Home Corruption Financial Times: Brazil’s corruption battle sets up constitutional clash

Financial Times: Brazil’s corruption battle sets up constitutional clash

Branches of government are at war as politicians strike back at their accusers

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Attorney Rodrigo Janot and President Michel Temer

Today Financial Times published an analysis of the dispute between the Temer administration and Attorney General, Rodrigo Janot, regarding allegations of corruption. The article shows the vulnerability of the current administration and the risks to Brazilian democracy.

When Brazil’s president Michel Temer was indicted for corruption last week for allegedly discussing bribes with Joesley Batista, the former chairman of JBS, the country’s biggest meatpacker, he did not take the accusations lying down.

Summoning his supporters, Mr Temer gave a speech insinuating that his main tormentor, Brazil’s independent chief public prosecutor Rodrigo Janot, received a kickback in return for filing the criminal charges against him.

In a twist the president himself admitted was worthy of the plot of a ‘novela’ — one of the country’s melodramatic soap operas — he alleged that Mr Batista paid Mr Janot through a mutual contact to accept a plea bargain detailing the allegations against the Brazilian leader. This was in exchange for Mr Batista not receiving any jail time. Mr Janot has denied any wrongdoing.

“What this is, in fact, is an attack on our country,” Mr Temer said of the indictment in the supreme court, which represents the first time a sitting president has faced criminal proceedings.

Tension between the executive, the legislature and an independent judiciary and public prosecutors’ office is a normal part of any democracy “.

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