Bolsonaro denies having taken part in a coup plot

Bolsonaro denies having taken part in a coup plot

Thursday, July 13th 2023 – 10:04 UTC

Senator Do Val must explain why he said what he said, Bolsonaro told reporters

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Wednesday testified before the Federal Police for about two hours about his alleged plans prior to Jan. 1 and denied any involvement in the plot to stage a coup d’état against incumbent President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva denounced by Senator Marcos do Val.

It was Bolsonaro’s fourth statement before the police, who are also investigating him for encouraging anti-democratic acts, trying to appropriate jewelry given by Saudi Arabia that actually belongs to the State, and alleged fraud with vaccination certificates against covid-19, among other cases. He has already been disenfranchised for eight years for “abuse of power” during the 2022 campaign.

“I never had any relationship with that senator,” Bolsonaro told reporters. He did acknowledge, though, that last Dec. 8, while still in power, he welcomed him at the Alvorada Palace together with former ultra-right-wing Deputy Daniel Silveira. Bolsonaro said the meeting lasted about 20 minutes and that it was about political matters, but “in no way about conspiracies” or “coups d’état,” which he would not have “accepted.”

According to Do Val, Bolsonaro and Silveira suggested he arranged a meeting with Judge Alexandre De Moraes, Chief Justice of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) and a member of the Supreme Federal Court (STF). Do Val was asked to record the conversation with De Moraes without the latter’s knowledge and get him to accept some alleged irregularity to favor Lula, which would serve to invalidate the elections and keep Bolsonaro in office.

The former president insisted that in that meeting “the name of Alexandre De Moraes was not even pronounced” and said he could not imagine the reasons that led Do Val to his denunciation. “It is the senator who must answer for his actions,” he said. De Moraes himself admitted that last December he met with the senator, who revealed to him the alleged plot hatched by Bolsonaro but refused to file a formal complaint.

“He told me that it was a matter of ‘intelligence’ and that he could not confirm it, whereupon I just thanked him because what is not official does not exist,” the magistrate stated at the time.

However, once the senator made public these alleged plans and given the different versions he presented on the case, De Moraes determined that the matter be investigated.

The proceedings were added to cases opened after Jan. 8, when radical Bolsonaristas invaded the headquarters of the three branches of government in an attempt to force a coup against Lula, who had taken office a week before.

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