Brazilian President Michel Temer is charged with corruption
According to BBC the chief prosecutor of Brazil Rodrigo Janot has officially charged their president Michel Temer with bribery. Janot asked the Supreme Court for the first time in Brazilian history to open an investigation into the acting president’s affairs.
Brazilian president Michel Temer is accused of receiving bribes from the head of the country’s biggest meatpacking company JBS, which is itself implicated in several corruption rows. Should the Supreme Court choose to act upon Janot’s request, it will be the lower house of the Brazilian Parliament who decides Temer’s fate.
The Chief Prosecutor Rodrigo Janot issued a document stating that “between March and April 2017, with free and conscious will, the President of the Republic Michel Miguel Temer Lulia, taking advantage of his position as head of the Executive Power and national political leadership, received for himself, through Rodrigo Santos da Rocha Loures , an undue advantage of R$500,000 offered by Joesley Batista, president of the company J & F Investimentos SA, whose payment was made by the executive of J & F Ricardo Saud”. J & F Investimentos owns JBS.
Joesley Batista has recently accused Temer of being corrupt and released an audio recording on which Brazilian President appears to be discussing his payments to the jailed politician Eduardo Cunha in exchange for Cunha’s silence. Temer confirmed the authenticity of the recording, but denied any wrongdoing and maintained that the recording was tampered with.
It was only last month that the Supreme Court acquitted both Temer and the former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff of corruption and abuse of power charges connected to the election campaign in 2014.
Should the Supreme Court decide this time to prosecute Temer it would take two thirds of the lower house of Parliament votes to open a court case. If that happens Temer will no longer be an acting president for 180 days. In his absence the lower house of Parliament Speaker, and Temer’s ally, Rodrigo Maia will be performing presidential duties.
When the 180 days run out the future fate of Temer will be decided: if charged with corruption he will be removed from office and receive the required sentence and if the court sets Temer free or is indecisive he will return to being Brazilian president.
Temer denies any wrongdoing. However, the sources told BBC that new charges against him are to be expected before the week is out. The current president has an approval rate of only 7% though his center-right party is still able to govern as part of a coalition.The opposition demands Temer’s impeachment and a snap election.
One third of Temer’s fellow ministers are under investigation pending corruption charges. Should the Supreme Court accept Janot’s document as enough evidence to open an investigation, it is quite possible that Michel Temer will go down the same road that Dilma Rousseff went before him. Accused of grossly manipulating the government budget, she was removed from office following the Senate vote over her impeachment. Rousseff denied any wrongdoing.