Brazilian parliamentary commission rejects charges against Temer

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-10-19 08:36

Brazilian parliamentary commission rejects charges against Temer

Brazil's President Michel Temer speaks during press statement at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, September 28, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

BRASILIA - The Commission of Constitution and Justice (CCJ) of Brazil's Chmaber of Deputies approved on Wednesday, by 39 votes to 26, a report that recommends the Chamber reject new charges against President Michel Temer for obstruction of justice and criminal association.

The recommendation also stated the charges of criminal association against the government's chief of staff, Eliseu Padilha, and the secretary-general of the presidency, Moreira Franco, be rejected.

The report, favorable to Temer and his ministers, was written by deputy Bonifacio de Andrada, who stated that there was no sufficient evidence to continue the process.

Temer has been charged with obstruction of justice by the prosecutor-general after confessions by executives of meatpacking giant, JBS, and Lucio Funaro, a financial operator close to the ruling PMDB party.

They stated that JBS executives paid bribes to buy Funaro's silence concerning corruption within the government, with Temer's approval.

The president is also accused of leading a criminal association, wherein leaders of the PMDB ran a broad corruption and bribery scheme.

Padilha and Franco are accused of being behind this ring which allegedly received millions of dollars in bribes from private companies in exchange for public contracts.

However, the charges will only proceed to a trial at the Supreme Court, if it receives the approval of two-thirds of the Chamber of Deputies, or 342 deputies out of 513. Should this majority be met, Temer will step down from the presidency for 180 days, during which time an impeachment trial will be held.

The expectation is that the Chamber will hold a vote next week. Temer already survived one vote in the Chamber in August, when deputies rejected a charge for passive corruption against him.

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