After attacks by Bolsonarist extremists on the headquarters of the three Powers of the Republic on the 8th, speculation grew about a possible extradition request from former President Jair Bolsonaro, who traveled to the United States shortly before the end of his term, refusing to to pass the sash to his successor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
The forecast for the return of the former representative is for the end of January, however, the return can be advanced if the Brazilian State and the Justice of the United States consider that Bolsonaro should be extradited.
+ ‘If Bolsonaro has a stake, he has to be punished’, says Lula
What is extradition?
Extradition is an act of international cooperation that consists of sending a person investigated, prosecuted or convicted of one or more crimes to the country that requested the request.
The measure may be requested both for the purpose of conducting an investigation or criminal proceedings against the person sought (instructional extradition), as well as for the fulfillment of a sentence already imposed (enforceable extradition).
For the extradition to actually take place, it is necessary to decree preventive detention or a definitive sentence of deprivation of liberty.
Can Bolsonaro be extradited?
The president of the International Law Commission of the Subsection of the Metropolitan Region of Fortaleza of the Brazilian Bar Association, Emanuel Pessoa, explained how the extradition process of the former president could take place.
“For Bolsonaro to be extradited, Brazil must make a request to the US government. This request needs to point out the reason for the extradition, so the crime needs to be pointed out and this motivation would have to be a punishable fact in the United States”, said Pessoa.
If accepted by the US, the former president would have the right to defend himself on US soil. “He is called to present the reasons why the US government should deny his extradition”, explains the lawyer. Still, for Pessoa, Bolsonaro’s extradition is possible, but encounters difficulties.
“It is very difficult to do this extradition like this. He can claim that he is suffering political persecution and ask for asylum in the United States, which would set his base on fire and worsen the pacification situation in Brazil, ”he noted.
Petition for extradition
On January 9, Senator Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL) filed a petition with the Federal Supreme Court (STF) requesting the extradition of Jair Bolsonaro from the United States.
The parliamentarian claims that extradition would facilitate the adoption of more radical measures against the former president. Calheiros points out in the document that the “coup mob” that vandalized “has been fed for a long time” by Bolsonaro.
“His conscience in the face of the illegality that he practiced with such speeches was undeniable, as well as the conscience of his responsibility for the consequences: on the pretext of being absent from the ceremony of passing the banner for the elected President of the Republic [Lula]on January 1, 2023, Jair Messias Bolsonaro, fled to the United States, using the presidential plane, and until today he has not returned”, noted the senator.
Emanuel Pessoa says, however, that the process is not just up to the parliamentarian’s request.
“For him to be extradited, the Executive, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, makes the extradition request, it is not Renan Calheiros or any other senator”, said the lawyer, who highlighted: “It is necessary to know if in the United States he is considered anti-democratic acts are also a crime, it is very difficult for them to accept something that is not a crime”.
“Lula knows that this extradition request would set Bolsonaro’s base on fire and these invasions that we had on the 8th would be “fingerprints” compared to what could happen. So the government today is waiting for the Brazilian courts to subpoena Bolsonaro and for him to return to defend himself,” said Pessoa.
US asks Bolsonaro to revoke visa
On January 12, a group of 46 Democrats sent a letter to the President of the United States, Joe Biden, asking for the revocation of the visa used by Jair Bolsonaro to enter the country.
Bolsonaro is believed to have entered the US on an A-1 visa, intended for politicians and diplomats. However, according to Emanuel Pessoa, this type of visa expires 30 days after leaving office.
“We understand that since Mr. Bolsonaro entered the United States when he was still the president of Brazil, he may have done so on an A-1 visa, which is reserved for individuals or diplomats on official visits. We request that you re-evaluate his status in the country to ensure there is a legal basis for his stay and revoke any type of diplomatic visa he may have had.”
Bolsonaro should return to Brazil at the end of the month precisely because of the A-1 visa, if he used it. If he still wishes to stay abroad, he will have to apply for another type of visa.
“The visa expires 30 days after he leaves office. If he has a diplomatic visa and wants to remain in the United States, he will need to convert it and make the change in the country itself or go to an American consulate, not necessarily in Brazil, but I believe he should return before it expires,” he said. the lawyer.
State Department spokesman Ned Price was asked at his daily briefing about Bolsonaro’s situation in the country. He stated that he could not comment on the former president’s individual case because the information is confidential and highlighted that those who lose their official visa and are still in the US need to “leave the country or request a change of migrant status within 30 days” .
Price pointed out that there may be “removal” of someone who does not meet this requirement.
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