Former Brazilian president arrested on corruption charges

22 Mar 19

Former Brazilian president Michel Temer has been arrested as part of a major corruption investigation.

Temer, a lawyer who was in office between 20016 and 2018, is under investigation for a number of corruption charges, although he has consistently denied wrongdoing.

Judge Marcelo Breitas issued arrest warrants yesterday for Temer and nine others in ‘Operation Radioactivity’, part of ‘Operation Car Wash’, which the US Department of Justice has called the country’s “the largest foreign bribery case in history”.

The investigation involves a bribery scheme at the state-owned energy company Petrobras, which involved millions of dollars in payments that were hidden from investors and regulators. The company falls under American jurisdiction because it has US investors

Temer lost his legal protection when he left office last year. He was hit by corruption charges while in office, which were blocked by his allies in Congress.

‘Operation Car Wash’ started as a federal police investigation into money laundering at a currency exchange business at a petrol station in Brasilia.

The case has widened and has included allegations that executives of Petrobras accepted bribes from construction firms in return for awarding them contracts at inflated prices.

The ‘Operation Car Wash’ scandal involves millions of dollars and more than 80 politicians and members of the business elite have been under investigation. It has also provoked protests nationwide.

Brazilian state-owned energy company Petrobras agreed in October last year to pay the US and Brazil a $853m corruption fine.

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