President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro
Former President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro Getty Images | Mateus Bononi

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was indicted on Tuesday after an investigation concluded he forged his Covid-19 vaccination records, local press reported. The decision could open the door to criminal charges.

Concretely, Bolsonaro could be charged with falsifying data in the country's public health system and forming a criminal organization to evade public health rules. The fraudulent certificates were used to "to obtain undue advantages related to the evasion of sanitary rules established during the pandemic period," police said.

Following the announcement, the former president told Reuters that he had not taken the vaccine and denied any wrongdoing. "It's a selective investigation. I'm calm. The world knows that I didn't take the vaccine," he said.

Bolsonaro was publicly skeptic of Covid-19 during the pandemic, infamously calling it a "little flu" and speaking against vaccination and social distancing rules, clashing with health authorities and local politicians who enforced their own rules. Brazil was one of the countries most affected by the pandemic, with over 700,000 deaths.

The report can allow the Brazilian prosecutor general to press formal charges against Bolsonaro before the Supreme Court.

Police found that a former aide of Bolsonaro, Mauro Cid, obtained the fraudulent records both for the then-President and his daughter Laura at his request. Cid entered a wide-ranging plea deal last year, in which he also said Bolsonaro sought to conduct a coup following the 2022 elections he lost against current president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

The Supreme Court is also overseeing the case investigating Bolsonaro's intent to stay in power after the elections, with recent evidence piling on against him. Last week, a former Army Chief revealed that Bolsonaro approached the top brass with a plan to conduct the coup in late 2022.

While many former officials have already spoken about the former president's plans, this was the first time in which his name is directly link with a formal document.

Initially found in the house of former Justice Minister Anderson Torres, Gomes said the draft is the same that Bolsonaro showed him in a meeting in December 2022. Concretely, it proposed declaring a state of defense and reversing the result of the presidential elect.

Gomes added that he told Bolsonaro the Army "would not accept any act of institutional rupture." According to recounts from other officials present in the meetings, both him and Air Force commander Brigadier Baptista Júnior spoke against the initiative, while the head of the Navy, Admiral Almir Garnier, was willing to move forward.

Bolsonaro is already ineligible to run for public office until 2030 after being found guilty of spreading electoral misinformation.

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