More than 100 politicians face corruption probe in Brazil

SÃO PAULO – The Supreme Federal Court of Brazil earlier this week ordered criminal investigations of over 100 politicians who are allegedly linked to the ongoing Odebrecht corruption scandal involving bribery and money laundering.

Eight ministers appointed by Brazil’s President Michel Temer, including his Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha, are under investigation.

President Temer’s chief of staff, Eliseu Padilha, right, is among the latest figures linked to a bribery investigation.

Other top politicians under investigation include Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes, Secretary-General of the Presidency Moreira Franco, President of the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Maia and President of the Federal Senate of Brazil Eunice Oliveira.

Moreover, 29 senators, 49 federal deputies, three governors and 25 other politicians are also being investigated, most of whom have close connections to Temer, the O Estado de S. Paulo reported.

Temer, however, is not being investigated, given that he has “temporary immunity” for anything that occurred before he took office in 2016.

On Thursday, Temer denied accusations of his involvement in the Odebrecht scandal, which allege that he hosted a meeting in 2010 where an executive of the engineering firm was asked to arrange an illegal payment of US$40 million to his political party.

Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer and his wife, Marcela Temer.

Marcelo Odebrecht, former CEO of Brazil’s largest construction conglomerate, Odebrecht, has been found guilty of running an international bribery network to win contracts.

Investigations into Odebrecht, functioning as Operation Car Wash, have been carried out by the Federal Police of Brazil, Curitiba Branch and Brazilian federal judge Sergio Moro since March 17, 2014.

Other politicians involved in Odebrecht include former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo, former Colombian minister of Transportation Gabriel Garcia, former Colombian Minister of Finance Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, Director of Argentina’s Federal Intelligence Agency Gustavo Arribas and Mayor of Quito Mauricio Rodas.

All of these politicians are part of right-wing political parties in their respective countries.