Viernes, 20 Octubre, 2017

Brazil's top prosecutor accuses President Temer of corruption, obstruction

Danilo Martir | 20 May, 2017, 19:44

Temer's allies understand the president's service could be unsustainable, and try to convince him that stepping down would be a less traumatic option for transition, the report said. But with Brazil's currency and stocks gyrating amid the anxiety over the new political crisis, few believe it can remain standing after the latest charges against the 76-year-old career politician.

In the recording, secretly made by Batista during a March visit to Temer, the president appeared to condone the payment of hush money to former lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha, who previous year orchestrated Ms Rousseff's impeachment and was later convicted for corruption.

The audio first reported by Globo newspaper Wednesday night, and has been rocking the country since.

The Presidential Palace's press officers have requested a copy of the audio from the Supreme Court to compare to the audio released by O Globo as Temer insists he did not agree to or condone any bribery or obstruction of justice.

"In this way, there is evidence of possibly committing the crime of obstructing justice", Janot wrote. That would also greatly complicate the situation, because if Temer lost that case, he could appeal to Brazil's Supreme Court.

Rousseff accused Temer of carrying out a "coup" to impede the Car Wash probe, in which more than 90 leading business and political figures have been convicted so far.

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At least eight pieces of proposed legislation to impeach Temer have been submitted in Congress, and a steady stream of people from many walks of life have called for him to step down.

Temer took office in September, promising a "new era" for Brazil following the impeachment of ex-President Dilma Rousseff over accusations of taking illegal state loans to patch budget holes in 2014.

Mr Temer's administration has questioned both the legality and content of the recording.

Temer, who was the country's vice president before taking office nearly exactly one year ago, came to his post in the midst of a political scandal involving his predecessor, President Dilma Rousseff.

In the court documents, prosecutors refer to a recording between the president and Joesley Batista, one of the owners of JBS, the world's largest meat producer.

The testimony was submitted by Batista as part of a plea-bargain deal in the Carwash probe.

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Adding fuel to the fire was the release Friday of plea bargain testimony by executives at the huge JBS meatpacking company indicating that they had given Temer $4.6 million (R60.88 million) in bribes.

On the tape, which was finally made public Thursday, Batista told Temer that he was paying money every month to Cunha "to keep things under control". Once a small meat producer, JBS grew exponentially during 13 years of government by former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Rousseff's Workers Party, primarily through acquisitions funded by low-priced loans from Brazil's development bank. Before she became president, Rousseff was chairman of Petrobras, and while she denies any knowledge of what happened, money from corporations who signed contracts with Petrobras was skimmed by Petrobras executives, lobbyists and politicians belonging to Rousseff's leftist Worker's Party.

Mr Temer says the reforms are already helping to end a two-year recession, but with 13.7 percent unemployment many Brazilians do not feel the supposed improvements.

The "Car Wash" investigation has upended Brazil with scores of politicians indicted or subject to probes into alleged bribe taking and embezzlement. Many more are being investigated.

Brazil's highest court opened an investigation into the accusation against Mr Temer on Thursday and lifted the seal on the almost 39-minute recording, which is scratchy and often inaudible.

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