Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speaks to the press outside his home after Federal Police agents carried out a search and seizure warrant in Brasilia, Brazil on May 3, 2023. Bolsonaro rejected on May 17, 2023 accusations of tampering with his COVID-19 vaccination records. (PHOTO / AP)
BRASILIA – Brazilian ex-president Jair Bolsonaro rejected on Tuesday accusations of tampering with his COVID-19 vaccination records, a document reviewed by Reuters showed, as local authorities investigate the former far-right leader and some of his allies.
In three-hour testimony to the Brazil's federal police, Bolsonaro said he was unaware of false information being included on his vaccination card.
The investigation is one of many putting Jair Bolsonaro under pressure, including investigations into alleged voter suppression, his attacks on the legitimacy of Brazilian elections, and embezzlement of foreign gifts
Supreme Court documents have shown federal police found evidence of tampering with Bolsonaro's vaccine records in his last weeks as president in late December, before he flew to the United States, where most foreign visitors must be vaccinated.
According to transcripts of the former president's testimony, Bolsonaro denied having knowledge of or ordering false information to be inserted into this vaccination records.
Earlier this month, Brazilian police raided the former leader's home, arrested his trusted aides and seized his cell phone, as part of the probe seeking to answer how Bolsonaro, a strident coronavirus skeptic who vowed never to get a COVID vaccine, was registered as vaccinated in health records made public in February.
The investigation is one of many putting Bolsonaro under pressure, including investigations into alleged voter suppression, his attacks on the legitimacy of Brazilian elections, and embezzlement of foreign gifts.
The Supreme Court is overseeing the case and released court documents that included an arrest warrant for Mauro Cid, one of Bolsonaro's personal assistants when he was president, who stayed on as his aide.
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According to Bolsonaro, Cid may have committed fraud without his knowledge.