(Brasilia) Brazil’s ex-president Jair Bolsonaro testified before police in Brasilia on Wednesday and denied any wrongdoing, as part of an investigation into jewelry donated by the Saudi government and entered Brazil illegally.

“Jair Bolsonaro’s testimony was calm, (he) answered all questions. It was a great opportunity to clarify the facts, ”tweeted Fabio Wajngarten, former head of communication in the Bolsonaro government and current adviser to the ex-president (2019-2022).

Jair Bolsonaro spent around three hours at police headquarters in the capital Brasilia and left the scene without making a statement to the press.

Federal police and tax authorities are investigating the case, which was revealed in March by the daily Estado de S. Paulo.

According to the newspaper, Brazilian customs seized a set of diamonds worth $3.2 million from the backpack of a former assistant’s assistant at Guarulhos International Airport, near Sao Paulo. minister of the Bolsonaro government.

This minister and his assistant were part of a delegation returning from an official visit to Saudi Arabia in October 2021.

Subsequently, the existence of two other lots of jewelry, valued according to the press at 100,000 and 75,000 dollars, were revealed. They did not appear in the collection of the presidency after Mr. Bolsonaro left, despite the fact that these gifts constitute public property, according to the Court of Auditors of Brazil (TCU).

A source close to the former president told AFP that Mr. Bolsonaro had denied to investigators that he had committed any crime and that he had not known of the jewelry seized until December 2022.

She also explained that subsequent efforts to return the jewelry were intended to avoid “diplomatic vexations,” given the possibility that these high-value gifts from the Saudi state would eventually be auctioned off.

Police did not comment on the former president’s statement.

According to Brazilian law, only gifts “of a highly personal nature or of minimal monetary value” can be kept by the head of state, recalls the TCU.

It was the first time Mr. Bolsonaro appeared before the police as an ex-president, nearly a week after his return to Brazil.