Falsification of vaccination certificates | Police recommend indictment of Jair Bolsonaro

(Rio de Janeiro) Brazilian police on Tuesday recommended the indictment of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, believing they have enough evidence for him to be prosecuted for falsification of vaccination certificates against COVID-19, according to the investigation report.

This investigation report, consulted by AFP, was submitted to the attorney general’s office, which will have to decide whether or not to initiate prosecutions.

According to the federal police, Mr. Bolsonaro and eight other people would be involved in the falsification of vaccination certificates, “with the intention of obtaining undue advantages linked to the circumvention of the health measures established during the pandemic period”.

The facts would have taken place between November 2021 and December 2022, according to the 231-page investigation report.

Jair Bolsonaro traveled to the United States in December 2022, two days before the end of his mandate and the inauguration of current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, against whom he failed in his re-election bid.

Mr. Bolsonaro’s daughter, his former right-hand man Mauro Cid, advisors and a federal deputy also allegedly benefited from the fraud, according to the federal police.

The offense targeted is the association of criminals with a view to introducing false data into the public system.

Fabio Wajngarten, Mr. Bolsonaro’s lawyer, denounced Tuesday a “political persecution”.

“When he was president, (Mr. Bolsonaro) was completely exempt from presenting any certificate during his travels. This is political persecution and an attempt to put pressure on the enormous political capital that has only grown,” he wrote on the social network X.

The former president, aged 68, testified last May before the federal police in Brasilia in connection with this affair. His home was searched as part of the investigation.

At that hearing, he denied the allegations against him and accused authorities of trying to “build a case” against him.

Following a parallel investigation, Brazil’s comptroller’s office determined in January that Mr. Bolsonaro’s vaccination certificate was “fake” after finding inconsistencies between records from the Health Ministry and other official bodies. .

The investigation aimed to determine whether federal officials were involved in the falsification. However, she recommended that the case be closed “for lack of sufficient evidence” to find those responsible, after noting that many officials could enter false data, having access to the vaccination computer system.

During his mandate (2019-2022), the far-right leader continued to criticize anti-COVID-19 vaccines, ensuring that he did not intend to be immunized against the pandemic which caused more than 700,000 dead in Brazil. He later admitted that he had not been vaccinated.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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