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Business News/ News / World/  Brazil news: Ex-President Jair Bolsonaro indicted for giving false Covid-19 vaccination data
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Brazil news: Ex-President Jair Bolsonaro indicted for giving false Covid-19 vaccination data

The federal police of Brazil on Tuesday indicted former president Jair Bolsonaro in a case related to falsifying his own COVID-19 vaccination records to benefit the far-right leader and his close family members

A file photo of Jair Bolsonaro, former president of Brazil (Photo: Reuters)Premium
A file photo of Jair Bolsonaro, former president of Brazil (Photo: Reuters)

The federal police of Brazil on Tuesday indicted former president Jair Bolsonaro in a case related to falsifying his own COVID-19 vaccination records to benefit the far-right leader and his close family members, newswire AP reported.

The Brazilian Supreme Court today released the federal police's indictment that alleges the former president and 16 others in his close circle provided false information into the public health database to make it appear as if they had received the COVID-19 vaccine during the pandemic.

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The indictment comes one year after the federal police searched Bolsonaro’s residence to investigate if the former president and his close circle provided false data into the health ministry’s database as proof of vaccination ahead of international trips.

It is important to note that the former Brazilian president was among the few world leaders who openly criticized the COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic, breached health restrictions and encouraged society to follow his example. 

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The then Bolsonaro administration not only ignored emails sent by leading pharmaceutical firms like Pfizer offering to sell tens of millions of COVID-19 vaccines to Brasília in 2020, but also openly criticized Joao Doria, then governor of Sao Paulo state, for buying shots from Chinese company Sinovac when it was no available.

The report said that now the ball is in the court of the attorney general of Brazil, who will have to decide whether to file a complaint based on police indictment or close the case. A complaint, if filed, would be judged by the Supreme Court, which could eventually convict Bolsonaro

The former president denied any wrongdoing during questioning in May 2023.

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The federal police have accused the former president and his aides of tampering with the health ministry’s database shortly before the US visit in December 2022. Bolsonaro needed a certificate of vaccination to enter the US, where he remained for the final days of his term and the first months of Lula’s term.

If convicted for falsifying health data, the 68-year-old former president could spend up to 12 years behind bars, and as little as two years, according to legal analyst Zilan Costa. 

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Published: 19 Mar 2024, 08:30 PM IST
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