Senator Renan Calheiros, the rapporteur of the Covid inquiry, has included Amazonas Governor Wilson Lima on the committee’s list of recommended indictments. He and his former top health aide are accused of embezzling part of the state’s Covid-19 budget.
However, while Mr. Lima faces criminal charges for fraudulent procurement, the inclusion of his name on the inquiry’s final report appears to have more to do with local political squabbles.
Many of the hearings committee members believe state governments are outside of the inquiry’s jurisdiction. Moreover, Mr. Lima is already under investigation by the Superior Court of Justice, Brazil’s second-highest judicial body. That said, Senator Eduardo Braga — who plans to run against Mr. Lima for Amazonas governor next year — threatened to reject the inquiry’s final report if Mr. Lima’s name was not included.
The Senate inquiry may vote on its final report later today. Prior to the start of Tuesday’s session, rapporteur Renan Calheiros called President Jair Bolsonaro a “serial killer” for his pandemic response.