Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro may face criminal charges for Covid deaths
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro might face 11 criminal charges with regards to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, a Senator who is in charge of an investigative panel has revealed.
Renan Calheiros in a radio interview said the probe will recommend charges such as genocide against the country's indigenous population, malfeasance, irregular use of public funds, violation of sanitary measures, incitement to crime and forgery of private documents, Reuters reported.
Along with Bolsonaro, the President’s sons and his former health minister Eduardo Pazuello are also likely to be charged, Calheiros said.
The report is scheduled to be released by the Senate investigative panel next Tuesday. And on the next day, the panel's members would vote on approving the text before sending it on the attorney general’s office on Thursday to decide if Bolsonaro and others should be charged.
The attorney general's office can charge the president, but the Supreme Court, which would try him, must request authorization from the lower house to proceed. Experts say the lower house is highly unlikely to sign off on such a request.
The far-right president, who himself was infected with the coronavirus in July 2020, has spoken against lockdown measures, pushed unproven cures, sowed vaccine doubts and downplayed the severity of COVID-19.
Bolsonaro's approval ratings have fallen in public opinion polls over his handling of the public health crisis. More than 600,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Brazil, second only to the United States.
When asked about the country’s death toll, Bolsonaro said he did not want to be “bored” with questions about it.