Monday, June 26, 2017

Top prosecutor charges #Brazil's president #Temer with #Corruption

Brazil’s Michel Temer was charged with corruption by the chief prosecutor on Monday evening, in a highly-anticipated development that may put the embattled president of Latin America’s largest economy on trial.
Rodrigo Janot has charged Temer with passive corruption and stated there are indications of other crimes that need to be investigated, according to documents filed at the Supreme Court. The charges need to be approved by two-thirds of Brazil’s chamber of deputies to proceed. It is not yet clear how long that process will take. The prosecutor’s charges are based partly on a secret recording of a conversation between Temer and Joesley Batista, the former CEO of the meat-packing giant JBS. 
The document sent to the Supreme Court states that Temer received 500,000 reais ($151,000) between April and March 2017 from Batista via an intermediary. Temer’s lawyer, Antonio Mariz, told Bloomberg that he had not yet had time to analyze the report. The presidential palace declined to comment. The president has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
Since he took office in May last year, Temer’s market-friendly administration has been dogged by scandal, accusations of illegitimacy and low levels of popularity. Last month’s explosive allegations of criminality destabilized yet further his government and prompted, briefly, a sell-off of Brazilian assets. But the president has vowed to stay in office and the decision of his main political ally, the PSDB, to continue to back his government has strengthened his chances of finishing his mandate.
Temer appears to have enough legislative support to survive a vote in Congress, but the process is likely to diminish yet further his low standing and complicate the outlook for his reform agenda, according to a report published on Monday by Eurasia Group.

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