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Accused by Police of Passive Corruption, Brazil’s President Threatens His Accusers

Brazilian president Michel Temer

Brazil’s Federal police said they discovered evidence that Brazilian President Michel Temer received bribes to help businesses, according to a preliminary report published Tuesday.

The report, which federal police provided to the supreme court, suggested that Temer engaged in “passive corruption” by accepting the bribes. Police are investigation allegations of corruption, obstruction of justice and illicit association against Temer.

According to JBS Chairman Joesley Batista, who heads the largest meat-packing company in the world, Temer has received bribes from companies since 2010, when he served as president of Brazil’s lower house.

Federal police have requested more time to continue their investigation into the allegations against Temer. A full report containing their findings is expected to be presented to the Supreme Court later this year.

Temer has vehemently denied the allegations, describing them as an effort to undermine his presidency. He has cautioned Batista of making such public accusation, saying they amount to defamation and slander.

“I warn criminals that they will not go unpunished, they will pay for what they owe and they will be held responsible for their crimes,” Temer said in a video published on social networks.

If Brazil’s top prosecutor decides to pursue a criminal prosecution of Temer, Congress will be informed and vote on the matter. A two-thirds majority will be required before the decision is handed to the Supreme Court, the only body that can decide whether to investigate Temer.

Temer was preceded by former President Dilma Rousseff, who impeached and consequently removed from office for criminal misconduct concerning the federal budget.

DW

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