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PRESS: Brazil's President Temer Charged With Corruption - Globo News

Tue, 27th Jun 2017 07:44

Rio DE JANEIRO (Alliance News) - Brazil's President Michel Temer was on Monday charged with corruption, broadcaster Globo News reported, over his alleged acceptance of bribes from JBS, the world's largest meat-packing company.

Attorney General Rodrigo Janot filed the charges at the country's highest court, the Supreme Federal Court, in Brasilia.

It is the first time an incumbent president has been formally charged with corruption in Brazil.

Janot accused the president of taking bribes from JBS in exchange for interceding in its favour at the country's competition regulator, the Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE).

As evidence he presented footage recorded by a JBS executive, which showed Rodrigo Rocha Loures, a former advisor to Temer, leaving a pizzeria with a suitcase containing BRL500,000, about USD150,000.

The money was allegedly the first payment in a series meant for Temer who was to intercede on behalf of the company in a legal dispute.

Rocha Loures, a former lawmaker who was arrested at the beginning of June on charges of receiving an alleged bribe on Temer's behalf, was also indicted on Monday.

Janot said that Temer had "deceived the Brazilian people" and that the footage of Rocha Loures with the suitcase was an affront "to citizens and to the public office he held."

The Supreme Court must now decide on whether to allow a prosecution to go ahead.

If Justice Edson Fachin, who has been handling the country's sprawling "Lava Jato," or "Car Wash," anti-corruption probe, approves the charges, the lower house of parliament will then vote on whether to try the president.

In order for a trial to go ahead, two thirds of the Chamber of Deputies would have to vote in favour of the move, or 342 lawmakers out of the total 513.

JBS executives have accused the president of accepting bribes for years.

As part of a plea deal, Joesley Batista, one of the company's owners, also gave a tape to prosecutors on which Temer can allegedly be heard approving payments to a witness in a corruption enquiry.

Earlier Monday, Temer was defiant, saying that nothing would "destroy" him.

"Nothing will destroy us, neither myself nor my ministers," he said during a ceremony at the Palacio do Planalto, the seat of the Brazilian government.

A centre-right politician from Brazil's Democratic Movement Party, Temer took power in late August, after leftist Dilma Rousseff was removed from office for breaking budget laws.

By Leonel Pluegel, dpa

Copyright dpa

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