Former leader Bolsonaro reportedly returning to Brazil next week

The far-right former president has been in the US since December, following his loss in the 2022 presidential election.

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference this month in the US state of Maryland [File: Alex Brandon/AP]

Brazil’s former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro will return to the country by the end of the month, ending a prolonged stay in the United States, according to a social media post by his Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party said on Friday that Bolsonaro would fly back to the capital of Brasilia after spending more than three months in the US, following his election loss to current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was inaugurated in January.

“Our national president, Valdemar Costa Neto, confirms to everyone that Jair Bolsonaro will return to Brazil on March 30. Bolsonaro will disembark in Brasilia at 7:30 AM [11:30 GMT],” the Liberal Party said on social media.

Bolsonaro’s self-imposed exile has been the subject of speculation in Brazil, where he has been accused of undermining democracy and inciting his supporters to launch an effort to overturn his loss to Lula, culminating in a riot on January 8. That day, Bolsonaro’s supporters stormed three main government buildings in Brasilia and called for a coup.

Bolsonaro is under investigation for his alleged role in stoking the violence and has stayed in the US, despite hinting at his return to Brazil on several occasions.

Earlier this month, Bolsonaro’s son Flavio wrote in a social media post that his father would return to Brazil by March 15, but he quickly deleted the message, explaining that the date was “likely but still unconfirmed”.

The former leader is also the subject of a police investigation exploring allegations that staff members in his administration attempted to bring millions of dollars of jewellery into the country without declaring it, following a 2021 trip to Saudi Arabia.

On Friday, a representative for Bolsonaro said the former president had turned the jewellery over to a state bank under orders from a government watchdog.

Federal police and prosecutors are trying to determine whether Bolsonaro tried to obtain the jewellery without paying taxes on it and whether the baubles, a gift from Saudi Arabia, should have been transferred to the public presidential collection.

On Wednesday, the watchdog stated that Bolsonaro had five days to turn over the jewels.

Bolsonaro has denied wrongdoing and previously stated that he was being “crucified” for a gift he never requested.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies