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Friday, 19 May 2017 15:04

Brazil's top court releases testimony linking president to bribes

Written by  Reuters

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA Brazil's Supreme Court released explosive plea-bargain testimony on Friday accusing President Michel Temer, along with former presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, of receiving millions in bribes.

The testimony raises serious doubts about whether Temer, who replaced the impeached Rousseff last year, can maintain his grip on the presidency amid the string of corruption scandals that has engulfed vast swaths of Brazil's political class and business elites.

Austerity reforms pushed by Temer, who has denied any wrongdoing, are considered crucial to revive the economy of Latin America's biggest country, mired in its worst recession on record.

The bombshell revelations came from testimony given by executives at JBS SA, a meatpacking company that grew quickly through acquisitions funded by low-cost loans from Brazil's development bank during 13 years of government by Lula and Rousseff's leftist Workers Party.

The testimony implicates both ruling and opposition parties and indicates that Temer, a conservative, took 15 million reais ($4.6 million) in bribes from JBS, which ranks as the world's largest meat processor.

It also alleges that Lula, who is already facing five corruption trials, received $50 million in bribes in offshore accounts from JBS, while Rousseff took $30 million in bribes, also in offshore accounts.

Read more at Reuters

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