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Brazil's Supreme Orders Inquiry on Aide to Cabinet Chief

The Brazilian Supreme Court has ordered the president of the Senate, Renan Calheiros, to name congressmen to a Parliamentary Investigative Commission (CPI) so that it can begin looking into the relationship of bingo games and organized crime.

The inquiry would also investigate the possible involvement of a former aide to the Presidential Chief of Staff's office, Waldomiro Diniz.

The suit was filed by the political parties PMDB, PDT and PFL. The case came before the Supreme Court in March of 2004, after the then-president of the Senate, José Sarney, refused to install the CPI because some party leaders had not named members for the commission in a effort to keep it from operating.

The maneuver did in fact keep the CPI from operating for over a year, but now its installation is mandatory.

The Supreme Court vote on the matter was 9 to 1, and one of the determining factors in the sentence was that a petition in favor of the installation of the CPI, at the beginning of 2004, had garnered the signatures of 35 senators, 8 more than the necessary 27 for a CPI to be installed.

ABr - www.radiobras.gov.br

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