Brazil's ex-president Bolsonaro surrenders passport in police probe of 'attempted coup'

Brazil's ex-president Jair Bolsonaro surrendered his passport Thursday as police raids targeted him and his inner circle over allegations of orchestrating an invasion of government buildings last year.

Federal police said they were carrying out 33 search and seizure operations and executing four arrest warrants in an investigation of a "criminal organization involved in the attempted coup" -- a reference to Bolsonaro supporters' storming of the presidential palace, Congress and Supreme Court on January 8, 2023.

The raids were authorized by Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who also ordered that multiple suspects be suspended from public duties and surrender their passports within 24 hours.

That included Bolsonaro, whose lawyer and adviser Fabio Wajngarten confirmed in a statement on X, formerly Twitter, that the far-right ex-army captain's passport had been handed over to authorities.

Bolsonaro called himself the victim of "relentless persecution," in comments to a journalist for newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo. The former president, who was in the United States at the time of the riots, has repeatedly denied responsibility.

Four army generals were also targeted in the raids, including Bolsonaro's former defense minister and vice presidential candidate Walter Braga Netto, and one of the ex-president's closest advisors, Augusto Heleno.

The head of Bolsonaro's Liberal Party (PL), Valdemar Costa Neto, was also targeted.

Lula called for a full investigation to uncover who organized and financed the January 8 attacks.


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