Michel Temer: Brazil president 'won't quit' over bribe claim

Michel Temer: Brazil president 'won't quit' over bribe claim

Brazilian President Michel Temer says he will not quit, amid allegations he authorised paying bribes to silence a witness in a huge corruption scandal.

"I will not resign. I know what I have done," he said in a televised address.

Earlier, the Supreme Court approved an investigation into the allegations, but Mr Temer said he would prove his innocence.

Mr Temer took over office last year after the impeachment of his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff.

O Globo newspaper said Mr Temer had been recorded discussing payments to silence the jailed former Speaker Eduardo Cunha.


The recording is of a conversation between the president and Chairman Joesley Batista of meat giant JBS, made by Mr Batista using a hidden device, O Globo says.

When Mr Batista told Mr Temer he was paying Cunha to remain silent, the president was recorded saying, "You need to keep that up, okay?" the newspaper reported.

It did not say how it obtained the information, or what Mr Cunha was being asked to keep quiet about.

But Mr Temer hit back in his address, saying: "I never authorised any payments for someone to be silent. I did not buy anyone's silence. I fear no accusations."

Mr Temer is already deeply unpopular in Brazil but his centre-right party has been able to govern as part of a coalition.

Opposition parties have been demanding snap elections and his impeachment.

Of more concern to Mr Temer may be signs of dissent within his administration, with a leader of his coalition allies, the social democrat PSDB, saying they were considering leaving the government.


The allegations have rattled Brazilian markets, with investors concerned that if Mr Temer is forced out his efforts to pull the economy out of recession would be derailed.

The main Sao Paolo share index closed down 9% and the Brazilian currency suffered its worst day in 14 years.

It is the first time Mr Temer has become embroiled in the massive corruption inquiry known as Operation Car Wash.

The probe, launched in March 2014, centres on companies that were offered deals with state oil giant Petrobras in exchange for bribes, which were funnelled into politicians' pockets and political party slush funds.

The scandal has engulfed Brazilian politics, with a third of Mr Temer's cabinet under investigation for alleged corruption. Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is facing five charges.

The man Mr Temer allegedly condoned the bribery of - Eduardo Cunha - is in prison for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion.

Both men played a key role in the downfall of former President Rousseff, who was removed from office accused of illegally manipulating government accounts. She denies all the charges.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Going off-grid

Going off-grid..

26-May, 18:48

The couple, who have 16 pets, grow all their fruit, vegetables and herbs,...

‘Internet battlefield’: Theresa May calls on G7 leaders to fight online extremism

‘Internet battlefield’: Theresa May calls on G7 leaders to fight online extremism..

26-May, 12:32

British Prime Minister Theresa May will call on fellow G7 leaders to put...

Sunstroke suspected over baby death in car

Sunstroke suspected over baby death in car..

26-May, 08:24

A post-mortem examination is expected to take place on Friday after the...

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques..

26-May, 17:26

A research team led by Professor YongKeun Park of the Physics Department...

Ethics office raised questions about Ivanka Trump before she joined WH

Ethics office raised questions about Ivanka Trump before she joined WH..

01-May, 13:08

The Office of Government Ethics raised concerns about Ivanka Trump’s...

Researchers discover caterpillars that can chew and breakdown plastic

Researchers discover caterpillars that can chew and breakdown plastic..

26-Apr, 07:16

Since plastic was invented, figuring out how to get rid of the stuff...

Volkswagen plans all-electric car for China next year

Volkswagen plans all-electric car for China next year..

18-Apr, 06:00

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest automaker, plans to launch its first...

EU Slaps China, Taiwan With Steel Anti-Dumping Duties

EU Slaps China, Taiwan With Steel Anti-Dumping Duties..

27-Jan, 08:21

The European Commission has imposed anti-dumping duties on steel products...