Brazil leader defiant in face of possible charges

Jun 27, 2017, 07:31
Brazil leader defiant in face of possible charges

This accusation was made in a statement sent by Janot to the court to reinforce the need to jail Rodrigo Rocha Loures, a former lawmaker and close advisor to Temer.

Under Brazilian law, the lower house of Congress must now vote on whether to allow the top tribunal to try the conservative leader, who replaced impeached leftist President Dilma Rousseff just over a year ago.

Lawmakers within Temer's coalition are confident they have the votes to block the two-third majority required to proceed with a trial.

Temer also denied other allegations, a report in a national magazine claiming that the country's secret security service, known as Abin, spied on the judge in charge of the same corruption probe.

Investigators have uncovered stunning levels of corruption in recent years engulfing Brazil's political class and business elites. Much of it centred on companies paying billions of dollars in bribes to politicians and executives at state-run enterprises for lucrative contracts.

A third of Temer's cabinet and dozens of members of congress are being investigated for corruption. More than 90 people have been convicted.

Temer was charged in connection with a graft scheme involving the world's largest meatpacker, JBS SA. Janot said bribes to Temer could have reached about $12 million over nine months, and that in general Temer showed a total disregard for the office.

"According to former JBS Chairman Joesley Batista, Mr. Temer led a group of politicians that acted as a criminal syndicate, charging bribes in exchange for financing from state banks and favorable regulatory actions" and the prosecutor said the operation "remains in full activity today".

He wrote that Temer should pay $3 million in damages. Police have also confirmed the authenticity of the recordings, which Temer insists have been tampered with.

The significance of the comment about Meirelles, who is widely respected in financial markets, was not immediately clear and the finance ministry did not respond to requests for comment. House Speaker Rodrigo Maia, an ally of Temer, would then be president in the interim.

President Temer is expected to face further charges in the coming weeks, correspondents say.

On Monday, the federal police recommended charging Temer with obstruction of justice - the first step towards a new round of charges.

This document has raised expectations that Janot will formally charge Temer to the STF by a deadline on Tuesday. "When Prime Minister Solberg meets President Temer for breakfast on Friday, she must not mince her words in alerting him that Norway is forced to terminate support for the Amazon fund if Temer does not halt the attacks on the rainforest and its peoples".

"This contribution has enabled us to make a more effective impact to avoiding deforestation", Temer said, according to NTB.

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