Former Brazil’s President Michel Temer leaves his home in a car after a Brazilian court ordered that he be jailed again over an ongoing investigation into allegations of corruption. © Reuters / Amanda Perobelli
Former Brazilian President Michel Temer handed himself over to the police after a court ordered his arrest for the second time in two months over corruption allegations.
Footage of Temer entering the office of Brazil’s federal police in Sao Paulo on Thursday was broadcast by local television. The judges had ruled earlier that the 78-year-old politician should return behind bars as his role in the so-called ‘Car Wash’ scandal is being investigated.
The ex-president’s lawyers insisted that the decision was groundless and showed “injustice,” and have already filed an appeal against the arrest warrant.
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Prosecutors said they believe that Temer was the leader of a “criminal organization” receiving lavish bribes from the funds allocated to the construction Angra 3 nuclear plant. He was already arrested as part of the same probe on March 21, but the court released him a few days later. Temer has always denied any wrongdoing.
Brazilian media claims that the politician faces investigation on at least ten separate cases, which also deal with money laundering and large-scale fraud at state-owned oil company Petrobras.
Temer’s downfall is made ironic by his role in ousting his predecessor in 2016. President Dilma Rousseff was impeached over claims that she had mishandled state funds as part of ‘Car Wash.’
Her impeachment amounted to a parliamentary coup, backed by a smear campaign in the media owned by a handful of oligarchs, Rousseff told RT in an exclusive interview last year.
“We won the elections four times in a row but, after the fourth time, they decided not to give us even a slightest opportunity to participate in the fifth election,” she explained.
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Rousseff’s predecessor, Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva (2003-2011) was also charged with corruption and ordered to jail last year. In his first interview from prison last week, the 73-year-old Lula called the current government a “bunch of lunatics” and “lackeys” of the US.
Brazil was recently declared a “major non-NATO ally” by US President Donald Trump, following a visit by current president Jair Bolsonaro. The conservative Bolsonaro won the election last September after surviving a stabbing at a campaign event.
After Temer chose not to seek re-election, Lula seemed like a strong contender for the presidency, until he was jailed in April and thus disqualified from running.
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