The International Criminal Court (ICC) based in the Dutch city of The Hague, has received a complaint from Brazil's Senate against President Jair Bolsonaro for negligence, incompetence, and anti-scientific denialism in handling the COVID-19 crisis.
This approach, the plaintiffs believe, has led to crimes against humanity, charlatanism and incitement to crime.
Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP), vice chairman of the Senatorial committee known as CPI which investigated Bolsonaro's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thursday announced the ICC had confirmed having received those files.
The CPI has conducted an inquiry and its findings have been included in a report, which in addition to the ICC, has been sent to local bodies such as the Federal Supreme Court (STF). Seven of the 11 senators who participated in the investigation have endorsed the CPI's report, which accuses Bolsonaro of a total of nine crimes.
The ICC has jurisdiction over crimes affecting the international community, including war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and aggression.
From the beginning of the health emergency, Bolsonaro tried to avoid restrictive measures to contain the virus, defended drugs without proven scientific efficacy -such as hydroxychloroquine- and cast doubts about anticovid vaccines. Brazil has so far recorded more than 635,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
According to the CPI report, which was finalized in October of 2021, a total 78 people, including Bolsonaro and ministers and former ministers, needed to be indicted.
The CPI report states that Bolsonaro is to be held accountable for epidemic resulting in death; infringement of preventive health measures; irregular use of public funds; incitement to crime; falsification of private documents; quackery; crime of prevarication; crime against humanity and crime of responsibility.
These crimes are included in the Rome Statute which the ICC is to enforce, it was reported.
The ICC must now decide whether or not to proceed with the investigations against Bolosonaro.