(Brazilia) Brazilian prosecutors on Friday announced an “open investigation” into charges against President Jair Bolsonaro, suspected of failing to report an occasional corruption attempt in his government, to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.
“In a notice published on Friday morning, the attorney general’s office notified the Supreme Court to open an investigation into the events reported by” three senators who accused Mr. Bolsonaro of “dodging” on Monday, the prosecution explains in a newspaper. Release.
Among them, the deputy chair of the Senate Committee of Inquiry (CPI) on the way the Bolsonaro government handled the health crisis, Randolph Rodriguez, estimated that the head of state “did not take any action after being warned” of a giant network of corruption within the Ministry of Health.
He pointed out that “dribbling is a crime stipulated in the Penal Code.”
Last week, a Health Ministry official, Luis Ricardo Miranda, the department’s director of medical import, told the ICC that he was under “atypical pressure” to agree to buy doses of India’s Covaxin vaccine.
This official and his brother, Representative Luis Miranda, revealed their suspicions to Jair Bolsonaro, but the president took no action.
Now, the deputy attorney general, Humberto Jacques de Medeiros, has asked Supreme Court Justice Rosa Weber for permission to seek evidence in the case and “the potential presentation of evidence” collected by other judicial and legislative bodies.
If the evidence collected is sufficient, the attorney general’s office will ask the Supreme Court to try the head of state.
But for this purpose, the Supreme Court must obtain the approval of two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives, and Mr. Bolsonaro will be removed from office for a period of six months, until the end of the trial.
This scenario seems unlikely, however, given the support the far-right president has in the lower house of parliament.
“Open an investigation” [sur l’accusation de prévarication] It is a defeat for the president but I don’t see any element that guarantees prosecution, political analyst Kriomar de Souza of Dharma Consulting told AFP.
Along with the ICC and the ongoing investigation into the prosecution, the opposition is pushing for the Speaker of the House of Representatives to agree to start impeachment proceedings against Mr. Bolsonaro.
New demonstrations will be held on Saturday in Rio to demand his dismissal.