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Jair Bolsonaro should face murder charges over Covid response, says Brazil’s Senate inquiry

Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, should be charged with murder for his role in his country’s “stratospheric” Covid death toll, a draft Senate report has concluded.

The report, led by opposition senator Renan Calheiros, claims that Mr Bolsonaro undertook a “deliberate and conscious” decision to delay buying vaccines which caused the deaths of 95,000 Brazilians.

The nearly 1,200-page document criticises Mr Bolsonaro’s anti-vaccine and anti-science rhetoric and is a damning indictment of the president’s response to the pandemic which has killed more than 600,000 of his citizens, the second-highest death toll in the world.

Mr Bolsonaro has dismissed the probe as politically motivated. 

It is highly unlikely that he will face a trial on any such charges, which would have to be brought by Brazil’s prosecutor-general – a presidential nominee whom Mr Bolsonaro appointed.

The draft report still needs to be voted on by the Senate and could be vetoed and altered. The vote is scheduled to take place next week.

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