Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was caught on camera threatening to punch a reporter in the face after he was asked a question about alleged corruption by his family members. The journalist had asked for Bolsonaro’s comments about the payments made to his wife Michelle by a long-time aide, who is under investigation for corruption, CNN reported.
“I’d like to punch you in the mouth,” Bolsonaro told the reporter during a visit to the Metropolitan Cathedral in Brasilia on Sunday. The journalist, who worked for Brazil’s leading O Globo newspaper, had asked Bolsonaro about the mysterious deposits made by Fabrício Queiroz — a former associate of his eldest son — to the bank account of Michelle Bolsonaro between 2011 and 2016.
Queiroz was arrested in June, following a corruption investigation into the President’s eldest son Flávio Bolsonaro’s dealings during his time in the state legislature, from 2003 till 2019. The probe was carried out to look into a suspected money laundering and embezzlement scheme carried out by Flávio.
Authorities believe that Queiroz, who once worked as a close aide of Flávio, had a role to play in the alleged corruption. They have claimed that large amounts of money transferred to and from Queiroz’s bank account could be linked to the scheme, Time reported. Quiroz is believed to have transferred around 72,000 Brazilian reals (around Rs. 9,72,000) to First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro’s account, CNN reported.
Meanwhile, Flávio, who is now a senator, has denied all corruption allegations and has claimed that the ongoing investigation is politically motivated. Queiroz’s lawyer has said that his arrest was “totally unnecessary”.
The allegations of corruption have come as a significant blow to President Bolsonaro, who was elected on the promise of weeding out corruption in the Latin American country.