The final report of Covid’s Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI), which will be voted on next Tuesday (26), has the potential to bring concrete consequences to the 68 indicted, including Jair Bolsonaro (non-party), his sons, ministers, businessmen, doctors and companies. This is the assessment of lawyers who participated in the preparation of the document, read this Wednesday (20) by the CPI rapporteur, senator Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL), and other jurists consulted in this article.
The vast report, with over 1000 pages, will be voted on next week and is still subject to change. However, the main points of the document elaborated by the so-called G7, a group formed by opposition or independent senators, must be maintained, such as the crimes of responsibility, crimes against humanity and 7 other crimes attributed to Bolsonaro.
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The biggest point of divergence concerns the performance of the competent bodies to which copies of the report will be sent, especially the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), in cases involving public agents with privileged jurisdiction. There is a new chance for the Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras, to open important inquiries, in the opinion of lawyers Marco Aurélio de Carvalho, from the group Prerogatives of the OAB-SP, who wrote some excerpts of the report, and Belisário dos Santos Jr, a specialist in human rights and former secretary of Justice and Citizenship of the State of São Paulo.
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For Fabiano Silva dos Santos, also from Prerogatives, Aras’s history of repeated rejections of lawsuits against Bolsonaro in the last three years demands caution and may add to political ambitions that are still alive. “As long as this environment of instability persists regarding the appointment of André Mendonça to the STF, I believe that the attorney general will still nurture this desire to be appointed to the Supreme Court”, he opines. Questioned, the PGR said that it does not comment on a report that has not yet been delivered to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, nor has it been approved.
Other destinations for the report are the STF, the Federal Police Department and the Chamber of Deputies, which may create opinions or open investigations on the companies and individuals mentioned. In addition to political wear on the government, Belisário dos Santos Jr. also highlights the CPI’s intention to create possible “two-way streets” between institutions: “In the current configuration of the Republic, the Supreme often sends something to the Public Ministry. well conformed for him to start the investigation”, he exemplifies.
Corruption and herd immunization
In six months of work, after 67 meetings and 190 approved breaches of confidentiality, the commission raised several topics that illustrate the “deliberate exposure of the population to a concrete risk of mass infection”, as shown in the summary of the final report that assigns responsibilities for the crisis experienced in the country by the covid-19 pandemic, which has already claimed 600,000 lives.
During the reading, Renan Calheiros also highlighted the allegations of irregularities in the purchase of vaccines, which he considered “the most serious omission of the federal government”. In the case of the performance of representatives of the Ministry of Health and Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) with emissaries of companies such as Need Medicines in an attempt to sell the Indian vaccine Covaxin, Santos considers that the suspension of payment before the conclusion of the deal it does not nullify the existence of possible criminal practices.
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“In this case, there are signs of fraud in administrative proceedings and improbity, which are already classified as crimes. If it had been made (the payment) there would still have been damage to the treasury and other crimes”, says the professor. He also considers serious the federal government’s attempts to hide the existence of a parallel cabinet, which would have helped to convince the president to direct its policies towards the “herd immunization” of the population, following the recommendation of the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM) in detriment of the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Belisário Jr. recalls that a lawsuit is already being processed in the São Paulo Court for the suspension of the CFM’s resolution, of April 29, 2021, which recommends treatment with preventive medicines. For him, the attitude of the medical council allowed the Ministry of Health, at the time commanded by General Eduardo Pazuello, to choose “to distribute the covid kit instead of taking oxygen to the population of Manaus, at the most acute moment of the crisis”, he says.
Also on Wednesday, during an event in the interior of Ceará, Bolsonaro refuted the work of the parliamentary commission and claimed that it did not produce anything but “rancor and hatred”. “But we know we’re absolutely not to blame. We know that we did the right thing from the first moment”, said the president.
His eldest son, Flávio Bolsonaro (Patriota-SP), accused along with his brother Carlos Bolsonaro (Republicanos-RJ) of leading a fake news dissemination network during the pandemic, imitated his father’s laughter when asked about how his father would have reacted to the accusations: “Look, I think he received it in the following way: do you know that laugh of his? Rare”.
Crimes against humanity
On the eve of the delivery of the report, the leak of the content prepared by Renan Calheiros’ team showed that there were also divergences within the G7. Two weighty accusations against Bolsonaro – that of genocide and aggravated murder – appeared in the document and were later withdrawn, after pressure from the commission’s chairman, Omar Aziz (PSD-AM), which was poorly received by the opposition.
In the assessment of André Lozano, a professor of criminal law, it would be “legally easier” to attribute genocide to the president than to murder, because there would be more elements to prove one of the understandings on the subject, which deals with the intention to decimate a population of indirect way. “Bolsonaro knew that the population was more vulnerable, due to the lack of infrastructure in the villages, and there are changes in policies for these populations and cases of delay in the delivery of vaccines and supplies”, explains Lozano.
If the genocide thesis was not upheld, the crimes against humanity prevailed, which according to Belisário Jr. is a legal standard created in the 1940s for the Nuremberg court, where crimes committed by Nazis were tried. He explains that the International Criminal Court (ICC), to which the indictment can also be forwarded, has an even slower pace than that of the Brazilian justice and “it must be considered that the ICC has been busy with crimes of this magnitude for a long time, and it still does not have a regiment for crimes such as the deliberate adoption of measures already proven to be ineffective for the pandemic”.
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Looking inside Brazil, Carvalho celebrates the new legal trench created in the pursuit of impeachment against Bolsonaro, and predicts that the practical consequences of the CPI will be felt from next year: “If Bolsonaro is strong in the electoral race, it can be that the balance of forces demands greater erosion of justice, increasing the climate of confrontation between the powers”.
Edition: Vinícius Segalla