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Brazil's Supreme Court lifts secrecy on Bolsonaro's alleged vaccination card fraud

Friday, May 5th 2023 - 10:38 UTC
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“President Bolsonaro will be available to the competent authorities, as he always has been, as soon as the defense has access to the records,” said Wajngarten “President Bolsonaro will be available to the competent authorities, as he always has been, as soon as the defense has access to the records,” said Wajngarten

Supreme Federal Court (STF) Justice Alexander De Moraes lifted the seal of secrecy from the probe into former President Jair Bolsonaro's alleged use of a fake vaccination card to enter the United States, Agencia Brasil reported. In the case, Colonel Mauro Barbosa Cid, a former aide of Bolsonaro's, has been placed under arrest.

According to the Federal Police (PF), Cid articulated the issuance of fake vaccination cards against Covid-19. First for his wife, Gabriela Santiago Cid, and their two daughters, and then for Bolsonaro and his underage daughter. In a statement on Wednesday, he remained silent in front of police officers.

The investigations were based on the breaking of Cid's telephone and telematic records as part of another investigation, which deals with a live broadcast in which Bolsonaro associated, without proof, the Covid-19 vaccine with AIDS contamination.

The Federal Police thus had access to data stored by Cid in Google and Apple cloud services, which gave impetus to the investigations. Images of Cid's conversations with several people involved were attached to the case file.

In all, six people were arrested. Besides Cid, also arrested were: military policeman Max Guilherme; Sergio Cordeiro, Bolsonaro's security guard; Sergeant Luiz Marcos dos Reis; former Army Major Ailton Gonçalves Moraes Barros; and the Municipal Secretary of Government of Duque de Caxias (RJ), João Carlos de Sousa Brecha.

Another 16 people were targeted for search and seizure, including former President Jair Bolsonaro, who had his cell phone seized. The cell phone of his wife, Michelle Bolsonaro, was not taken by the police.

Read also: Police raid Bolsonaro's home in Covid-19 vax card probe

The Federal Police pointed to evidence that those involved had committed crimes such as criminal association, fraud, and corruption of minors. The Attorney General's Office (PGR) was against the search and seizure at Bolsonaro's home in Brasilia, but Justice Alexandre De Moraes decided to authorize it at the request of the PF.

“There is no indication in the record that lends credibility to the version that the aide-de-camp of the former President of the Republic JAIR MESSIAS BOLSONARO could have commanded [such a] relevant criminal operation, aimed directly at the then-president and his daughter L.F.B., without, at least, knowledge and acquiescence of that, a circumstance that can only be ascertained by conducting the search and seizure requested by the police authority,” wrote De Moraes.

To carry out the frauds, the former orderly had the help of Sergeant Luiz Marcos dos Reis, whose nephew, doctor Farley Vinícius Alcântara, allegedly issued a fraudulent document to Gabriela Cid from the town of Cabeceiras, in Goiás. He filled out vaccination cards from the Health Secretariat of Goiás and signed them using his stamp and registration number at the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM).

Also according to the investigations, images of the cards were sent in PDF format to 2nd Sergeant Eduardo Crespo Alves, so that he could try to insert the data in the Ministry of Health's system from Rio de Janeiro. The goal was to allow the issuance of the Covid-19 vaccination certificate through the ConecteSUS application.

The attempt failed only because the Health systems showed that the batch of vaccine supposedly applied had not been distributed to Rio de Janeiro, but to Goiás. Cid, however, did not give up. He called the lawyer and military reserve officer Ailton Gonçalves Barros, who managed to get a vaccination card issued in the Rio de Janeiro city of Duque de Caxias.

After this, those involved were able to enter the data into the Health systems. This allowed Cid and his family members to issue the covid-19 vaccination certificate several times, always in the proximity of trips to the United States, as the PF investigations showed.

Bolsonaro came under investigation in the case after an alert from the Office of the Comptroller General (CGU), in January 2023, to the Federal Police. This alert reported that, although it appears in the system of the Ministry of Health that the then president had been vaccinated on August 13 and October 14, 2022, also in Duque de Caxias, there was no evidence that this had actually occurred.

From there, the Federal Police found that the data on the vaccines were entered by Brecha, secretary of government of the city of Rio de Janeiro, in the health systems, on December 21, 2022. The procedure would have been the same in relation to Bolsonaro's daughter. Days later, the data was deleted by operator Claudia Helena Acosta Rodrigues da Silva, with the justification that it was an “error”.

In the meantime, Covid-19 vaccination certificates were issued to Bolsonaro and his daughter, who traveled to the US in late December. She traveled on the 27th and the former president on the 30th. These certificates were allegedly issued and printed by Bolsonaro's aide, Marcelo Costa Câmara, from inside the Planalto Palace. The police obtained the location of the devices at the time of use of ConecteSUS.

The PF report details that “the information elements collected demonstrated logical and temporal coherence from the insertion of false data in the SI-PNI system to the generation of vaccination certificates against Covid-19, indicating that Jair Bolsonaro, Mauro Cesar Cid and possibly Marcelo Costa Câmara were fully aware of the fraudulent insertion of vaccination data, remaining inert in relation to such facts until the present moment.

The 114-page document is signed by the Federal Police delegate Fábio Alvarez Shor, in charge of the case.

On behalf of Bolsonaro's defense, the former minister of the Secretariat of Communication Fábio Wajngarten told reporters that the former president will only testify to the Federal Police when his lawyers have access to the case file, which has not yet occurred. ”President Bolsonaro will be available to the competent authorities, as he always has been, as soon as the defense has access to the records,” said Wajngarten. According to him, the former president is meeting with his lawyers.

(Source: Agencia Brasil)


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