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Rio de Janeiro
A Brazilian parliamentary committee said President Jair Bolsonaro should be charged with nine crimes in connection with country’s devastating coronavirus pandemic, including charlatanism and crimes against humanity.
Senator Renan Calheiros presented the committee’s final report into the coronavirus policies of Bolsonaro’s government on Wednesday, following a six month inquiry. Yet what comes next is unclear.
In addition to recommending criminal charges against Bolsonaro, the committee also said he should be impeached.
However, the opening of such proceedings depends on the president of the Chamber of Deputies - who is considered an ally of Bolsonaro.
Two of the most serious crimes that had been under discussion for inclusion in the final report - genocide against the indigenous population and murder - were not included in the list of accusations against Bolsonaro.Besides the president, the report said 65 other people and twobusinesses should face indictments.
The investigative committee consists of 11 members, seven of whom belong to the opposition or are considered independent. They tooktestimony from dozens of people over the past six months.
The committee is expected to vote on the final report next week. Amajority vote is needed to approve the report, which can then be sent to the prosecutor general’s office, who can then decide whether topursue charges.
The committee began its work in April, at the height of Brazil’scoronavirus crisis.
It was tasked with shedding light on the actions and omissions ofright-wing populist Bolsonaro’s government during the pandemic, as well as reviewing the possible misappropriation of federal funds in the country’s fight against coronavirus. Brazil has recorded nearly 22 million coronavirus cases and recentlysurpassed 600,000 deaths.
The health system collapsed in many parts of the country in March andApril.
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