“They’re trying to silence the witness,” claims Covaxin whistleblower

hearings protection Covaxin whistleblower
Congressman Luis Miranda. Photo: Pablo Valadares/CD

On Tuesday, the Federal Police requested authorization from the Supreme Court to investigate Covaxin whistleblower Congressman Luis Miranda for defamation. The measure came as a request of the Justice Ministry.

Mr. Miranda blew the whistle on an alleged corruption scheme in the Bolsonaro government’s purchase of the Indian-made Covaxin vaccine. He claims the administration is trying to intimidate him before he gives his testimony to the same Federal Police in the Covaxin case. The matter is also under investigation in the Senate’s Covid hearings committee and the Federal Prosecution Service.

The whistleblower will provide testimony to the Federal Police next week. “It’s an attempt to intimidate me once again, to try and silence the witness,” he tells The Brazilian Report.

After Mr. Miranda’s revelations — made to the Senate pandemic inquiry — the Federal Police opened its own investigation into whether President Jair Bolsonaro committed malfeasance after being informed of irregularities in the Covaxin contract and taking no action.

The whistleblower is emphatic in saying that his revelations were not intended to target Mr. Bolsonaro. “On the contrary, we complained to the president about the corruption suspicions. Senators were the ones who requested an investigation into the president.”

Mr. Miranda also cited a potential personal vendetta against him on behalf of Justice Minister Anderson Torres. The congressman says Mr. Torres will be a direct adversary of his in next year’s election. “His actions are very convenient,” he adds.