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Bolsonaro questioned by Brazil police in vaccination forgery case

Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro leaves the federal police headquarters in Brasilia after testifying in an investigation into an alleged scheme to forge Covid-19 vaccination certificates, on May 16, 2023
Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro leaves the federal police headquarters in Brasilia after testifying in an investigation into an alleged scheme to forge Covid-19 vaccination certificates, on May 16, 2023 - Copyright AFP EVARISTO SA
Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro leaves the federal police headquarters in Brasilia after testifying in an investigation into an alleged scheme to forge Covid-19 vaccination certificates, on May 16, 2023 - Copyright AFP EVARISTO SA

Former Brazilian president Jair Boslonaro spoke to police for several hours Tuesday as part of an investigation into the alleged forgery of Covid-19 vaccination certificates for himself and his inner circle.

Bolsonaro, whose house was raided as part of the same investigation earlier this month, arrived at the federal police headquarters in Brasilia around 1:40 pm (1640 GMT) in a car with tinted windows, and left four hours later without speaking to the press, an AFP photographer said.

In his “approximately three hours” of testimony to police, the far-right, vaccine-skeptical former president denied involvement in the alleged plot, Bolsonaro advisor Fabio Wajngarten said on Twitter.

Bolsonaro “answered all the questions,” according to Wajngarten, and “reiterated that he had never been vaccinated, that he was unaware of any and all initiatives for eventual forgery, insertion, or adulteration in his vaccination card as well as that of his daughter.”

Federal police say they uncovered a scheme in which a top Bolsonaro aide, army colonel Mauro Cid, allegedly tapped a network of contacts in the health system and government to obtain fraudulent vaccination certificates for Bolsonaro, the president’s daughter, himself, his wife and daughters, and two other presidential aides.

Police have said there was evidence Bolsonaro was “fully aware” of the fraudulent entries in the health ministry’s electronic vaccination records system, which they said aimed to enable his anti-vaccine inner circle to dodge international travel requirements and other pandemic restrictions.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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