Bolsonaro trial poised for verdicts in Brazil

Judges are set to begin giving findings in Brazilian ex-president Jair Bolsonaro’s trial on allegations of abuse of office on Tuesday, a case that might prevent him from running in the 2026 elections.

The Superior Electoral Tribunal is prosecuting the far-right former president for a televised meeting with foreign diplomats in July 2022, three months before his election defeat to leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, during which Bolsonaro made unproven allegations of security flaws in Brazil’s electronic voting system.

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The trial resumed late Tuesday, and the court’s seven judges are anticipated to begin issuing rulings one by one, beginning with the case’s main judge, Benedito Goncalves.

According to insiders, the court is almost set to convict Bolsonaro, who skipped the first session of the trial in Brasilia last week to greet supporters and attend events in Porto Alegre.

“Everyone is saying I’m going to be found ineligible” to run for office, Bolsonaro acknowledged in an interview with newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.

“I’m not going to lose hope… I’m going to continue doing my part,” added the 68-year-old ex-president, who remains a powerful — if divisive — force in Brazil.

Bolsonaro faces an eight-year ban on running for public office if found guilty of the charges of abusing his office and misusing state media.

A third court date has been scheduled for Thursday if the judges do not finish delivering their rulings, and the case could potentially be extended longer.

“Bolsonaro awaits the decision with respect,” the ex-leader’s lawyer, Tarcisio Vieira, told reporters before entering the courtroom.

He said the evidence was “fragile for a sanction of that magnitude.”
Earlier, Bolsonaro’s lawyer said that if necessary he would appeal to the Supreme Court.

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