Brazilian president Michel Temer charged with taking £9m in bribes

Marsha Scott
June 28, 2017

Speaking to reporters and allies in the capital Brasilia, Mr Temer said his career and life had been "productive" and "clean".

Mr Temer says his ex-aide was duped and did nothing wrong. On the document, Janot also points out that Temer contradicted himself twice. If Janot comes forward with those two charges, lawmakers will have to make a decision.

In a previously undisclosed exchange from that March conversation between Temer and Batista, the president tells the businessman that he was a major influence on the appointment of Henrique Meirelles as finance minister, the federal police said on Monday. It is not yet clear how long that process will take, but if the president is eventually found guilty he would be stripped of office and could be jailed. Key lawmakers in Temer's alliance have said they would halt work on proposed labour reforms if they are forced to vote on charges against the president.

Investigators have uncovered stunning levels of corruption centred on companies paying billions in bribes to politicians and executives, in return for lucrative contracts. In plea deal testimony for corruption allegations, leaders of JBS accused Temer of taking bribes.

When Janot opened the investigation last month, the markets tanked and Brazil's real currency fell sharply against the USA dollar.

But if Congress votes to accept Mr Janot's charges against Mr Temer the president would be suspended for six months to go on trial.

Whether or not Temer will stand trial is now up to the lower house of Brazil's Congress, where he is believed to have enough support to thwart the two-thirds majority needed to start legal proceedings.

Currently, the lower house of Congress is lukewarm about bringing him down.

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Sonia Fleury is a political science professor at the Fundacao Getulio Vargas University in Rio de Janeiro.

Janot is also probing Temer for alleged obstruction of justice and membership of a criminal group.

The indictment itself was blistering in its assessment of Temer, saying he showed a total disregard for his office and that his actions, including secret meetings not on his official calendar, showed he was trying to cover up "criminal actions".

Temer has denied the charges and says he won't step down, with growing street protests calling for his resignation and a spiraling Brazilian economy, he risks being the second Brazilian president impeached in less than a year.

The Attorney-General's Office accuses Temer of passive corruption, asks that he loses office and has to pay 10 million BRL as a fine.

On May 17, a recording of Temer supposedly discussing the payment of hush money to the jailed Cunha emerged.

Temer's latest approval ratings are just seven percent, lower even than his leftist predecessor Dilma Rousseff, whom he replaced a year ago when she was impeached and removed from office by his congressional allies.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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