Coronavirus

Covid inquiry will “definitely” recommend Bolsonaro’s indictment

President Jair Bolsonaro faces indictment after Covid inquiry final report. Photo: Alan Santos/PR
President Jair Bolsonaro faces indictment after Covid inquiry final report. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

Rapporteur of the Senate’s Covid inquiry, Renan Calheiros confirmed that the committee’s final report will recommend the indictment of Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. According to the inquiry, Mr. Bolsonaro had direct involvement in aggravating the coronavirus pandemic in the country, which has led to almost 600,000 deaths. The inquiry’s final report is expected to be delivered on October 19.

“You can be sure he will [be indicted]. We’re not going to be tough in the investigation and lenient in the final report. [Mr. Bolsonaro] certainly [will be indicted] because of his actions,” said Mr. Calheiros, speaking to journalists ahead of Tuesday’s Covid inquiry sitting.

In recent days, the rapporteur has avoided questions on whether the inquiry’s final report will seek to press charges against the president. Mr. Calheiros has met with several legal scholars who have assisted him in drafting the final report — which should include at least 30 suspects, according to committee chairman Omar Aziz.

One of the groups of legal scholars assisting Mr. Calheiros was led by lawyer Miguel Reale Jr., who suggested the rapporteur suggest the indictment of Jair Bolsonaro for nine crimes, including violating the population’s constitutional right to health, inciting crime, charlatanism, and crimes against humanity. The first of these offenses would involve opening an impeachment process against the president.