Temer once again accused by the Public Prosecutor's Office

Accusations of corruption against the Brazilian Head of State accumulates putting him on a tight rope

Temer once again accused by the Public Prosecutor's Office

Leer en Español: Temer vuelve a ser acusado por la Fiscalía

Less than three months after the first corruption report was filed against President Michel Temer, the Brazilian Prosecutor's Office presented, three days before the departure of Rodrigo Janot, a new series of criminal charges against the Brazilian president for alleged crimes of obstruction of justice and illicit association. Temer is accused of acting as a "leader of a criminal organization", along with other members of his party, since he took office in May 2016.

Brazil's former General Attorney Janot had already accused Temer of "passive corruption" back in June, but the Chamber of Deputies, where he has a comfortable majority, had refused to refer his request to the supreme court, which alone is entitled to trail a leader. Janot has now been replaced by new prosecutor Raquel Dodge who has already taken office and warned that no one is above the law, but, at the same time, advocated appeasement of the war of powers unleashed within the country by the allegations of corruption.

The new accusations also include six other important members of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), including two of its closest collaborators, Eliseu Padilha (head of the Civil House, equivalent to the head of government) and Moreira Franco (secretary general of the Presidency). According to the Attorney General's Office, the accused "carried out illegal actions in exchange for bribes through various public bodies, such as Petrobras, Furnas, Caixa Economica, the Ministry of National Integration and the Chamber of Deputies." For the Prosecutor's Office, the scheme mounted "allowed the accused to receive at least 587 million reales of bribes (189 million dollars)."

The presidency of the Republic of Brazil, in a public statement, already showed its rejection towards the complaint and accused Janot of continuing "his irresponsible march to cover his own failures." For the presidency, the prosecutor "pretends not to see the problems of the lack of credibility of witnesses, the absence of a nexus between the narratives and the incoherencies produced by the research, precipitated and accelerated". Michel Temer is currently in New York, United States, for the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations.

The corruption scandals of the last two years have deepened the institutional crisis in which Brazil is found, which has also been subjected to a severe economic recession. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 7.4% between 2015 and 2016.

This new complaint will go through the same long process as the first. If it is considered appropriate by the Supreme Court, it will be analyzed by the Chamber of Deputies - first in the Commission of Constitution and Justice and then in the full Congress. In order for the complaint to be accepted, it must be approved by at least two-thirds of the deputies (342 votes out of 513) and subsequently be endorsed by the Supreme Court.

The accusation against President Temer is framed in the "Lavo Jato" case, an operation that investigates a network of political corruption for more than three years, which has sprinkled various Latin American countries and their leaders.

 

Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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