Brazil’s top anti-corruption prosecutor charged President Michel Temer with obstruction of justice and racketeering on Thursday. This is the second set of criminal charges Temer is facing in less than three months, the latest in a series of indictments that could extend the nation’s political uncertainty.
Attorney General Rodrigo Janot told the Brazilian Supreme Court that Temer had bribed a former Speaker of the lower Chamber of Deputies and to an operator of his political group. Janot also alleged that since May 2016, when Temer assumed presidency, he had led the criminal organisation that operates in Brazil’s Congress and the executive branch.
The charges are based on testimonies given by the owners of the world’s largest meat packer JBS, Joesely Batista and Wesley Batista. They told prosecutors that they met Temer in his Brasilia residence and secretly recorded him discussing paying bribes to a witness, the BBC reported.
The Brazilian president has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. As a sitting head of state, he can only be put on trial if two-thirds of Brazil’s Lower House votes to suspend him from office. Earlier this year, the attorney general charged Temer with bribery, but lawmakers had refused to allow those proceedings to go forward in August.
Temer took over as president after his predecessor Dilma Rousseff was impeached and later removed from office for managing the federal budget illegally.