A Brazilian Senate committee on Tuesday endorsed a report recommending criminal charges against President Jair Bolsonaro, including crimes against humanity, over his controversial handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seven of the 11-member panel voted in favor of the report, which was submitted last week, after a six-month investigation, which also found 77 other people to be indicted, including several ministers and three of Bolsonaro’s children.
The final report of the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee, published on Wednesday, describes the Brazilian president as “the main responsible for the government’s mistakes during the pandemic” that has killed more than 600,000 people in his country.ADVERTISING
In particular, the committee condemned the “deliberate delay” in obtaining vaccines, after the Bolsonaro government preferred to promote ineffective “primitive treatments” such as hydroxychloroquine, which had “tragic repercussions” on the population.
But Bolsonaro insisted after the report was published last Wednesday that he was “not guilty at all”, denying that he had “deliberately exposed” Brazilians to a “large-scale outbreak” of Covid-19.
On Tuesday, Brazil’s Supreme Court called for the president’s use of his social media accounts to be suspended due to him citing false information about COVID-19 .
Senators had called for Bolsanaro to be banned indefinitely from accessing YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram after he claimed fully vaccinated people contracted HIV “much faster than expected”, citing nonexistent fake reports.
However, it is expected that the legal effects of these serious accusations will be symbolic, because the president has support in Parliament that allows him to avoid launching impeachment proceedings against him. Also, Attorney General Augusto Arras, a Bolsonaro ally, can block an indictment of the president.
But its political repercussions could be very dangerous for Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen to the lowest level, and his victory for a second presidential term in next year’s elections seems uncertain