Brazilian President Going to G20 Summit After All. He Announced He Would Skip It

    Michel Temer with the president of the senate, Eunício Oliveira, leaving to Germany - Beto Barata/PR

    Brazilian President Michel Temer has reversed his decision to skip the upcoming summit of G20 leaders in Germany and decided to attend the event, which will take place in Hamburg on July 7-8, presidential office said late on Monday amid the probe into Temer’s alleged involvement in corruption. Temer left to Germany this Thursday afternoon.

    Last week, the Brazilian presidential administration, days after Temer was accused of corruption by the country’s prosecutor, announced that the leader will not attend the G20 summit and did not give any reasons for such decision.

    The presidential office also did not provide any reasons behind the reversal of decision.

    Temer’s leading advisors convinced him that he could not be absent from the meeting, the O Globo news portal reported.

    The media had speculated the president would use the time he would save not going to Germany trying to save his job.

    A probe was opened against Temer last month after local media leaked an audio recording in which the Brazilian president appeared to be discussing bribes with the owner of Brazil’s meat processing company JBS to hush up a witness in a corruption case surrounding the national energy firm Petrobras.

    Brazil’s general prosecutor Rodrigo Janot formally accused Temer of corruption and sent the charges to the lower house of Brazilian parliament, which will vote on whether the president should be tried by the supreme court.

    After Janot sent the charges to the parliament, Temer announced his decision to replace the country’s prosecutor and appointed Raquel Dodge last week.

    Police in Brazil arrested a close ally of President Michel Temer on Monday on suspicion of obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to block plea bargain deals that could further sink the country’s scandal-plagued administration.

    Geddel Vieira Lima was a minister for legislative affairs until November when he was forced to resign after another minister accused him of influence peddling. He has been a close friend of Temer’s for decades and is implicated in a series of corruption scandals.

    Federal prosecutors said in a statement that Lima tried to silence former lower house Speaker Eduardo Cunha and broker Lúcio Funaro, who worked as fundraisers for Temer’s centrist Brazilian Democratic Movement Party. Prosecutors accuse Lima of paying hush money.

    In his decision ordering Lima’s arrest, federal judge Vallisney de Souza Oliveira said he could be hiding up to $6m in alleged bribe money from Funaro.

    Lima’s attorney did not respond to calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.

    The probe focused on Lima’s time as vice president of state-run bank Caixa Econômica Federal between 2011 and 2013, when investigators believe he fraudulently channeled funds to politicians.

    Prosecutors allege that Lima ensured Cunha and Funaro received bribes and that he repeatedly called Funaro’s wife to ask whether he intended to strike a plea bargain.

    Crisis Deepens

    Temer, whose popularity is at single-digits, is already at risk of being suspended from office if the lower house authorizes a corruption investigation against him. Suspension would require a two-thirds supermajority to send the case to the supreme court, with a vote expected in late July.

    Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot accused Temer of receiving a 500,000-real (about US$ 150,000) bribe from the owner of a meatpacking company implicated in a corruption scandal.

    Janot is also investigating the president on two other counts: obstruction of justice and criminal organization. Much of the evidence has come through plea deals.

    Temer denies all wrongdoing. “I say without fear of being wrong that the accusation is fiction,” said Temer last week.

    Lima is the second ex-cabinet official from Temer’s administration to be arrested in less than a month.

    Two weeks ago former tourism minister Henrique Eduardo Alves was jailed in connection with an alleged corruption scheme involving a football stadium built for the 2014 World Cup.

    Also on Monday, the presidency’s ethics committee opened investigations into Temer’s communications and trade ministers, both of whom are accused of corruption and deny any wrongdoing.

    The committee does not have the power to remove them from office, but the probes are further embarrassments for Temer.

    Sp/AJ

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Temer meet with the leaders of his political allies in Congress - Marcos Corrêa/PR

    Brazil’s President Legal Team in a Rush to Clear Their Client and Avoid Impeachment

    Embattled Brazilian President Michel Temer quickly presented his legal defense against corruption allegations to ...

    Launching of the VLS-01 rocket from Alcântara Launch Center

    Russia and Brazil Making Plans to Launch Rockets Together

    Russia and Brazil are considering the possibility of conducting joint launches of carrier rockets ...

    Wild Bunch

    A nationwide truckers’ strike that resulted in the blockade of several major highways throughout ...

    Lula dancing with fans - Ricardo Stuckert/Instituto Lula

    Lula Admits Courts Might Prevent Him from Becoming Brazilian President Again

    Former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told Reuters on Wednesday that his ...

    Michel Temer and Dilma Rousseff in Brasília - Fabio Rodrigues/ABr

    Brazil: There Was No Coup, But It Was Wrong and Damaging to the Country

    The reply of my two distinguished Council on Hemispheric Affairs colleagues, Aline Piva and ...

    Jornalivre is a notorious fake news disseminator in Brazil

    Brazil’s Effort to Fight Fake News Raises Concerns About Censorship

    In early December 2017, Brazil’s government established a committee to monitor and possibly order ...

    Solar panels being installed

    Petrobras Grip on Energy and National Indolence Prevent a Brazilian Solar Industry

    Vested interests, protectionism and a lack of entrepreneurism have stifled the development of a ...

    Brazil's president Michel Temer by Fábio Rodrigues ABr

    Brazil Transfers Power from a Scandal-Plagued Party to Another No Less Corrupt

    Brazil’s Congress has installed Michel Temer as the country’s new president. He had served ...