Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonaro has refused to testify during his police interrogation as part of the investigation into an alleged coup d’état following the last presidential election.

This silence was not just the application of the constitutional duty of silence, “but a strategy based on the fact that the defence did not have access to all the elements with which the president is accused of having committed certain crimes,” said Bolsonaro’s lawyer Paulo Bueno.

Bolsonaro had been summoned to testify at the federal police headquarters in the capital Brasilia on Thursday.

The police had undertaken a large-scale operation a fortnight ago, executing search warrants and arrest warrants in several states as well as preventive measures such as the confiscation of passports.

The investigations were directed against a criminal organization that was seeking to stage a coup d’état and abolish the democratic rule of law, authorities said.

In addition to Bolsonaro, who was Brazil’s president from 2019 to the end of 2022, the operation also targeted other former top officials and political allies.

According to the news portal G1, former defence and justice ministers as well as advisers and military personnel during Bolsonaro’s time in office were also summoned.

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