Brazilian Supreme Court justice has authorized a criminal investigation into President Jair Bolsonaro’s response to allegations of corruption within his health minister, including the Covaxin agreement.
Sao Paulo: The Supreme Court of Brazil has authorized a criminal investigation into President Jair Bolsonaro’s response to allegations of corruption within his health minister, including the Covaxin agreement.
In a ruling on Friday, the Supreme Court Justice Rosa Weber said the investigation was based on recent evidence from a Senate committee investigating the government’s handling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Prosecutors will investigate whether Bolsonaro committed a crime of ‘prevarication’ ’, which included delays or refusal to perform a required act as part of a public servant’s work for personal gain. Weber did not rule out a possibility for further investigation.
The investigation came after Luis Ricardo Miranda, head of the Department of Health’s import unit, said he was under unnecessary pressure to sign a 20 million import vaccine from Bharat Biotech. He said there was a flaw in the invoices – especially the prepaid $ 45 million in a Singapore-based company.
Miranda testified before a Senate committee on June 25 with her brother, Luis Miranda, a lawmaker who had recently met with Bolsonaro. The Mirandas said they had lodged a direct complaint with Bolsonaro, who assured them that he would report the matter to Federal police.
BB denies wrongdoing
However, the Federal Police have not received a request for an investigation, a Federal Police source with information on the investigation told the AP. He spoke anonymously due to a lack of public speaking permission.
The secretary-general of the presidency, Onyx Lorenzoni, confirmed that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had met with the Mirandas, but said they had submitted fraudulent documents. Bolsonaro ordered the brothers to investigate, he said.
Bharat Biotech has denied any wrongdoing in connection with the availability of the vaccine. Bolsonaro has denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of corruption, and told reporters on June 28 that he did not know what was going on within his structures.
The Supreme Court’s decision sheds light on the investigation and clarified the application filed by three senators. Most senators on the pre-commissioning committee told the AP that, once their investigation was completed, they would vote to suggest that Bolsonaro be charged with felony criminal mischief.
The case carries a sentence of between three months and a year, plus a fine.