Brazil President Michel Temer charged over alleged multi-million bribery case

Brazilian President Michel Temer attends a ceremony to sanction the law that regulates price differentiation in Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, 26 June 2017.The attorney general accused including Mr. Temer to be “taken advantage of his condition of head of State” to receive 500 000 réais (approximately $ 150,000) in bribes and wines by the giant meat JBS, involved in the massive corruption scandal that touches on the Brazil, according to the indictment made public by the Supreme Court (STF).Temer came to power following Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment process that has seen her suspended from office since May 2016.Mr Temer says his ex-aide was duped and did nothing wrong.”I never saw the money and I did not participate in any arrangements with the aim of committing illegal acts”. “I say without fear of being wrong that the accusation is fiction”.A Supreme Court judge will decide whether to send the charges to the lower house of parliament, which can approve a trial with a two-thirds majority vote.Two-thirds of the lower house of the National Congress, the Chamber of Deputies, would need to vote in favor of Temer facing trial.One of the recordings contains audio in which the president, who is also under investigation for obstruction of justice and illicit association, tried to buy the silence of a former member of Congress now imprisoned for participating in the Petrobras corruption scandal. But they warn that support may wane if congressmen are forced to vote several times to protect Temer – whose popularity is languishing in the single-digits – from trial. The commission will shape how the case is presented, but regardless of its recommendation it will be voted on by the full house.He is deeply unpopular in Brazil but his centre-right party has been able to govern as part of a coalition.PSDB deputy Caio Narcio said political stability and turning around the economy were more important than removing Temer, and that he could not turn his back on the country at this critical moment. In May, he said he expected to serve out his term and continue his economic reforms.On Monday, the federal police recommended charging Temer with obstruction of justice – the first step toward a likely round of other charges in addition to graft. Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa index was down 0.8 per cent and the local currency slipped 0.6 per cent in late afternoon trading.Launched in March 2014, the investigation into billions of dollars in inflated construction contracts and kickbacks to politicians has landed dozens of the country’s elite in jail and threatens many more.Former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who initially supported Temer and is a key leader of the junior coalition party, said in an article published by daily Folha de S.Paulo on Monday that the president could end the crisis by ushering in new elections sooner than the end of his mandate, which goes through 2018.