Brazil’s police get corruption evidence to nail President

Brazilian President, Michel Temer

The embattled Brazil’s President, Mr. Michel Temer, is facing charges that could see him suspended from office as the police unfold bribery evidence against him.

The federal police on Tuesday said it had solid evidence that the president received bribes, a legal development that could see him suspended from office.

In a report, the Federal Supreme Court said Temer — who was away in Russia — benefited from bribe funds, even if he did so using someone else to collect or deposit the bribes.

Temer has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

But Brazil’s top court said it had accumulated enough evidence of bribes being paid to merit an investigation into Temer for “passive corruption.”

Prosecutor Rodrigo Janot will use the report as the foundation of the corruption case against the conservative president.

“Faced with silence from the president and his former assistant, there is irrefutable evidence… showing strongly that passive corruption (on Temer’s part) took place,” the document said in part.

The report referred to the president’s relationship with suspended lawmaker Rodrigo Rocha Loures, who is in jail.

Rocha Loures was filmed with a suitcase stuffed with a 150,000-dollar payoff from a JBS executive.

The court’s report alleges that Rocha Loures accepted bribes from JBS on Temer’s behalf.

– Long-haul corruption probe –

Three years of investigations known as “Car Wash” have uncovered systemic corruption in the political and business elite, leaving Latin America’s biggest country seething.

“We are at war against a faceless enemy,” Janot said late Monday.

The main battle in that war features Janot’s allegation that Temer took bribes — and attempted to buy the silence of a senior politician jailed for corruption.

Temer is “the head of the most dangerous criminal organization in the country,” according to meatpacking billionaire Joesley Batista, who secretly recorded the alleged hush money discussion as part of a plea deal to escape prosecution over his own corruption charges.

Now, it will be up to Janot to present formal charges before the Supreme Court.

Once that happens, the lower house of Congress would have to vote by a two-thirds majority for Temer to go on trial.

Temer says his trips to fellow emerging economy giant Russia and to oil-rich Norway are about raising Brazil’s trading footprint. He quickly re-tweeted a Russian presidency post showing him seated next to Vladimir Putin in a lavishly gilded stall at the Bolshoi theatre.

Source: AFP

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