[JURIST] Brazil’s Supreme Court [official website, in Portugese] on Thursday suspended lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha after being suspected of obstructing investigations into his allegedly corrupt activities. Cunha currently faces [WSJ report] corruption charges for taking bribes from companies trying to secure oil contracts. He is well known for playing a heavy role in launching the impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff. Rousseff recently accused Cunha of money laundering and holding foreign bank accounts. Cunha’s pending corruption trial may jeopardize his current political position as Rousseff’s possible successor.
Brazil’s political establishment has been in turmoil as many powerful politicians including former presidents have been recently brought to the center of embarrassing corruption investigations. In April the Supreme Court of Brazil ruled [JURIST report] that it will take over the corruption probe against former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva instead of returning the case to federal Judge Serio Moro. In March a judge for the Brazilian Supreme Court upheld a ruling [JURIST report] blocking the former president from taking a ministry post. Also in March, Brazil’s Supreme Court unanimously authorized [JURIST report] the corruption charges Cunha to proceed. Cunha was implicated in the Petrobras scandal. Rousseff herself has been implicated in that very same scandal [JURIST report] and has been at the center of impeachment proceedings [JURIST report] for months. She spoke against the accusations against her earlier this week, stating that she will take legal action against the senator who made statements against her for defamation. More than 100 individuals and 50 politicians have been arrested in connection to the Petrobras scandal.
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