An investigation initiated by the Federal Police has brought to light signs of crimes allegedly committed by President Michel Temer and other representatives of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) in the lower house. A note was released Monday (Sep 11) by the police.
The group of criminals is believed to be made up of Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha and Moreira Franco, head of the government's secretariat, in addition to former Ministers Geddel Vieira Lima and Henrique Eduardo Alves, and former lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha.
PMDB leaders, the police argue, relied on “an organizational structure aimed at directly and indirectly obtaining illicit advantages at public agencies.” Crimes include the taking and paying of bribes, money laundering, bid rigging, and illicit transfer of funds abroad. A report is to be sent to the Supreme Court.
In a note, the presidency declared that Temer “does not participate and has not participated in any criminal organization.” “Nor has the president taken part in any ring aimed at obtaining illicit advantages, either directly or indirectly, at public agencies. President Temer deplores that unfounded allegations made in an attempt to denigrate his honor and public image are leaked to the press before due appreciation by the authorities,” the statement reads.
Padilha's press office said he was only to make comments “after formal charges worthy of a response are filed.”
Minister Franco said he never joined a group to participate in any wrongdoing. “I despise such suspicions. I will answer conclusively as soon as I am given access to the report drawn up by the investigators. I am being forced to speak about something I am not familiar with as yet. This is not democratic.”
In a note, Henrique Eduardo Alves said that, for over 40 years, he has been a member of the PMDB—not a criminal organization. “The efforts to criminalize the political activity undermines democracy. The innocence [of the PMDB] will be proved over the course of the case.”
Geddel's and Cunha's defense lawyers were contacted and failed to answer as of the publication of this article.
Eduardo Cunha, Henrique Eduardo Alves, Geddel Vieira Lima were arrested as part of the probes under Operation Car Wash.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira