April 23
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Brazilian senators have voted to recommend charging President Jair Bolsonaro over his handling of the devastating Covid pandemic, BBC News reported.

A Senate panel backed a report calling for charges against Bolsonaro including crimes against humanity, after 600,000 deaths in the country from coronavirus. Brazil's death toll is second only to that of the United States.

The findings will be sent to the chief prosecutor, a Bolsonaro appointee.

The president has maintained he is "guilty of absolutely nothing," but the crisis has dented his popularity.

There is no guarantee this vote will lead to actual criminal charges, as the report's recommendations must now be assessed by Prosecutor-General Augusto Aras, who is expected to protect the president.

The report alleges that Bolsonaro's government pursued a policy of allowing coronavirus to rip through the country in the hope of achieving herd immunity.

In addition to crimes against humanity, the Senate committee has recommended eight further charges, including incitement to crime, falsification of documents and the violation of social rights.

Bolsonaro is accused of misusing public funds and spreading fake news about the pandemic.

The 1,300-page report also recommended bringing charges against two corporations and 77 other people, including three of the president's adult sons.

The aforesaid vote concludes a six-month inquiry which has highlighted scandals and corruption inside the Brazilian government.

Throughout the process, Bolsonaro has insisted that his government "did the right thing from the first moment" of the pandemic, and his allies have been quick to dismiss Tuesday's recommendations as being driven entirely by "political and electoral" motivations.

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