Brazil’s ex-leader Bolsonaro to have passport seized over coup probe

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Federal Police agents leave the house of Brazilian former minister Augusto Heleno in Brasilia, Brazil, 08 February 2024Image source, EPA

Brazil’s ex-President Jair Bolsonaro has been given 24 hours to surrender his passport amid an ongoing investigation into the 2023 storming by his supporters of Brazil’s Congress.

A lawyer for the former leader said Mr Bolsonaro would comply with the order, which was authorised by Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes.

Mr Bolsonaro was in the US when the attack on Congress happened.

He has said in the past that he was the target of a legal witch hunt.

In March 2023, two months after the Congress storming, the former president returned to Brazil where he faces a number of investigations.

In June, he was banned from running for office for eight years for casting unfounded doubts on Brazil’s electronic voting system.

But interest has been greatest in the investigation into the events of 8 January 2023, when his supporters – angry that he had narrowly lost the election to his left-wing rival – stormed Congress, the Supreme Court and the presidential palace in Brasília.

Brazil’s federal police only gave limited details but said it was carrying out an operation on Thursday targeting a “criminal organisation involved in the attempted coup”.

As part of that operation, it was searching dozens of premises and executing four arrest warrants, it said, without providing the names of those arrested.

Local media has reported that two of Mr Bolsonaro’s former advisers, Filipe Martins and Marcelo Câmara, are among those detained.

Over the past year, more than 1,400 people have been charged over their alleged role in the riots but so far only a few dozen have been convicted.

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