Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro indicted for allegedly falsifying Covid vaccination data

Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro indicted for allegedly falsifying Covid vaccination data - Crime and Courts - News

Brazil’s Former President Jair Bolsonaro Indicted for Alleged Covid-19 Vaccination Data Fraud

Former President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, faces allegations of fraud concerning the falsification of Covid-19 vaccination data during his tenure. According to reports from affiliate News Finder Brasil on March 28, 2023, Bolsonaro is under investigation for ordering one of his closest aides to input false vaccination records into the Ministry of Health’s system for himself and his daughter.

The federal police have amassed evidence suggesting that Bolsonaro acted intentionally in the alleged incident. News Finder Brasil reported that besides Bolsonaro, his closest aide, Lieutenant-Colonel Mauro Cid, and 15 other individuals have been indicted for their involvement in the suspected fraud scheme.

Bolsonaro’s lawyer, Fabio Wajngarten, has dismissed these allegations as absurd. In a statement released to X, he argued that the entire world is aware of Bolsonaro’s stance on vaccination and that he had never been required to present a vaccine certificate while serving as president.

Last May, Brazilian authorities conducted searches and seizures in Bolsonaro’s residence in Brasilia regarding the suspected falsified vaccination data. At that time, Bolsonaro publicly stated that he had not been vaccinated against Covid-19 and that his vaccination card remained untampered.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Brazil will now decide whether to pursue the indictment following this investigation. Bolsonaro, who was frequently criticized for minimizing the virus’s severity during the pandemic, drew ire both domestically and internationally. He publicly defied a UN requirement that foreign delegations be vaccinated to enter its headquarters in New York, resulting in multiple members of his delegation testing positive for the virus.

Bolsonaro is currently grappling with a host of legal challenges, including an investigation into an alleged coup plot aimed at retaining him in power after the 2022 presidential election. Several former ministers and some of his aides have been arrested as part of this investigation.

Following Bolsonaro’s narrow defeat to leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the 2022 election, his supporters rioted and stormed government buildings in Brasilia on January 8, 2023. Bolsonaro has denied any involvement or incitement to these violent attacks.

Bolsonaro was barred from running for political office until 2030 by Brazil’s highest electoral court in 2021, citing the misuse of public media and an abuse of power during his campaign for the election.