Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gave testimony Tuesday at Federal Police headquarters over his alleged involvement in COVID-19 certificate fraud as well as messages between his former advisor and an ex-army major about launching a coup against then newly elected President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
It marked the third time that Bolsonaro testified before the Federal Police.
According to investigators, Bolsonaro and some close associates forged COVID-19 certificates for himself, his daughter, his former advisor Lieut. Col. Mauro Cid and his family to get around US vaccination requirements.
The testimony follows “Operation Venire,” where authorities executed 16 search warrants, including on Bolsonaro’s residence in Sao Paulo, and arrested prominent loyalists including Cid, Max Guilherme, Sergio Cordeiro and Ailton Barros for their participation in the counterfeit vaccination scheme.
According to prosecutors, Bolsonaro and his allies inserted false data into Brazil’s health system between November 2021 and December 2022 to bypass health restrictions imposed by authorities during the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic and enable them to travel to the US.
Fabio Wajngarten, Bolsonaro’s communications secretary and one of his close allies, shared details of the former president’s testimony on his Twitter account.
Bolsonaro “reiterated that he had never been vaccinated (and) that he was unaware of any and all initiatives for eventual forgery, insertion, adulteration in his vaccination card as well as that of his daughter,” Wajngarten wrote.
However, following Operation Venire, Bolsonaro’s main assistant, Guilherme, confessed to the police that he had issued his vaccination certificate even without being immunized against COVID.
In addition, the Federal Police questioned Bolsonaro about retrieved messages between former Army Major Barros and Cid regarding an attempted coup against Lula.
The messages, which were from December 2022, also detail a possible plan to incarcerate Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes.
Bolsonaro “responded that he did not lead, that he did not participate in any act of insurrection or subversion against the rule of law,” Wajngarten tweeted.
Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.