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Senate Commission Agrees Brazilian President to be Criminally Charged in Handling the Covid Pandemic


TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Brazil’s Senate investigative committee approved a report that ensnared President Jair Bolsonaro for nine crimes related to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. President Bolsonaro has also been charged with crimes against humanity.

In the 1,300-page report, apart from Bolsonaro 77 other people and two companies also committed crimes. In a report released last week, it called for Bolsonaro Bolsonaro to be charged with genocide and murder. But senators decided to drop the charges because lawmakers said it was for technical reasons. The Senate also voted to add 10 people to the list to be indicted.

Among those charged are Wilson Lima, governor of the remote state of Amazonas. There was a shortage of oxygen in the hospital which resulted in death from asphyxia earlier this year.

Five are being investigated for alleged corruption related to the purchase of medical equipment. “The chaos of Jair Bolsonaro’s government will go down in history as the lowest level of human poverty,” said Senator Renan Calheiros, who was the rapporteur on the report. He added that the president sided with dictators, including Adolf Hitler and Augusto Pinochet.

Five refused to be named on the list of people charged with the indictment. “My name is on the report for political and electoral reasons,” Lima said in a statement. “I wasn’t even investigated by the committee.”

Despite senate approval, Bolsonaro is unlikely to face formal charges. The charges must be filed by Brazil’s president-appointed attorney general. The president has previously dismissed the Senate investigation as a joke.

But the report highlights the declining popularity of the far-right leader ahead of the presidential election. Jair Bolsonaro’s government has failed to contain the pandemic and stem extremely high inflation.

Read: Facebook deletes video of Brazilian president calling Covid-19 vaccine causes AIDS

REUTERS

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