PRESIDENT Michel Temer
of Brazil has denounced
corruption charges against
him as a “legal ction” and
refused to step down.
In a speech broadcast on
national television, Temer
also accused Attorney General
Rodrigo Janot of being
politically motivated and of
reinventing the criminal code
in order to attack him.
Temer said: “From a legal
point of view, my concerns are
minimal.
“This infamy is political in
nature. I never saw the money
and I did not participate in any
arrangements with the aim of
committing illegal acts.”
Janot on Monday charged
Temer with accepting bribes
from JBS, the world’s largest
meat-packing company, in
return for his intercession in
its favour at the country’s
competition regulator, the
Administrative Council for
Economic Defence .
As evidence, he presented
footage recorded by a JBS
executive, which showed
Rodrigo Rocha Loures, a
former advisor to Temer,
leaving a pizzeria with a
suitcase containing 500,000
reals (150,000 dollars).
The money was allegedly the
rst payment in a series meant
for Temer.
It is the rst time an
incumbent president has
been formally charged with
corruption in Brazil.
Loures, a former lawmaker
who was arrested at the
beginning of June on charges
of receiving an alleged bribe
on Temer’s behalf, was also
indicted on Monday.
Janot said that Temer had
“deceived the Brazilian
people” and that the footage
of Loures was an aront “to
citizens and to the public oce
he held.”
The Supreme Court must
now decide on whether to
allow a prosecution to go
ahead.
The charges are part of
sprawling “Operation Car
Wash” investigation into
political corruption.
Dozens of Brazilian
politicians, ocials and
business people are accused
of having been part of a pay-
to-play system focused on the
state-controlled petroleum
company Petrobras.
About 260 people are under
investigation, most of them
for corruption and money
laundering, with 130 people
sentenced to prison so far.
The scandal has hit all of
Brazil’s major political parties,
and investigations have also
exposed its international reach.
A centre-right politician from
Brazil’s Democratic Movement
Party, Temer took power in
late August, after leftist Dilma
Rousse was removed from
oce for breaking budget
laws.
Since taking oce, the
conservative president’s
popularity rating has
nosedived to just seven per
cent.

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