Brazilian president Michel Temer indicted for corruption, money laundering

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s federal police on Tuesday brought new charges of corruption, money laundering and conspiracy to commit crimes against President Michel Temer.

The federal police investigated for more than a year whether Temer, who has been in power since May 2016, took bribes to issue a decree in May 2017 to benefit companies in the port sector.

In their report, the police said that there was enough evidence of the crimes and thus requested the blockage of the president’s assets.

In addition to Temer, other 10 people, including his daughter Maristela and a close friend, Colonel Joao Baptista Lima Filho, were indicted as well; the police also requested the blockade of their assets.

The case was forwarded to the Chief Prosecution Office, which will have 15 days to decide whether to pursue the case against the president.

If the prosecution office decides to denounce Temer to the Supreme Court, the Federal Assembly will be required to allow the case to move forward.

Temer, 78, was denounced twice by the Prosecutor’s Office last year, for corruption and criminal organization training, and in both cases the accusations were frozen by Congress until the end of his term on January 1, 2019.

According to the Federal Police, the president issued decrees to change regulations in the port sector in exchange for illicit advantages. He postponed the maximum deadline for the concessions of ports to the private sector from 25 to 35 years, renewable for the same amount of time.

The president’s defense said that they have yet to be informed of the contents of the police report.

Brazil elections 2018: Bolsonaro, Haddad head for run-off

The new accusation comes less than two weeks before the second round of the presidential election. Ultra-conservative Jair Bolsonaro is leading in polls against leftist Fernando Haddad.

Temer is wrapping up his term as one of the most unpopular Brazilian presidents in decades. He has a 5% approval rating