Brazil police ask top court to indict President Temer for graft

Brazil’s federal police asked the Supreme Court to indict President Michel Temer and confiscate his assets and those of close associates over alleged corruption.

Federal Police on Tuesday asked the Prosecutor General’s office to charge Temer and 10 others, including his daughter, with corruption, money-laundering, and racketeering.

Police investigated for more than a year whether Temer – who has been in power since May 2016 – took bribes to issue a decree in May 2017 to benefit companies in the port sector.

The Prosecutor’s Office must now decide whether to file a criminal complaint against the president, if it requests further investigation, or to order the case closed.

Supreme Court Justice Lugs Roberto Barroso, who is overseeing the case, said on Tuesday he would wait to see the findings of Brazil’s public Prosecutor’s Office before deciding on how to proceed.

For the Supreme Court to investigate and possibly prosecute the president, according to the Constitution, it must get Congress’ green light.

Lawmakers have rejected trials in two previous corruption charges levelled at Temer. He took office in 2016 after President Dilma Rousseff was impeached.

The presidential palace of Planalto, contacted by AFP news agency, said the president would not speak about the police report.

Temer’s lawyer said he had not yet been given access to it. Since the investigation began, Temer has denied that his decree on port management was linked to bribes.

The new accusation comes less than two weeks before the second round of Brazil’s presidential election. Ultra-conservative Jair Bolsonaro is leading in polls against leftist Fernando Haddad.

Temer, 78, is wrapping up his term as one of the most unpopular Brazilian presidents in decades. He has a five percent approval rating.

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