Supreme Court forms majority to shelve corruption case against House Speaker

House Speaker Arthur Lira. Photo: Zeca Ribeiro/CD/CC-BY 4.0
House Speaker Arthur Lira. Photo: Zeca Ribeiro/CD/CC-BY 4.0

Seven of Brazil’s 11 Supreme Court justices have voted to shelve an indictment request against House Speaker Arthur Lira for allegedly pocketing BRL 1.6 million (USD 305,000) from a construction group between 2011 and 2012.

The allegations against Mr. Lira came to light during Operation Car Wash. According to federal prosecutors, Mr. Lira demanded bribes in exchange for his party’s support for the Dilma Rousseff administration, which was in power at the time.

But Justice Edson Fachin, who oversees the cases related to the now-defunct anti-corruption task force, said the accusation failed to provide evidence — such as phone records, bank statements, or spreadsheets — suggesting that Mr. Lira illegally received funds. In September 2020, the Federal Prosecution Office asked for the Supreme Court to drop the case, considering it too “fragile.”