Dealing with the millionaire jewelry scandal sent by the prince of Saudi Arabia, Jair Bolsonaro has many reasons to be concerned. The way in which the “gifts” entered Brazil, without being declared to Customs; his appropriating the men’s kit; the insistence on releasing women’s jewelry, valued at R$ 16 million, out of protocol – all of this is already very compromising.
But even more hairy is the trouble that can result from the question: what motivated the Saudis to send Bolsonaro these gifts of unusual value, something stratospheric even by the standards of someone like Donald Trump?
This investigation is practically mandatory, in view of the flagrante delicto that Revenue officials gave to former minister Bento Albuquerque and his assistant.
Senator Omar Aziz (PSD-AM), president of the Transparency, Inspection and Control Commission, wants to investigate the case and raises the possibility that the Arab orders could be “retribution” to the fact that the Bolsonaro government sold to a fund from the United Arab Emirates a Petrobras refinery for half the price.
As is known, the United Arab Emirates is a different country from Saudi Arabia, from where the jewels were sent. But even if this is not the way, it is certain that the excavation of the case can bring unwanted fossils to the surface for Bolsonaro.
Faced with this imbroglio, with so much negative news in recent days, it is encouraging for the former president to see that the case is being reported at the Federal Court of Auditors (TCU) by Minister Augusto Nardes, someone who is his fan.
Nardes expressed this admiration for Bolsonaro in an audio message group at the end of last year, with agribusiness entrepreneurs, in which he defended a coup d’état. In the dialogue, after commenting on a certain movement in the barracks, he stated: “Today we are a conservative society, which does not accept the changes that are being imposed, and which has awakened, this is very important”. Bolsonaro would be, according to him, the right person to lead the nation, despite having lost the election.
After Folha de S. Paulo released the audio, Nardes claimed health problems to leave TCU. He returned quietly, without any punishment being imposed on him, and did not have the initiative to declare himself impeached when he was drawn as rapporteur for the jewelry case.
The result of this mess is the decision announced yesterday. Amidst some cliché criticism, Nardes allows the former president to keep jewelry that is not his, but belongs to the Brazilian state.
Amid so much bad news, Nardes’ condescending performance is a true gem for Bolsonaro.
The freak has been criticized backstage in court by her own peers. Fortunately, it should be reversed in next Wednesday’s session.
The episode served at least as a reminder that Nardes’ coup dialogue should not go unnoticed.
He cannot continue to perform at TCU as if nothing had happened.
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