Former Brazilian President Bolsonaro Indicted for Falsifying Vaccination Records

Former Brazilian President Bolsonaro Indicted for Falsifying Vaccination Records

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been indicted for allegedly falsifying vaccination records, according to a Federal Police indictment unveiled on Tuesday. Bolsonaro, who left office in December 2022, is accused of instructing his aide-de-camp, Mauro Cid, to insert false data into the public health system to make it appear as though he and his daughter had received the COVID-19 vaccine.

The indictment states that Cid assigned someone to carry out the task and printed out the certificates inside the presidential palace on December 22. The certificates were then hand-delivered to Bolsonaro. If the prosecutor-general’s office decides to file charges at the Supreme Court, Bolsonaro could face up to 12 years in prison for tampering with public records.

This is the first indictment Bolsonaro has faced since leaving office. Another ongoing investigation is looking into whether he attempted to smuggle expensive diamond jewelry into Brazil to prevent it from being incorporated into the presidency’s public collection. Additionally, Bolsonaro is being probed for his alleged involvement in the January 2023 uprising in the capital, which aimed to restore him to power.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bolsonaro downplayed the severity of the virus, flouted health restrictions, and discouraged Brazilians from getting vaccinated. Despite Brazil having one of the highest death tolls in the world, Bolsonaro dismissed vaccines as unnecessary and refused to receive a jab himself. His administration also ignored offers from Pfizer to sell millions of vaccine doses in 2020.

Alongside Bolsonaro, his aide Cid and 15 others have been accused of involvement in the scheme to falsify vaccination records. Bolsonaro’s lawyers released a statement denying that he ordered or knew about the production of false certificates. They also claimed that Bolsonaro was exempt from presenting a vaccination certificate when he entered the U.S. in December 2022.

The police detective who signed the indictment is awaiting information from the U.S. Justice Department to determine whether the false vaccination certificates were used upon Bolsonaro’s arrival and stay in American territory. If confirmed, further charges could be brought against Bolsonaro.

The indictment has reignited a Senate committee inquiry that previously recommended nine criminal charges against Bolsonaro for mismanaging the pandemic. Bolsonaro’s successor, Paulo Gonet, met with committee members to discuss reopening investigations and continuing ongoing probes.

Despite the indictment, Bolsonaro still maintains strong support among his political base. Last month, thousands of his supporters gathered in Sao Paulo to protest what they perceive as political persecution. However, political analysts suggest that the indictment may lead to further convictions and potential arrest for Bolsonaro.

Author: CrimeDoor

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