A parliamentary commission of inquiry (ICC) of the Brazilian Senate will demand, Wednesday, October 20, the indictment of President Jair Bolsonaro for a series of crimes “Intentional” during the Covid-19 pandemic which killed more than 600,000 people in his country. After nearly six months of eventful hearings, with moving testimonies and chilling revelations about experiences on “Human guinea pigs” with ineffective remedies, the ICC, made up of senators from various political leanings, delivers a long-awaited report.
The document, of around 1,200 pages, should be read – probably in an abridged version – by rapporteur Renan Calheiros. The latter announced, Tuesday evening, to have retained nine charges against Jair Bolsonaro, including ” crime against humanity “ and “Prevarication”. Those of« homicide » and “Genocide of indigenous populations” were withdrawn at the last minute due to divisions within the ICC.
For the ICC, the crimes cited in the report are “Intentional”, the Bolsonaro government having deliberately decided not to take the necessary measures to contain the circulation of the virus. Extremely serious accusations, which should nevertheless have an especially symbolic scope for the time being, the far-right president benefiting from support in Parliament able to prevent him from opening an impeachment procedure. Likewise, Attorney General Augusto Aras, an ally of Mr. Bolsonaro, can block any indictment.
Essentially political impact
The ICC is also expected to seek indictment of several ministers and the president’s three eldest sons, who called the commission “Masquerade”. “This report will sound like a sentence, but the government is calm. We can criticize the president’s attitude, but not incriminate him “, told the site Uol Fernando Bezerra, head of the government parliamentary bloc in the Senate. The ICC does not have the power to initiate legal proceedings itself, but its revelations could have considerable political impact, as polls already show Jair Bolsonaro losing to left-wing ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva one year away from the presidential election.
The report will be sent to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which has sole jurisdiction to indict those accused by the ICC. In the case of Jair Bolsonaro, specialists consider this indictment unlikely, since it is the responsibility of the Attorney General. After the hearings of several ministers, senior officials or leaders of hospitals and companies, the ICC took a more human turn on Monday, with testimonies from families of Covid-19 victims.
“We deserve an apology from the highest authority in the state (President Bolsonaro). It is not a question of politics. We’re talking about lives ”, said taxi driver Márcio Antônio Silva, who lost his 25-year-old son, on the verge of tears. “What we have seen is the antithesis of what we could expect from a President of the Republic. We have never seen him shed tears of compassion or express his condolences for the grieving Brazilian people ”, added before the ICC Antônio Carlos Costa, president of Rio de Paz, an NGO.
Corruption and “human guinea pigs”
The ICC has investigated the government’s responsibilities in the severe oxygen shortage that has caused the death of dozens of patients by asphyxiation in Manaus (north), Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-containment speech and his denial of the severity of the Covid -19, one “Grippette”. The government is also pinned for delays and suspicions of corruption in the procurement of vaccines.
The commission also looked into the relationship between Brasilia and private health mutuals accused of promoting “Early treatment”, with in particular hydroxychloroquine, the ineffectiveness of which has been scientifically proven.
One of them, Prevent Senior, is suspected of having carried out experiments with this type of treatment without the knowledge of her patients, and of having pressured her doctors to prescribe them to “Human guinea pigs”. “The ICC report is clearly intended to result in the punishment of those responsible, and there are many. We cannot afford not to punish them ”, summarized Tuesday Omar Aziz, chairman of the committee.