Brazilian Liberal Party (PL) Chairman Valdemar Costa Neto was arrested Thursday and former President Jair Bolsonaro was ordered to surrender his passport as the investigation into the Jan. 8, 2023, coup attempt moved forward.
Bolsonaro described the situation as a relentless persecution after raids were carried out by the Federal Police (PF) against him for his alleged involvement in the plot to overthrow President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. It has been more than a year since I left the government and I continue to suffer relentless persecution. Forget about me, there is already someone else governing, Bolsonaro told Folha de Sao Paulo.
In addition to serving a Supreme Federal Court warrant for Bolsonaro to hand over his passport within 24 hours, PF forces raided Bolsonaro's seaside home in Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, and targeted high-ranking military officers from the conservative leader's years such as Generals Walter Braga Netto, Augusto Heleno, and Paulo Sérgio Nogueira, and Admiral Almir Garnier.
STF Justice Alexandre De Moraes' warrant also included the homes of former Bolsonaro's aides Filipe Martins, Colonel Marcelo Cámara (Bolsonaro's private secretary), and Rafael Martins, major of the Army Special Forces, who were all arrested.
De Moraes took into account the confession of Lt Col Mauro Cid, who admitted to a series of crimes under Bolsonaro at the Planalto Palace. Former Justice Minister Anderson Torres was already under investigation in the case.
Costa Neto was charged with illegally carrying weapons and is under investigation for allegedly luring PL lawmakers to endorse the Jan. 8 coup attempt undertaken by a group of civilians and military allies of Bolsonaro. Although Costa Neto was not to be detained at first, the police found him in possession of an unregistered firearm, which resulted in the measure.
The PL leader had also been arrested for corruption in the Mensalao case, which investigated the illegal distribution of money for the payment of electoral campaigns in the first decade of this century, linked to the Workers' Party during the first government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010).
Under the name Tempus Veritatis, the police operation took place in a dozen states, where it issued 33 search warrants and 4 preventive detention orders, in addition to imposing a total of 48 precautionary measures on the suspects.
Bolsonaro's attorney Fabio Wajngarten wrote on X that the retired Army captain would comply with the authorities' requests.