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Brazil’s Senate Covid committee says it will “undoubtedly” ask for Bolsonaro’s impeachment

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – “There is no doubt. We will not seem tough in the investigation and then hesitant in the report. Without a doubt, for everything he did,” said rapporteur Senator Renan Calheiros on Tuesday as he arrived at a new CPI session, rushing its last days before the investigation’s findings are presented and voted on by mid-month.

Once passed by the committee, the report will be forwarded to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, which will have to decide whether or not to accept the requests for indictment that may arise from the investigation, which this week summoned the manager of VTCLog medical operator on suspicions that it may have benefited from public contracts during the pandemic.

CPI rapporteur senator Renan Calheiros. (photo internet reproduction)

“There is very important information, we will only forward to the Prosecutor’s Office what is relevant,” while the report will be itemized to be sent to the various state prosecutors’ offices, as well as to the Audit Court (TCU) for appropriate action to be taken.

Senator Calheiros, of the MDB party, explained that in addition to Bolsonaro and some of his Ministers, all “people who actively participated” in the so-called “parallel cabinet”  chosen by the President to advise him during the pandemic, will be indicted.

“These people will be held accountable. We will use common crimes, dereliction of duty, crimes against life, crimes against humanity, and we are considering the crime of genocide in relation to indigenous peoples,” Calheiros said.

In total, the Coronavirus Investigative Committee expects to ask for the indictment of at least 30 people for various crimes, including embezzlement and theft.

Among the main candidates to figure on this list of defendants are the ex-minister of Health Eduardo Pazuello, his former ‘number two’ Elcio Franco, and some of the heads of Precisa Medicamentos medical company, said the CPI’s vice-chair, opposition Senator Randolfe Rodrigues.

“When the CPI is completed, we will be working as intensely as in the committee itself, with a broad agenda in which not all the defendants will necessarily have to answer to the Prosecutor’s Office,” he said.

Rodrigues pointed out that, “unfortunately,” Bolsonaro will be indicted and he believes “that the criminal charges against the President will be, in quantity and quality, greater than those against other” defendants.

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