The Brazil Supreme Court [official website] approved a motion by prosecutors to open a preliminary investigation into accusations from Sergio Machado, former Transpetro head, that president Michel Temer sought illegal campaign donations in 2012. It was revealed by the Supreme Court in June that portions of Machado’s plea bargain testimony allege that Temer requested contribution from an engineering group in relation to Sao Paulo’s 2012 mayoral campaign, which was legal but resulted from illegal kickbacks on contracts with Petrobras. Transpetro is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petrobras, the state-controlled oil company, which is currently the subject of Brazil’s largest corruption scandal to date. Temer, the former vice president of now-impeached Dilma Rousseff, has denied the accusations [Reuters report].
More than 100 individuals and 50 politicians have been arrested in connection to the Petrobras scandal that continues to plague the country as it prepares for the upcoming summer Olympics. Earlier this week a Brazilian judge accepted charges [JURIST report] against former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva relating to the Petrobas Oil Scandal. In July da Silva filed [JURIST report] a petition with the UN Human Rights Committee, claiming that his corruption investigation has been riddled with impartiality and abuse of power by the judge. In May Brazil’s Supreme court suspended [JURIST report] lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha after being suspected of obstructing investigations into his allegedly corrupt activities. Also in May local media in Brazil reported [JURIST report] that the country’s top prosecutors had requested an investigation into sitting-President Dilma Rousseff over alleged connections to the Petrobras corruption scandal. In April the Supreme Federal Court in Brazil ordered [JURIST report] the legislature to commence impeachment proceedings against Temer.