Criminal charges against Bolsonaro get approval

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 28 Oct 2021

A Brazilian Senate commission approved a damning report that recommends criminal charges be brought against President Jair Bolsonaro, including crimes against humanity, for his Covid policies.

Seven of the panel's 11 senators voted to endorse the text, which also calls for the indictment of 77 others, including ministers and three of Bolsonaro's children.

The 1,000-page-plus report urges Brazil's Supreme Court to suspend the far-right leader's access to his social media accounts after alleging falsely that Covid-19 vaccines were linked to AIDS.

The report found Bolsonaro "deliberately exposed" Brazilians to "mass infection" in a disastrous attempt to reach herd immunity against the coronavirus. And 606,000 have died from Covid.

It also calls for the president to be indicted for crimes related to his playing down Covid-19 and flouting expert advice on containing it.

They include "crimes against humanity," "prevarication" and "charlatanism."

The Senate panel does not have the power to bring charges, and it is unlikely the attorney general or lower-house speaker - Bolsonaro allies - will open criminal or impeachment cases.

But the report adds to the damage as Bolsonaro reels from his lowest-ever ratings heading into an election next year.

And the crimes against humanity charge has the potential to go to the International Criminal Court.

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