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
Here's the only way to get an unobstructed view of the eclipse

Here's the only way to get an unobstructed view of the eclipse..

20-Jul, 10:50

A fantastic view of one of nature's greatest spectacles, a total solar...

Margaret Thatcher suggested threatening Saddam with chemical weapons

Margaret Thatcher suggested threatening Saddam with chemical weapons..

20-Jul, 12:50

Margaret Thatcher suggested threatening Iraq with chemical weapons after...

Syria war: Trump 'ends CIA arms programme for rebels'

Syria war: Trump 'ends CIA arms programme for rebels'..

20-Jul, 06:50

US President Donald Trump has ended the CIA's clandestine programme to...

Brave Loose Women guests pose in their underwear live on air to promote body confidence

Brave Loose Women guests pose in their underwear live on air to promote body confidence..

20-Jul, 15:20

As part of the Loose Women Body Stories campaign, a group of nine women...

US home prices rise in December at fastest pace in a year

US home prices rise in December at fastest pace in a year..

28-Feb, 09:12

U.S. home prices rose in December from a year earlier at the fastest pace...

US Stock Indexes Extend Climb Into Record Heights

US Stock Indexes Extend Climb Into Record Heights..

10-Feb, 14:36

Miners and other raw materials companies led a broad rally in U.S. stocks...

Hawaii Bill Would Legalize Prostitution Industry

Hawaii Bill Would Legalize Prostitution Industry..

03-Feb, 17:38

Hawaii lawmakers are considering decriminalizing prostitution in the...

Tiger Woods receiving 'professional help' to manage medications

Tiger Woods receiving 'professional help' to manage medications..

20-Jun, 12:00

Tiger Woods tweeted that he is seeking "professional help" for his use of...