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Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro has requested the return of his passport to visit Israel, amidst ongoing legal troubles at home. Bolsonaro’s defence lawyer highlighted the request, stating that international relations are a crucial part of political activities and involve dialogue with global leaders. Bolsonaro’s passport was confiscated following allegations that he participated in creating a draft decree that sought to overturn the results of the 2022 presidential election he lost.

The draft decree also called for the arrest of high-profile officials, sparking comparisons to the groundwork for a coup. Following these revelations, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes issued an order for the seizure of Bolsonaro’s passport and other documents. Federal police conducted an operation to recover the passport, although surveillance footage showed Bolsonaro visiting the Hungarian embassy in Brazil shortly after the police raid, raising questions about potential political asylum or support from far-right leaders like Hungary’s Viktor Orban.

Bolsonaro has defended his visit to the embassy as an effort to foster relations with Hungary and denied any intention of evading possible arrest. He has also petitioned the court for the return of his passport, citing an official invitation from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a trip scheduled from May 12 to 18. This is not the first instance of Bolsonaro travelling abroad amidst political pressure, as he previously left Brazil for central Florida just before the end of his term, leaving his vice president in charge.

During this trip, Bolsonaro faced criticism for disputing the 2022 election results, which showed his opponent Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva winning. Bolsonaro had alleged electoral fraud without evidence, leading to unrest among his supporters. Speculations arose that his sudden trip to Florida was a tactic to avoid accountability in Brazil. While abroad, thousands of his supporters attacked government buildings in Brasilia, with Bolsonaro being investigated for any role he may have played in the attack. Last June, he was banned from running for office until 2030 due to his actions undermining the country’s electoral system.

The situation with Bolsonaro’s passport and potential international travel comes amidst a backdrop of political turmoil and legal scrutiny. As he navigates the fallout from his defeat in the 2022 election and the actions taken since then, Bolsonaro’s decisions regarding his passport and international trips are closely watched. The allegations and controversies surrounding his actions have raised concerns both domestically and internationally, with questions lingering about his motivations and potential strategies to evade accountability in Brazil. The outcome of Bolsonaro’s legal battles and the implications of his actions on Brazil’s political landscape remain uncertain as the former president continues to face challenges and legal scrutiny.

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