BRASILIA – The ex-president of Brazil, Michel Temer, who had been asked twice to open a trial for corruption under Lava Jato as president, has been arrested by the federal police in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
There were no statements by the ex-president during an interrogation after being arrested on Thursday. It is not something new, since according to G1 slogan, the defense of the former President warned the Attorney General that he would remain silent.
The former president faces ten accusations. Five of them were opened at the time he was president of the country and were sent to the first instance after he left office. The remaining five were taken by magistrate Luis Roberto Barroso in 2019, when Temer no longer had political immunity, so the investigations were referred to the first instance.
The Brazilian Prosecutor’s Office announced that Temer was arrested as an alleged “leader of a criminal organization”, which negotiated bribes in exchange for works contracts.
The case, which is with judge Marcelo Bretas, deals with the denunciations of the informer and businessman José Antunes Sobrinho, among other investigations.
The businessman told the Federal Police that he paid a million dollars, at the request of Colonel João Baptista Lima Filho (friend of Temer), to then Minister of Mines and Energy Moreira Franco with the knowledge of then President Temer.
Minutes after the capture of Temer, the former Minister of Mining of Temer, Wellington Moreira Franco was also captured by the authorities during the busy day for the political and judicial world of Brazil.
Moreira Franco denied having received payment of bribes.
Prosecutor Fabiana Schneider said that only Moreira gave statements, in contrast to Temer and Joao Batista Lima Filho, the colonel friend of the former head of government, who would also be implicated in the accusations.
In his remarks, apart from denying receiving bribes, Moreira said that Lima was looking after Argeplan, an architecture and engineering company, which won the bid for the Angra 3 nuclear power plant.
According to the investigations, it is believed that the selling group belongs to Temer. Both Moreira Franco and Lima were brought to justice this Friday, after spending the night in a jail in Rio de Janeiro. The former president himself had to go through the same process in another room of the prison.
At the same time, the Brazilian media mentions that the former president was visited by his former minister of government, Carlos Marun, where he said that “at this moment, what the judges or prosecutors say does not interest me,” adding that “in no time, they can prove something that justifies the preventive detention” that Temer keeps at present.
Michel Temer, of the Brazilian Democratic Party (MDB), became the 37th president of Brazil in August 2016 after the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. His term ended on January 1 when he handed over the job to Jair Bolsonaro.
Temer is the second head of state who is detained under the Lava Jato operation after Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (president of the country between 2003 and 2010) who was convicted of corruption and money laundering to 12 years in prison.