07:59 GMT +319 June 2019
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    Partial view of the Petrobras P-51 semi-submersible off-shore oil platform construction site at the Brasfelf shipyard in Angra dos Reis (File)

    Brazil Court Approves Preliminary Probe Into Temer's Links to Petrobras Scandal

    © AFP 2019 / EDSON PASSARINHO
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    The Federal Supreme Court of Brazil endorsed preliminary investigation into President Michel Temer’s involvement in the state oil and gas firm Petrobras corruption case, local media reported Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In June, former Petrobras executive Sergio Machado told investigators that the chairman of the country’s federal senate, Renan Calheiros, and Planning Minister Romero Juca intended to stop the investigation into the Petrobras corruption scandal once Temer took over as head of the country. The allegations were denied by the president’s office.

    According to Agencia Brasil, the preliminary investigation into the corruption case has been approved by Judge Teori Zavascki. The involvement of Calheiros and other senior officials will also be considered.

    The president’s office is said to have refused to comment on the issue.

    Petrobras was headed by former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in 2003-2010, who faced popular discontent after the company’s corruption schemes were revealed in 2014. It transpired that several government functionaries had been signing contracts, charging 3 percent commission fee of the amount of the contract. The money received was used for bribing police and public officials. Those behind the corruption scheme made about $3.8 billion, according to the Brazilian authorities.

    The upper house of the Brazilian parliament voted 55-22 earlier in May to start impeachment proceedings against Rousseff after she was accused of concealing the country’s budget deficit ahead of the 2014 re-election. Rousseff was replaced by Temer for the duration of her 180-day impeachment trial.

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    court, scandal, Petrobras, Sergio Machado, Brazil
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