Bolsonaro’s son dismisses idea of father’s extradition to Brazil by US

Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro (above) does not have a deadline to return to Brazil, said his son. PHOTO: AFP

BRASILIA - The eldest son of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday that his father does not have a deadline to return to Brazil and dismissed the idea of extradition by the US.

Mr Bolsonaro travelled to the US late last month, two days before the end of his term, skipping the inauguration of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Congressional Democrats have pushed President Joe Biden to kick Mr Bolsonaro out of the US, after his supporters vandalised government buildings in Brasilia on Jan 8, protesting Mr Lula’s victory and trying to unseat him.

“The far left in the US plays the role of the far left here. They push for a political issue,” Senator Flavio Bolsonaro told reporters in Brasilia.

“I believe that the US is a serious country that won’t do anything illegal.”

Mr Flavio Bolsanaro said that his father entered the US with a diplomatic visa and that, if he has not already converted to a tourist visa, he will do so.

The State Department says an individual has 30 days to depart the US or change visa status after leaving government service.

Mr Biden could have the authority to declare Mr Bolsonaro persona non grata and order him out of the country. But that measure is generally used for a foreign diplomat, not a former head of state, and it’s not clear if it applies in this case. 

At home, Mr Bolsonaro will face the scrutiny of Brazilian authorities who have authorised a probe into his alleged role in the Jan 8 riots.

If Mr Bolsonaro believed he faced the risk of jail by returning home, he could seek asylum or challenge a move to extradite him in US courts.

Supporters of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, pray for his health outside his rental home in Kissimmee, Florida, on Jan 12, 2023. PHOTO: AFP

Mr Bolsonaro’s son said that his father is “very calm” and follows what is happening in his homeland “with a clear conscience that he gave his best for Brazil.”

“He’s resting. Did you guys ever take a vacation?” the senator said to reporters.

“It could be tomorrow, it could be six months from now, he could never come back. I don’t know.”

Former first lady Michelle Bolsonaro exits the couple’s Florida rental home, on Jan 11, 2023. PHOTO: AFP

Former first lady Michelle Bolsonaro returned to Brazil on a flight that landed in the nation’s capital on Thursday night, local media reported.

Mr Flavio Bolsonaro also said that his father’s health is fine, but that he might have to undergo surgery.

The procedure would be the latest in a series of intestinal surgeries the conservative leader has required since being stabbed in the abdomen during a campaign rally in 2018. BLOOMBERG

A 2018 photo shows Jair Bolsonaro (left) with his son Flavio Bolsonaro (R) at a press conference in Brasilia. PHOTO: AFP

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