Brazil's Temer charged with corruption

Brazil's Temer charged with corruption

Brazil's Temer charged with corruption

Brazilian President Michel Temer prepared to counterattack Tuesday after bribery charges against him sent Latin America's biggest country into its latest bout of political turmoil.

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

The charges, which Brazilian Attorney General Rodrigo Janot filed with the federal Supreme Court, came after a secret recording surfaced of a discussion between Temer and Joesley Batista, the president of JBS, a food processing company. 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.

In recent years, investigators have uncovered sweeping corruption across Brazil's government and industry, much of it centered on graft at state-run enterprises in exchange for lucrative contracts.

If the president is shown to have solicited bribes at the same time that the judiciary was jailing politicians almost every week, it would reveal incredible audacity and dash hopes that the Car Wash probe would put fear into Brazil's leaders and put an end to a culture of corruption.

The lower house would vote on whether President Temer should be tried.

Earlier on Monday a Brazilian court sentenced former finance minister Antonio Palocci to 12 years in prison for corruption and money laundering in the country's massive corruption probe known as "Operation Car Wash".

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

"The circumstances of this meeting (with Batista) - at night and without any register in the official schedule of the president of the Republic - reveal the intent of not leaving traces of the criminal actions already taken", wrote Janot.

He is also under pressure from tanking popularity and numerous calls for him to step down. Janot has said that without a doubt, Brazil's president Michel Temer has committed crimes of corruption. Fatima Bezerra of the opposition Worker's Party.

If a case against Temer were taken up by the Supreme Court, the president would be removed from office for at least 180 days, leaving House speaker Rodrigo Maia to serve as the country's interim leader.

"Even though the president is clearly weaker than he was before, he still has enough political capital to fend off any threat to his presidency", the Eurasia consultancy told the AP.

So does Mr. Temer, as he made clear on Monday, after his latest legal troubles became known.

Still, this doesn't spell an end for Temer, who has endured a raft of scandals emerging from a massive anti-corruption probe since he replaced Dilma Rousseff after her impeachment past year.

Even if Brazil gives tentative signs of recovery, the popularity rating of Mr Temer is the lowest, with an approval rate of 7%, the worst for a brazilian president since nearly 30 years, according to a survey released on Saturday by Datafolha.

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