Brazilian commission votes in favor of recommending criminal proceedings against Bolsonaro

Seven of the eleven senators on the commission voted Tuesday night to support the recommendations contained in a 1,288-page report on the pandemic. The document calls for indictments against two companies and 78 people, including Bolsonaro, for the pandemic’s huge toll on the country.

More than 605,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Brazil, the second highest death toll in the world after the United States.

The report alleges that Bolsonaro’s government allowed the deadly coronavirus to spread across the country in an unsuccessful attempt to gain collective immunity. It recommends that the president be personally charged with nine crimes, including incitement to crime, charlatanism and crimes against humanity.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly dismissed the commission’s investigation and the resulting report as politically motivated.

The final document – the result of a six-month investigation – will now be sent to the Brazilian Attorney General’s office. However, Attorney General Augusto Aras is seen as an ally of the president and should not lay charges.

The commission should also send a copy of the report to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

“It’s absurd what these guys did”

The Commission’s rapporteur, Senator Renan Calheiros, presented the report for the first time publicly last week.

He said on Tuesday that the document places responsibility for the uncontrolled pandemic on many Brazilians, but Bolsonaro bears primary responsibility.

“It is (the responsibility) mainly of this president, this serial killer, who has a death drive and keeps repeating everything he has done before,” Calheiros said at a press conference on Tuesday morning. .

Bolsonaro has already dismissed the commission’s findings as biased and complained about the report on Monday in an interview with a local broadcaster in Mato Grosso do Sul.

“They call me a genocidal, a charlatan, a document forger and an exterminator. It is absurd what these guys did,” the president said, referring to lawmakers involved in the commission.

Bolsonaro has long played down the severity of the coronavirus and argued for the need to prioritize Brazil’s economic health. He tested positive for Covid-19 in 2020.

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