Brazilian police search Bolsonaro's home in falsified vaccine cards probe
A federal police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she wasn’t authorised to speak publicly, said that Mr Bolsonaro will be deposed at Federal Police headquarters and confirmed that one of his closest allies, Mauro Cid, was arrested.
The Federal Police said officers were carrying out 16 searches and six arrests in Rio de Janeiro related to the introduction of fraudulent data related to the Covid-19 vaccine into the nation’s health system.
Local media reported that the vaccine cards of Mr Bolsonaro, his advisers and his family members were altered. During the pandemic, the far-right leader spent months sowing doubt about the efficacy of the vaccine and defiantly refusing to get a shot.
“There was no adulteration on my part, it didn’t happen,” Mr Bolsonaro told reporters today after the search. “I didn’t take the vaccine, period. I never denied that.”
The search adds to Mr Bolsonaro’s mounting legal troubles. Federal police have questioned him at their Brasilia headquarters twice in the past month related to separate investigations — first, about three sets of diamond jewellery he received from Saudi Arabia and, second, regarding his potential role in sparking the January 8 uprising by his supporters in the capital.
Mr Bolsonaro is also the subject of several investigations by Brazil’s electoral court into his actions during the presidential election campaign, particularly his unsubstantiated claims that the nation’s electronic voting system is susceptible to fraud.
Those threaten to strip him of his political rights and render him unable to run for office in upcoming elections.
Separately, Mr Bolsonaro and his allies are also facing a sprawling Supreme Court-led investigation regarding the spread of alleged falsehoods and disinformation in Brazil, and a federal police investigation for the alleged genocide of the indigenous Yanomami people in the Amazon rainforest by encouraging illegal miners to invade their territory and thereby endangering their lives.
The former president has denied any wrongdoing in all of the various cases under investigation.