Brazilian senators recommend Bolsonaro face charges over Covid handling

Brasilia, Oct 26 (EFE).- A Brazilian Senate committee on Tuesday recommended President Jair Bolsonaro face criminal charges, including of crimes against humanity, over his handling of Covid-19 in the country, which has the world’s second-highest death toll.

After a six-month investigation, the committee’s report was approved by seven votes to four. It reveals in 1,287 pages the findings of the probe carried out by 11 senators on the government’s actions during the pandemic, which has killed more than 606,000 people in Brazil.

The commission called for prosecutors to try Bolsonaro on nine charges, including crimes against humanity, charlatanism, inciting crime, falsification of documents and misuse of public funds.

The report also presents serious accusations against another 78 people and two companies.

The accusations against the far-right leader, who has denied wrongdoing, will be presented to Prosecutor-General Augusto Aras, a Bolsonaro appointee, as well as regular courts, the Supreme Court and the International Criminal Court for decisions on whether to file charges.

Throughout its work, the committee held 69 hearings in which it questioned almost 100 people and discovered indications of alleged fraud in negotiations for the purchase of vaccines, a structure for the dissemination of fake news and an alleged government contagion “strategy.”

It claims Bolsonaro repeatedly encouraged the public to violate social distancing measures, opposed the use of masks, promoted crowds and tried to disqualify vaccines.

The document also requested he be suspended indefinitely from social media networks, on which he is very active and has used to spread false information about the pandemic.

In its conclusions, the report includes the decision to create a memorial for those who died from Covid-19 and proposes that a pension equivalent to a minimum wage be granted to “Covid orphans,” as children who have lost at least one parent are known and that, according to a recent report published in The Lancet, are believed to total about 113,000.

The last minute of the parliamentary session was spent in silence in memory of the victims. EFE


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