Bolsonaro agrees to testify in person in federal inquiry

Bolsonaro agrees to testify in person in federal inquiry
Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR

The Supreme Court was set to decide whether President Jair Bolsonaro would be forced to give in-person testimony to the Federal Police as part of an investigation into his alleged attempts to tamper with probes that targeted his family and friends. However, at the last minute, Mr. Bolsonaro rendered the trial moot by voluntarily agreeing to testify in person.

For almost a year, Mr. Bolsonaro has worked to avoid the requirement to testify in person, hoping to answer questions in writing instead — a prerogative offered to other presidents in the past. Sources close to the president said his decision was a face-saving measure, preserving his agency as opposed to being forced by the court.

Moreover, government officials believe the case will amount to nothing, expecting it to be closed as soon as the president’s testimony is gathered.

The investigation was opened early last year, when former Justice Minister Sérgio Moro resigned accusing President Bolsonaro of trying to interfere with the Federal Police’s inner workings for spurious interests. Circumstantial evidence suggests that was the case, but there is a lack of hard proof the president committed a crime.