São Paulo

Federal Police to investigate Bolsonaro’s stay at Hungarian embassy


Brazil’s Federal Police will investigate the circumstances of former President Jair Bolsonaro’s stay at the Hungarian embassy in Brasília between February 12 and 14, a few days after the outbreak of operation Tempus Veritatis, which looks into an alleged criminal organization involved in an attempted coup d’état in Brazil.

The information was confirmed to Agência Brasil by police sources, which reported that the police are going to check whether Bolsonaro has violated any of the restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court.

Bolsonaro’s stay at the embassy was revealed Monday (Mar. 25) by the US newspaper The New York Times. The article suggests that Bolsonaro, subject of criminal proceedings, tried to evade justice since he cannot be arrested in a foreign embassy that hosted him, as he is legally beyond the reach of national authorities.

The New York Times had access to images from the embassy’s security camera, which show that the former president stayed there for two days, accompanied by security guards and employees of the diplomatic office. Ambassador Miklós Halmai also appears to have accompanied him there.

The publication examines images from the site’s security cameras and satellite images, which show that Bolsonaro arrived on February 12 in the afternoon and left on the afternoon of February 14.

Bolsonaro passou duas noites na embaixada da Hungria após operação e apreensão de passaporte, diz jornal. Foto: Embaixada da Hungria/Divulgação

The New York Times had access to images from the embassy’s security camera, which show that the former president stayed there for two days – Hungarian embassy (photo)

The footage also shows that the embassy was practically empty, except for a few Hungarian diplomats who live there. The employees were reportedly on vacation because Bolsonaro’s stay was during the Carnival holiday.

On February 14, the Hungarian diplomats are said to have contacted the Brazilian staff, who were due to return to work the following day, instructing them to stay at home for the rest of the week.

The defense

The former president’s defense confirmed he spent two days staying at the Hungarian embassy in Brasilia “to maintain contacts with authorities from the friendly country.” In a statement, Bolsonaro’s lawyers say he has a good relationship with the Hungarian prime minister, with whom he recently met at the inauguration of President Javier Milei in Buenos Aires.

“During the days he stayed at the Magyar [Hungarian] embassy, by invitation, the former Brazilian president spoke with numerous authorities from the friendly country, updating the political landscape of the two nations. Any other interpretations that go beyond the information passed on here constitute blatant fiction, unrelated to the facts and are, in practice, yet another piece of fake news,” Bolsonaro’s counsel declared.

This afternoon in São Paulo, during an event organized by his Liberal Party, Bolsonaro indirectly commented on the case, saying he frequents embassies and talks to heads of state.

“These heads of state often call me so I can provide them with accurate information about what’s happening in Brazil. I also go to embassies here in Brazil and talk to ambassadors. I don’t have a passport, it’s being held, otherwise I’d be with Tarcísio [Freitas, governor of São Paulo] and Ronaldo Caiado [governor of Goiás] on this trip to Israel, a sister country, a fantastic country in every respect.”

Passport

Bolsonaro’s passport was seized by the Federal Police during operation Tempus Veritatis, launched on February 8 following an order from Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes.

The crackdown was launched after Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid, Bolsonaro’s former aide-de-camp, signed a plea bargain with federal investigators.

Autonomy

Alexandre Padilha, head of the president’s Office for Institutional Relations, commented on the news of Bolsonaro’s stay at the Hungarian embassy in an interview with journalists on Monday (25). “That Bolsonaro is a confessed fugitive comes as no surprise. Once again, he has shown his plans to flee. He did it at the end of last year [2022], after the elections, fleeing to the US,” he said.

He then added it is up to the courts to determine whether the case constitutes any irregularity, and stressed that the government guarantees “absolute autonomy for the institutional functioning of the Federal Police.”



Ebc

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