“Brazil Supreme Court Dismisses Bolsonaro’s Plea for Passport Return for Israel Trip”

Brazil’s top court has nixed a plea from ex-president Jair Bolsonaro’s legal team for the return of his passport for a trip to Israel, as per a document out Friday.

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A statement from Bolsonaro’s attorneys on Thursday mentioned an invite from Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu for a May event, urging the Supreme Court to hand back his travel doc.

“Totally premature to lift the restriction on the investigated individual,” penned Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes in his verdict, echoing the prosecutor general’s office’s guidance that Moraes referenced.

The snagging of Bolsonaro’s passport, to be exact, aimed to block him from ditching the country, considering “the risk to ongoing criminal probes and the likely enforcement of penal laws,” the prosecutor general’s folks had pointed out before in their judgement.

During a February operation, Fed Police nabbed Bolsonaro’s passport as part of a probe into whether he, with his top crew, schemed to dismiss the 2022 poll outcome and spark rebellion to cling to power despite losing. Bolsonaro came up short against his opponent, now president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Bolsonaro’s legal eagles lodged the passport request at the Supreme Court on Monday, coinciding with The New York Times dropping security cam clips showing Bolsonaro’s two-night stay at Hungary’s embassy in Brasilia, days post losing his passport.

Bolsonaro’s embassy hangout fueled chatter he might be trying to dodge arrest, as agents couldn’t step into embassy territory, what with diplomatic rules limiting entry.

His lawyers brushed off that notion, arguing in another statement that ducking authorities or hunting for asylum was “illogical.” Bolsonaro’s embassy visit was just part of his political dealings with Hungary’s government, with whom he’s got a “well-known alignment,” they claimed.

In their Supreme Court plea for the green light for Israel travel from May 12 to 18, Bolsonaro’s attorneys claimed the trip wouldn’t mess with his legal issues, citing post-return engagements he’s got lined up.

The ask didn’t lay out what event Bolsonaro was aiming to catch, but the timing matched up with Israel’s Independence Day celebrations.

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