Accounts court orders Bolsonaro to surrender undeclared jewelry

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The Federal Accounts Court, a sort of audit tribunal that operates under the umbrella of Congress, on Wednesday ruled that former President Jair Bolsonaro has five days to return a case of jewelry he received from the Saudi government.

The former president was also ordered to hand over a pistol and rifle gifted to him by a prince of the United Arab Emirates.

Last week, a member of the court ruled that Mr. Bolsonaro and one of his former cabinet ministers must testify in the case, but allowed Mr. Bolsonaro to keep the jewelry in his possession, providing they were not disposed of or worn.

On March 3, newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo revealed that a Brazilian delegation led by then-Mines and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque returned from Saudi Arabia in October 2021 with a case containing a necklace, a watch, a pair of earrings, and a ring, as well as a golden horse sculpture approximately 30 centimeters long. The jewelry case alone was valued at more than USD 3 million.

Although customs confiscated the jewelry case at Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo, Mr. Bolsonaro received a second Saudi government-donated case from luxury watchmaker Chopard, valued at approximately USD 76,000. This second case was stored at the Mines and Energy Ministry for more than a year and handed over to Mr. Bolsonaro in late November 2022, after he lost his re-election bid.

The Federal Accounts Court also ruled today that it will audit all gifts received by the head of state at the end of each presidential term. The court did not accept a petition by prosecutors to suspend the pension which Mr. Bolsonaro is entitled to as a former president, should he not return the jewelry within five days.

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