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article imageBrazil's Temer demands recusal of graft prosecutor

By AFP     Aug 8, 2017 in Politics

Brazilian President Michel Temer on Tuesday demanded the recusal of the prosecutor general from his corruption investigation, accusing him of "obsessive" conduct.

Temer's demand for Rodrigo Janot to withdraw from the explosive corruption scandal probe was the latest blow in a fierce struggle between the presidency and judiciary.

Temer is accused of taking bribes from a meatpacking billionaire and is the first sitting Brazilian president to face criminal charges. However, his position was strengthened last week when the lower house of Congress voted overwhelmingly to deny Janot's demand to put Temer on trial.

"In cases involving the president of the republic (Janot) is greatly exceeding the constitutional and legal limits of the position he occupies," Temer's lawyers wrote to the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Edson Fachin, in a letter released by the presidency.

"Everything points to the motivation being personal. We are witnessing an obsessive persecution," the letter said.

Janot is a major player in Brazil's anti-graft operation known as "Car Wash," which has uncovered a vast embezzlement and bribery scheme involving top politicians and business executives.

In addition to targeting Temer, prosecutors are investigating eight of his ministers, a third of the lower house's lawmakers, and many other senior politicians.

Although Temer beat the bribery charge, Janot is widely expected to be preparing to file a second charge alleging that the president attempted to obstruct justice by agreeing to pay hush money to a jailed politician.

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