Brazil’s Ex-president Bolsonaro Testifies in Scandal over Jewelry Gift from Saudi Arabia

Thu Apr 06 2023
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BRASILIA: Brazil’s ex-president Jair Bolsonaro appeared at the federal police headquarters on Wednesday to testify in a probe regarding gifts and jewelry given in 2021 to the then-president and his wife by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Customs officials seized one of the jewelry sets given to former first lady Michelle Bolsonaro and valued at $3.26 million in a backpack of a government aide while returning from Saudi Arabia.

Former president Bolsonaro returned 2 other gift packages after being ordered by Brazil’s federal audit court to do so.

The ex-president has stated that he did nothing wrong in accepting the gifts; however, the incident dented his reputation as an anti-graft leader. His critics stated that the gifts were part of the presidential collection and claimed that he had tried to evade customs duties by having them smuggled into Brazil.

Bolsonaro aides unsuccessful in recovering main gift from Brazil’s customs officials

A number of Bolsonaro administration officials were unsuccessful in recovering the main jewelry present from customs at Guarulhos international airport in Sao Paulo, as per local media.

On Tuesday, Bolsonaro’s defense lawyers stated that handing over the presents proved his commitment to following the audit court’s order and willingness to abide by the law.

A rifle and a pistol received from the United Arab Emirates were also handed over to the federal police.

Bolsonaro returned to Brazil last week after around 3 months in the United States of self-exile following his defeat in his bid to be re-elected as president last year.

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