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Brazil’s Former President Indicted For Allegedly Forging Covid-19 Certificate

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Bolsonaro covid-19

On Tuesday, former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was formally accused of falsifying his COVID-19 vaccination data, adding to his legal troubles.

Bolsonaro has been under investigation since last year for allegedly forging his Covid vaccination records during his presidency, during which he faced criticism for downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic.

The federal police indictment, disclosed by the Supreme Court, accused Bolsonaro and 16 others of inputting fabricated data into a public health database to falsely indicate that the former president, his 12-year-old daughter, and several associates had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to reports, throughout the pandemic, Bolsonaro vehemently opposed vaccines, openly disregarding health protocols and urging fellow Brazilians to follow suit. His administration rejected numerous offers from Pfizer to supply tens of millions of vaccine doses in 2020. Additionally, he publicly criticised the governor of Sao Paulo’s decision to procure vaccines from the Chinese company Sinovac when alternative doses were not available.

During questioning in May 2023, Bolsonaro, who had previously admitted he was not vaccinated, denied the charges, saying authorities were trying to “fabricate a case” against him.

His lawyer, Fabio Wajngarten, denounced the police allegations as “absurd,” asserting that as president, Bolsonaro was not required to present any vaccination certificates during his official travels, attributing the situation to “political persecution.”

The police probe revealed that a close aide to Bolsonaro, Army Colonel Mauro Cid, confessed to inputting false data into the public health system.

“I received an order from the former president of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, to insert the false data on behalf of him and his daughter, Laura Bolsonaro. Those certificates were printed, and I delivered them to the president,” Cid said, according to an excerpt of his police statement included in the report.

Cid was apprehended in May 2023 for his role in the scheme and later released following a plea agreement.

According to the police report, several other individuals, including doctors, health officials, lawyers, and soldiers, were implicated in the conspiracy alongside Bolsonaro.

Currently entangled in various legal battles, including an investigation into an alleged coup plot to cling to power after losing the 2022 election, Bolsonaro also faces scrutiny for the purported misappropriation of gifts from foreign nations, such as jewellery presented by Saudi Arabia.

Additionally, Bolsonaro has been barred from holding public office until 2030 due to his attacks on the election system.

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