Senate committee arrests former director of Brazil’s health ministry

Senate committee arrests former director of Brazil’s health ministry
This content was published on Jul 07, 2021 – 21:07

BRASILIA, July 7 (EFE) – Senator Omar Aziz, chair of a Senate committee investigating the Brazilian government’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic, ordered the arrest of former Director of the Ministry of Health Roberto Dias on Wednesday after his statement.

Aziz made the decision due to what he described as “repeated lies” by Dias in his testimony before the parliamentary committee, which has police powers and summoned him to clarify suspicions about the purchase of vaccines by Jair Bolsonaro’s government.

Dias was accused of soliciting bribes in exchange for helping to process a bizarre offer of vaccines made by Police Sgt. Louise Dominotti to the Department of Health on behalf of Davety USA, which did not materialize but raised doubts that this could happen. It is corruption in negotiations.

The accusation was made by Dominguette himself and was vehemently denied this Wednesday by Dias, who said a meeting he had with the corporal at a restaurant to begin discussing this potential operation was entirely “accidental”.

According to Dias’ account, he was in that restaurant with a friend when “by chance” Lieutenant-Colonel Marcello Blanco, also an official in the Ministry at the time, “introduced” him to Domengeti, who told him so, with Davati’s company. , was in a position to sell 400 million doses of Astrazeneca vaccine.

However, in an audio broadcast by the local press during the session, moments before that meeting, he heard Dominotti announce to someone else that he had already had an agreed meeting with Dias to “finish” the work.

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“Everything is fine. He is adjusting the purchase and indicating that the vaccine will be available to Brazil,” Dominguyte stated.

Dominguez testified before the committee and said that Dias demanded a commission of $1 per dose to promote the business, which was denied by the former director, who on his part confirmed that military personnel and even an evangelical priest were involved in the discussion. For parliamentarians from the political base of Bolsonaro.

In this regard, the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has already denied the existence of any kind of relationship with that group and confirmed that the production of its vaccine, for the time being, is intended for the governments that negotiated with it, including the Brazilian government.

The parliamentary group is also investigating denunciations of irregularities in negotiations to obtain Covaxin vaccines, from Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech, of which Bolsonaro himself was aware, according to a complaint by a pro-government deputy that the president has not confirmed. or deny.

Because of this suspicion and the possibility that he would do nothing to prevent these negotiations, the Public Prosecution Office, with the approval of the Supreme Court, opened a formal investigation against the president, who can respond to evasions and other crimes. EFE

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