Brazil supreme court chief wiretapped by intelligence service: report Bernard Hibbitts at 8:20 PM ET
[JURIST] Brazilian intelligence service Abin [official website, in Portuguese] has pledged to investigate published reports that its agents wiretapped a variety of top Brazilian officials, including Supreme Federal Court [official website] president Gilmar Mendes. Veja [media website], a Brazilian weekly newsmagazine, made the claim in an article in its latest issue, published late last week. The officials said to have been wiretapped also include top associates of current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as well as several members of the country's Congress. Abin said in statement Saturday that Brazil's Justice Ministry [official website] will also investigate the claims, and news agency Agencia Brasil reported Sunday that Menes with meet with Lula on the matter later this week.
The Veja article quoted Mendes as saying he did not believe the government authorized any wiretaps on him. The reason for the alleged wiretaps remains unclear, although Brazilian media speculate that they may have been undertaken in connection with local elections seen as possible bellweathers of the chances of Lula's party in the country's 2010 presidential election. AP has more.
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