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  • Brazil's President Michel Temer at the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, Oct. 17, 2018.

    Brazil's President Michel Temer at the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, Oct. 17, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 December 2018

Brazil's Prosecutor General asks that President Temer be convicted in a case of port concessions.

Brazil's Prosecutor General Raquel Dodge Wednesday slapped President Michel Temer with corruption and money laundering charges which were uncovered in an investigation into graft related to port concessions.

RELATED:
Brazil: Federal Police Seeks Temer's Indictment For Corruption

Temer, who will leave office on Jan. 1, is under investigation for allegedly taking bribes in exchange for issuing a decree in 2017 that allowed two port contracts to be extended for up to 70 years.

The president's office has denied any wrongdoing on his part and said in a statement that Temer will prove that there were no irregularities and that no company illicitly benefited for the agreements.

"In the third complaint against Temer in his tenure, Dodge accuses Temer of passive corruption and laundering of benefits granted to companies in the port sector, such as Grupo Rodrimar. Unlawful movement reached 32 million."

According to the Federal Public Ministry, one of the main companies that benefited by the Brazilian president's decree was Rodrimar, which operates in the port of Santos in Sao Paulo.

Rodrimar has been implicated as one of the main entities responsible for the payment of bribes to Temer, who reportedly could have received as much as US$8.3 million of illicit money.

The payments of bribes were allegedly made through companies of friends of Temer. Among them, was one attributed to retired Police Colonel Joao Baptista Lima Filho, who was incarcerated in March.

The investigation of Temer's decree was launched in Sept. 2017, on the basis of revelations and evidence gathered in judicial collaboration agreements with some defendants who pointed out the participation of the head of state.

"Michel Temer will pass the band of Brazil's President with the stigma of being bandit, corrupt, thief, and liar and should be arrested at any time, even if it takes a few years."

Since assuming Brazil's presidency in mid-2016, Temer has been under a cloud of suspicion for corruption, which on two occasions has materialized into formal complaints filed by the Attorney General's Office, before the Supreme Court.

However, in both cases, the Chamber of Deputies dismissed the claims and maintained the head of state's immunity, thus preventing any criminal trial against the embattled leader. Temer can only be prosecuted during his presidency if Brazil's lower house allows a trial to proceed.

Reports stated that the current charges against Temer will stand and are likely to be reviewed and pursued in 2019, when the sitting president will lose immunity when President-elect Jair Bolsonaro takes office.

Five other individuals were also indicted along with Temer.

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