Brazil’s president will be charged with a series of crimes for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, according to a draft of a major investigative report.
The report is the culmination of a six-month investigation that revealed scandals and corruption in the government.
President Bolsonaro was accused of failing to control the virus that killed more than 600,000 Brazilians.
Extracts leaked to the media indicate that the panel wants Mr. Bolsonaro to face nine charges.
Initial drafts of the report recommended that the president be charged with murder and genocide against indigenous groups.
But apparently these recommendations have now been dropped from the 1,200-page report, which leads to allegations of crimes against humanity, falsification of documents and incitement to crime.
Despite the serious allegations, it’s unclear what this means for Bolsonaro, according to BBC South American correspondent Katy Watson.
The draft report has yet to be voted on by the Senate committee, where it could be vetoed and amended, and there is no guarantee that it will lead to criminal charges.
President Bolsonaro dismissed the Congressional inquiry as politically motivated. He has often spoken out against lockdowns, masks and vaccinations.
In March, he told Brazilians to “stop complaining” about Covid, a day after the country saw a record rise in deaths over a 24-hour period.
However, Bolsonaro’s popularity has already been dented by the pandemic and this report could make his life much more difficult if he wants to run for a second term in the 2022 elections in Brazil.
Brazil’s confirmed death toll for Covid is the second highest in the world, behind only the United States.
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Speaking to the BBC before the report was released, the investigator’s rapporteur, Senator Renan Calheiros, said the panel wanted to punish those who contributed to “this slaughter of Brazilians.”
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