Charges Mount Against Former Brazilian President

Charges Mount Against Former Brazilian President

Date:

Another Charge Against the Former President:

The former President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, was accused of falsifying vaccine records, according to a police report seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

The fraud charge is yet another charge against the former President, who stands accused of attempting to launch a coup and was barred from holding public office until 2030 following what authorities deem abuses of power and misuse of the media following his claims that the electronic voting system had been compromised by a hacker in 2018’s election during a meeting with foreign diplomats.

These claims would lead to a riot in Brazil’s capital, where pro-Bolsonaro demonstrators raided the Capitol, severely damaging the building after rioters broke through police barricades into the building.


Supporters of Brazilian former President Jair Bolsonaro destroy a window of the the plenary of the Supreme Court. (Photo – AFP/Ton Molina)

Investigations revealed that Bolsonaro may have falsified documents relating to his receipt of the COVID-19 vaccination, with the official document stating he was vaccinated in Sao Paulo in July 2021, when he was not in the city.

One of Bolsoanro’s aides, Mauro Cid, has also been accused of falsifying records, with investigators alleging that Cid had illegally obtained false vaccine records for both Bolsonaro and his daughter at the order of the former president.
Bolsonaro has denied the accusation, claiming that he had never attempted to pass off that he was vaccinated, claiming to Reuters that “the world knows that I didn’t take the vaccine.”

Both Bolsonaro and a number of those who worked alongside him while he was acting president have been taken to court on various charges, with Cid having previously been arrested on charges of illegally selling jewelry and other gifts that Bolsonaro received while he was president. The judge who ordered the warrant, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, claimed the proceeds from the sales were sent in cash to Bolsonaro through intermediaries. The justice further cited messages obtained by authorities in which Cid deals with the sale of statues, a palm tree, and a gold-plated boat received as gifts during an official visit to Bahrain. The arrest had followed an investigation into jewelry worth an estimated $3 million given by the Saudi Arabian government as a presidential gift to Bolsonaro, which he failed to declare.


Mauro Cid, who was summoned to testify at the Joint Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry regarding the riots at the Capitol. (Photo – Bruno Spada/Chamber of Deputies)

Authorities seized the former president’s passport in February following accusations that the ex-president was orchestrating a military coup attempt following his electoral loss to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in 2022. Police also issued search warrants against four former ministers, while four former aides were arrested during the operation.

Authorities stated the seizure would minimize Bolsonaro’s flight risk as the case for his alleged coup attempt heats up, with one officer further claiming that there is strong evidence against the former president. Bolsonaro stands accused of sending a draft decree aimed at overturning electoral results to Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes and issuing arrest warrants for Supreme Court justices and a Senate leader. Bolsonaro allegedly modified the decree and pressured military commanders to support a coup.

Analysis:

Following his defeat to leftist Lula da Silva, Bolsonaro has faced a myriad of different charges against him ranging from accusations of supporting a coup, corruption, and the latest of course being the falsification of medical records.

Previously, the former president had resided in Florida mere days before the assault on the Capitol, leading some to speculate he had knowledge of the plans and sought safety in the sunny state while awaiting the results of the attack.

However, the former president returned to Brazil in March 2023, leading to his questioning by police and the various charges now being pressed against him. With his passport seized, it is unlikely that Bolsonaro will be able to flee the country if the possibility of prison time arises.

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