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Brazil’s ex-president Bolsonaro presented coup plot to military leaders, court documents allege

Former President Jair Bolsonaro presented top Brazilian military leaders with a plan to stage a coup after he lost the 2022 election, newly released court documents have alleged.

The country’s Supreme Court released the testimonies from former army commander Marco Antonio Freire Gomes and former air force commander Carlos de Almeida Baptista Jr. to the Brazilian Federal Police on Friday.

Bolsonaro allegedly presented the plan in a meeting on December 7, 2022, at the presidential palace in Brasilia.

In their testimonies, both Gomes and Baptista Jr. said they refused to carry out Bolsonaro’s alleged plan to stay in power and threatened to arrest him, documents show.

Bolsonaro surrendered his passport to authorities in early February as part of a police investigation into an alleged coup attempt. The former president has denied the allegations.

He recently led a large rally of his supporters in Brazil’s largest city, São Paulo, which he said was in “defense of the democratic rule of the law.”

Last year, Bolsonaro was barred from running for political office until 2030 by the country’s highest electoral court for abusing his power and misusing public media during the 2022 election campaign.

After Bolsonaro lost that election by a narrow margin to leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, his supporters rioted and broke into government buildings in Brasilia on January 8, 2023.

Bolsonaro has denied inciting the violent attacks in the capital.

Last month, he said the legislature should offer “amnesty for those poor people who are imprisoned in Brasília,” in reference to the January 8 rioters, according to CNN Brasil.

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