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Brazil top court authorizes probe of president

[JURIST] The Brazil Supreme Court [official website] authorized another investigation on Tuesday into possible corruption and money laundering by President Michel Temer [BBC profile]. Supreme Court Justice Luis Roberto Barroso stated that there is enough evidence believe it is "plausible" the president received bribes in exchange for favoring a company operating in the port of Santos. The decision to launch a new investigation is rooted [Reuters report] from a wiretapped conversation of a former aide to the President who discussed the potential for bribes from a port operator. Should the investigation reveal incriminating information that leads to the prosecutor formally charging the president, Congress would have to vote [WP report] on whether the president should be put on trial. Two-thirds of deputies must agree to suspend Temer to be suspended until the end of the trial.

Brazil has endured tumultuous times during which former presidents have been caught in scandals of receiving various bribes from various businesses. Former president Dilma Rousseff was impeached for corruption [JURIST op-ed] last year amidst a time of economic turmoil. In April Brazil Supreme Court ordered investigations [JURIST report] into eight cabinet ministers and dozen of lawmakers who are allegedly linked to the country's so-called "car wash" bribery scheme. In May the Brazil Supreme Court authorized a corruption probe [JURIST report] into President Michel Temer and his alleged involvement with the bribery of a potential witness in a major corruption case. Former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was implicated in the scandal [JURIST report] warranting charges to filed against him, including most powerful politicians. In November lawyers for ousted former Brazil president Dilma Rousseff [Britannica profile] filed documents [JURIST report] alleging current President Michel Temer took a large bribe. In June Brazil's top electorial court dismissed a case [JURIST report] against President Temer for alleged illegal campaign funding in his 2014 election.

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