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Brazilian rightist Bolsonaro says he does not fear being put on trial

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday he does not fear being put on trial, one day after a police investigation revealed the far-right politician tried to co-op the country's military chiefs in a coup plan to overturn his 2022 election defeat.

Bolsonaro did not refer directly to the allegations made by two armed forces commanders that he had summoned them to discuss a possible coup d'etat to prevent leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from returning to power.

But he did refer to a trial he could face, as evidence mounts of his efforts to convince the military to step in.

"I do not fear any judgment, as long as the judges are impartial," Bolsonaro said at a political rally in Rio de Janeiro to back his candidate for mayor of the city in local elections in October.

At the event in a Rio samba school quadrangle, the former president claimed he was being politically persecuted by the Lula government because he was a thorn in the side of the left.

Bolsonaro has denied planning a coup after his election defeat, which he never conceded. He left for Florida to avoid handing the presidential sash to Lula, and days later Bolsonaro's supporters stormed government buildings in an attempt to provoke a coup.

Last year, Bolsonaro was banned from running for elected office for eight years for abusing his power as president and repeatedly criticizing the country's electoral system. He could face possible arrest and a trial by the Supreme Court.

The crowd in Rio cheered Bolsonaro's name as he endorsed Alexandre Ramagem, a former police chief who briefly served as head of the national intelligence agency during his presidency.

"I hope to continue in politics," Bolsonaro said.

Ramagen is running against incumbent Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, who is supported by Lula.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Paul Simao)