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Bolsonaro asks Brazil court to return passport for trip to Israel

Former Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, seen here at a political rally on March 16, 2024
Former Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, seen here at a political rally on March 16, 2024 - Copyright AFP Pablo PORCIUNCULA
Former Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, seen here at a political rally on March 16, 2024 - Copyright AFP Pablo PORCIUNCULA

Former right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro, who is under investigation as an alleged coup plotter, asked Brazil’s high court for the temporary return of his passport to visit Israel, his lawyer said Thursday.

The request is “for a fixed term” so Bolsonaro may accept an official invitation to visit Israel between May 12 and 18 with his family, lawyer Fabio Wajngarten wrote on the social network X.

The lawyers made the request in a letter to Federal Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who leads a probe into whether Bolsonaro fomented a “coup attempt” to prevent his 2022 election opponent and current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from assuming office in January 2023. 

As part of that inquiry, police confiscated Bolsonaro’s passport on February 8.

Bolsonaro’s lawyers, who deny the coup accusations, said the “trip does not entail any risk to the process.” 

Courts have barred Bolsonaro from running for public office, and the ongoing scrutiny by prosecutors led his critics to consider him a flight risk.

The New York Times newspaper on Monday published a report that Bolsonaro had slipped into the Hungarian embassy in Brasilia for two days after his passport was confiscated.

Bolsonaro is a close ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who issued him an invitation to visit on February 26, amid a diplomatic crisis between Israel and Brazil.

Israel declared Lula a “persona non grata” after he compared Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip to the Holocaust.

AFP
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