Jair Bolsonaro: Police raid former president’s home

  • Vanessa Bushschlueter
  • BBC news

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Jair Bolsonaro said his cell phone and his wife’s cell phone were seized during the raid

Police have searched the home of former President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia, the Brazilian capital, and checked his Covid vaccination records.

Police suspect the former leader’s vaccination records were falsified to allow him to enter the United States.

Police seized the former president’s cell phone and his wife’s cell phone, and arrested several of his aides as part of the operation.

Mr Bolsonaro has denied any wrongdoing.

The former president is a vocal opponent of Covid vaccination and has repeatedly spread misinformation about the vaccine and its alleged side effects.

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From 21 April 2020: BBC South America correspondent Katie Watson looks at how Bolsonaro responded to the virus in Brazil

Although he had always said he would not vaccinate, he refused to release his vaccination records, claiming they contained personal information.

However, a senior official in the new government of his successor, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, decided that this information would be in the public interest.

Records showed Bolsonaro had the vaccine in 2021, but police believe the records may have been falsified, leading to Wednesday’s raid.

“Fake data” has been added to Covid-19 vaccination records held by the Brazilian Ministry of Health to allow individuals whose vaccination status has changed to obtain the necessary vaccination certificates to enter the United States, according to federal police. has been inserted.

After the raid, Mr Bolsonaro denied falsifying records. “Nothing was tampered with on my part,” he told reporters.

He also denied having had a Covid jab: “I didn’t get the vaccine. Period.”

Erroneous data was allegedly inserted into the records between November and December last year, when Bolsonaro was still president.

Bolsonaro visited Florida in late December, days before his rival Luis Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in as president.

The United States has not commented on what visa the then-president entered the country on, or if there is any record of the vaccinations he provided at the time.

Since returning to Brazil on March 30, Mr. Bolsonaro has had to appear before police twice and testify in two separate investigations.

One is investigating his role in his supporters’ storming of the Brazilian parliament in January. He is also being investigated whether he and his wife tried to illegally import and store jewelry worth millions of dollars gifted to them by Saudi Arabia in 2019.

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