Covid-19 policy management: from the UK to Brazil, in which countries are leaders prosecuted?

The announcement had the effect of a political bomb. Former Health Minister Agnès Buzyn was indicted on Friday, September 10, for “putting the life of others in danger” at the end of her hearing by the magistrates of the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR), which is investigating the management of the Covid-19 epidemic. In France, he is the first personality to be questioned in this vast case. But in other countries, leaders have already worried about the justice on the matter. Overview.

In the UK, Johnson accepts an independent investigation… in 2022

Under the pressure, Boris Johnson finally gave up. For several months, opposition parties, victims’ relatives associations and even the Church of England have demanded an investigation into the management of the Covid-19 crisis by British authorities. It must be said that the country has the most deaths linked to the pandemic in Europe and that certain government decisions have been much criticized. Even former prime minister adviser Dominic Cummings has severely criticized his handling of the pandemic, accusing him of initially targeting a “collective immunity”.

On May 12, 2021, the British Prime Minister therefore accepted, from the House of Commons,the principle of independent investigation “, but not beforespring 2022 “, list The world. “We must be aware of the amount of resources and time this investigation will require. “, he also warned.

Further investigations could also emerge in the UK as accusations of favoritism in various public contracts multiply in the wake of the pandemic. The NGO Good Law Project therefore initiated proceedings against the executive in relation to several controversial contracts. This is the case, for example, of Ayanda Capital (in English), a society “with connections to Liz Truss”, the Minister of Commerce, who benefited from a £252 million contract for protective masks for hospitals that were deemed unusable.

In Brazil, Bolsonaro is the target of several investigations

Lawsuits are increasing against Jair Bolsonaro. The Brazilian prosecutor opened an investigation on Friday, July 2, into accusations against the country’s president for failing to report an attempt at corruption in the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines. The Head of State is, therefore, suspected of having turned a blind eye to the suspicions of corruption denounced by an official of the Ministry of Health. Immediate response by the Brazilian president: “I’m shitting at ICC [commission d’enquête]. I won’t answer anything “, he said at a news conference on July 8th.

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This is not the only legal threat facing the Brazilian president in relation to the pandemic. Another investigation launched ago several months focus on how his government dealt with the health crisis and its more than half a million deaths. TSenator kings also apprehended the Supreme Court for “prevarication” (serious fault of a public official) of the head of state. Finally, a “request for super impeachment” was also filed by several opposition parties in the Chamber of Deputies. “He sinks is that he becomes the only head of state not to recognize the gravity of the situation”, explains the former Health Minister of Brazil, Luiz Henrique Mandetta.

In Italy, Conte was heard by the Bergamo prosecutor’s office

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte must be held accountable to justice. The district attorney’s office in Bergamo, a city particularly affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, I heard the politician in June 2020. The institution is conducting several separate investigations related to the pandemic, in particular into delays in establishing a “red zone” comprising two municipalities in the province of Bergamo, Nembro and Alzano Lombardo, where the epidemic was too violent.

As of December 2020, nearly 500 families of pandemic victims also filed a complaint in civil cases and claim 100 million euros from the Italian State, which accuse “serious omissions in crisis management”. Numerous criminal complaints were also filed.

In South Africa, several political leaders targeted

The management of the Covid-19 pandemic, and more particularly related public procurement, continues to shake South African political life. In early August, the country’s former health minister, Zweli Mkhize, he was replaced after opening a corruption investigation targeting two of his relatives at the ministry, as part of a public contract to fight the pandemic.

In late August, the former South African president’s spokesman was also transferred to another post. Khusela Diko was under investigation after press revelations that a company owned by her late husband wrongfully obtained a contract to supply protective equipment to hospitals in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In total, around 820 million euros of contracts related to combating the coronavirus are, to date, the subject of corruption investigations in South Africa. blacklisted and can no longer win public contracts.

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