Top prosecutor accuses president of corruption

Top prosecutor accuses president of corruption

Even in this country tired from the constant drip of revelations of a wide-ranging corruption investigation, the incendiary accusation set off a firestorm and Brazil's highest court opened an investigation.

The share sales, originally reported by news website Brazil Journal on Thursday, represented 2.6 pct of stock held by JBS's controlling shareholders at the beginning of April.

A major newspaper in Brazil, O Globo, is reporting that Temer was caught on tape discussing bribery payments.

Rousseff denied the accusations in a statement and said she never had offshore bank accounts. The Supreme Federal Tribunal suspended Neves from office indefinitely. Globo then posted the almost 39-minute recording, which is scratchy and often inaudible. "He came and collected, etc., etc., etc".

The Sao Paulo stock market reacted in panic to the specter of Brazil losing its second president in just over 12 months.

Even before the audio was released, Thursday began in a panic after Globo's report.

The Bovespa index crashed more than 10 percent after opening, triggering an automatic suspension of trading for 30 minutes. Brazil's currency, the real, lost 8 percent of its value against the USA dollar, according to the Central Bank's closing figure. This reversed a steady strengthening that reflected gradual renewal of investor confidence in Latin America's biggest economy after two years of recession.

The pressure built against Temer throughout the day.

A separate secret recording made by Batista allegedly caught Senator Aecio Neves, head of the PSDB party and a close Temer ally, asking him for a bribe of two million reais, or around $600,000. "Even if the recordings don't show something that bad, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube", said Claudio Couto, a political science professor at Fundacao Getulio Vargas, a Sao Paulo-based university and think tank.

O Globo has backed Temer's pledge for austerity measures and reforms, but now says the president lacks the moral, ethical, political and administrative tools to remain.

The ongoing scandal deepened at dawn Thursday as police searched the Rio de Janeiro home and Brasilia office of Sen.

At least eight pieces of proposed legislation to impeach Mr Temer have been submitted in Congress and a steady stream of people from many walks of life are continue to call for him to step down. "In a statement late Wednesday, the president's office said Temer did not participate or authorize any attempt to keep Cunha from reaching a plea bargain with Justice (officials)".

"Michel Temer is like that boyfriend who doesn't know it's over", one Twitter user said.

Neves is being investigated in several corruption cases related to the "Car Wash" probe into kickbacks to politicians. Aecio Neves, who almost won the presidency in 2014 and planned to run again next year.

Valor Econômico reported on Friday that companies owned by the Batista brothers bought over $1 billion in US dollar contracts in the local market hours before the plea deal news broke. Globo did not say how it obtained the recording. He promised not to tolerate corruption going forward.

Temer, a conservative, was sworn into office in September previous year following the ouster of leftist Rousseff.

Recent polls suggest that 92 percent of Brazilians want new direct elections, and Temer's approval rating stands at less than 10 percent.

"I can't see how Temer survives this", said David Fleischer, a political science professor at the University of Brasilia.

The scandal comes at a crucial time for Brazil, which is mired in its worst recession in decades, the economy having shrunk almost 8 percent in the last two years with more than 14 million people unemployed.



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