Senate Commission Leading Pandemic Investigation Wants to Indict Bolsonaro for Quackery and Medical Charlatanism

Senator Renan Calheiros states that the testimony of an ivermectin manufacturer made clear the crimes that were committed

The Senate commission that is investigating the government's handling of the pandemic decided on Wednesday (11) that it will suggest indicting President Jair Bolsonaro for the crimes of faith healing, charlatanism, epidemics and misleading advertising, among others. Together, they can result in a maximum sentence of more than 18 years in prison.

The measure was discussed on Wednesday (11) between the president of the commission, senator Omar Aziz (PSD-AM), the vice president, Randolfe Rodrigues, and the rapporteur, Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL). A detailed internal report has already been made listing the crimes and their penalties.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro delivers a speech during the signing ceremony of the Provisional Measure that changes the rules for fuel trade, at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on August 11, 2021. (Photo by EVARISTO SA / AFP) - AFP

After completing its work, the commission will prepare a report and forward it to the Federal Public Ministry with suggestions for indictment. According to Renan Calheiros, the decision was taken after the first part of the testimony of the director of pharmaceutical Vitamedic, Jailton Batista, in which it was clear that the company sponsored the advertising of the early treatment and the covid kit, which included ivermectin, as if it had an effect against Covid-19, which is not true. President Jair Bolsonaro was one of the main propagators of the drug's use in Covid's treatment.

The Penal Code defines as an epidemic crime the practice of "causing an epidemic, through the propagation of pathogenic germs," with foreseen imprisonment for ten to fifteen years. The crime of charlatanism, in turn, provides for a fine and imprisonment from three months to one year, while the crime of charlatanism provides for imprisonment from six months to two years.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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