Supreme Court greenlights investigation on former Senate presidents

Renan Calheiros and José Sarney are under suspicion for interfering

Published in 10/02/2017 - 10:32 By André Richter reports from Agência Brasil - Brasília

Brasília O ministro do STF Luiz Edson Fachin, durante audiência com governadores para discutir as dívidas dos estados, e a mudança na fórmula de cobrança da taxa de juros (José Cruz/Agência Brasil)

Brazil's Supreme Court Justice Edson FachinJosé Cruz/Agência Brasil

Brazil's Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin on Thursday (Feb. 9) authorized an investigation into former Senate presidents Renan Calheiros and José Sarney, Senator Romero Jucá, and the former director of Petrobras's subsidiary Transpetro, Sérgio Machado. They are accused of trying to interfere with a massive corruption probe known as Operation Car Wash.

In giving the greenlights for the investigators, the Supreme Court justice has upheld a request filed by Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot on Monday (6). The accusations were based on Machado's plea bargain testimony and recorded conversations with Calheiros, Sarney, and Jucá. The recordings became public last year as Machado's testimony was declassified. In one of the conversations, Romero Jucá referred to a “national agreement” to “stop the bloodletting”.

According to the prosecutor, the suspects “have conveyed an intention to deter—as quickly as possible—the Car Wash probe's advances on politicians, especially those in the PMDB (the party of Sarney, Calheiros and Jucá), the PSDB, and even the PT, in a deal that included the Supreme Court and the approval of legislative changes.”

The other side

Senator Romero Jucá has denied any attempts to disrupt the prosecutors' investigative efforts and said the investigation and the disclosure of the case will show the truth.

In a statement, Calheiros denied the prosecutor-general's accusations: “As an advocate of the separation of powers, Senator Renan Calheiros reaffirms he has not done anything to hinder or disrupt any investigations. The results of the investigation will prove the senator's point and—we are sure—the charges will eventually be dismissed for their groundlessness,” the note read.

Translated by Mayra Borges

Fonte: Supreme Court greenlights investigation on former Senate presidents

Edition: Amanda Cieglinski / Nira Foster

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