Bolsonaro and Michelle adopt different versions that may collide

Denying the evidence is not a good legal defense thesis. Perhaps for this reason, former President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) decided to promote a particular reading of Article 312 of the Penal Code, to avoid its framing.

The article typifies the crime of embezzlement and says the following: “A public official appropriates money, value or any other movable property, public or private, that he has in possession due to his position, or diverts it, for the benefit of Penalty: imprisonment from 2 (two) to 12 (twelve) years and a fine”.

Bolsonaro, after denials, admitted to being in possession of valuable jewels sent by the bloodthirsty dictator of Saudi Arabia. Such jewels with the former president as recipient were not held up at customs.

And he said more: it is a “very personal” gift, that is, yours and not from the Brazilian nation, represented by the Union.

With the “very personal” —in the sense of referring to the person receiving the gift— Bolsonaro tries, legally, to say that he did not have the intention, the deceit, of appropriating Union assets. This is because they are the jewels of your property.

His uncontrolled greed — known since his time as an Army officer with incursions into mining practices — made Bolsonaro keep the jewels in his possession. If he had good intentions, he would deposit the gift until a final decision on its eventual origin.

As they say in slang, this thesis is tricky and doesn’t stick. It has already been used in defense by former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. He received 2200 pure diamonds from the Central African dictator Bokassa I. The dictator-emperor, during the French colonization, was a sergeant in the French army.

Internationally and nationally, republican systems, in order to avoid co-options and corruption, operate with strict ethical rules and express prohibitions.

As a rule, the President of the Republic receives a mandate for a fixed period of time from the voters. While in office, he personifies the nation. A gift received by the head of state belongs to the citizens. In this way, each and every gift, treat, belongs to the nation’s treasury. It forms part of the Union’s heritage.

An exception to the rule occurs when the gift has a clearly personal nature, not characterizing co-option, self-serving adulation.

There are countless examples of simple and meaningful treats:

  • Marinella ties, always presented by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at G7 meetings.
  • Cleopatra gave a valuable rug to the Roman emperor Julius Caesar. Her intention was to have the Roman military on her side.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin gave 12 cases of vodka, the Russian product par excellence, to Berlusconi, who in turn reciprocated with cases of prosecco. There was no thought of embezzlement.

In the Bolsonaro case, the goods were too valuable to be framed in an unpretentious Saudi pampering. They are precious jewels, from the famous Swiss jeweler Chopard, founded in 1860, supplier of royalty and famous artists. The brand even added to the treasury of the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II.

In summary, Bolsonaro, in future criminal proceedings, must deposit the jewels in court to try to characterize his good faiththe absence of intent, or rather, not having acted with intentional and criminal appropriation of the assets.

Michelle diverges from Bolsonaro and says she didn’t know

In the center of Rio de Janeiro, at Rua do Ouvidor, number 139, the famous goldsmith Carlos Marin worked.

He was the maker, in July 1841, of the imperial crown of Pedro II, considered by masters of the size of a Louis Chopard as one of the most beautiful. Not even the one taken by Napoleon Bonaparte from the hands of Pope Pius VII was so precious and beautiful.

At the coronation, Pedro II was 15 years old and held the golden crown with almost two kilos, 639 diamonds and 77 pearls. Notice to sailors: there is no record of a visit by Jair Bolsonaro to the Imperial Museum of Petrópolis, where the crown is on display.

After half a century as head of state, Pedro II left office, after the proclamation of the Republic, without wanting to take the crown, treasures and crown jewels.

Pedro II appropriated absolutely nothing. And he didn’t even try to steal anything from Brazil. The jewels and riches belonged to Brazil and not to the emperor. And he left here his most brilliant and valuable jewel.

The Republic came with the citizens choosing their representatives for a mandate with a certain time. Along came popular sovereignty. And the rule was established that the ruler could not confuse public and private assets.

As it turned out, a second and retained package of jewelry sent by the Saudi dictator was intended for the then first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro. The jewels legally seized by the Federal Revenue are valued at R$ 16.5 million.

Michelle didn’t even dare, unlike Bolsonaro, argue the thesis of the “personalistic gift”, subjective.

Her legal thesis is very different and contrasts with that presented by her husband. She denied having knowledge of what happened. She didn’t know about the gifts, she stressed in defense.

So far, there are no elements linking Michelle to her husband’s desperate acts of appropriating the valuable jewels seized at any cost. Even those that would have been intended for his wife.

Bolsonaro, as President of the Republic and eight times, tried to obtain the seized goods, with “carteiradas”. He even used a courier displaced on a FAB plane. And pressed no more power.

There is proof of Bolsonaro’s attempts to deceive the Federal Revenue and receive the goods that, due to the floor of the carriage, led to the dictator’s liberality with the intention of giving Michelle a gift.

With Michelle’s denial, Bolsonaro is in a worse situation. In fact, Bolsonaro was committed to releasing the jewels.

The unanswered question is whether Bolsonaro would pass them on to his wife Michelle.

Only careful investigations will be able to demonstrate possible involvement of Michelle in a “pactum sceleris” (criminal pact) with her husband Jair Bolsonaro.

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