Economy Minister tries to dodge subpoena

Economy Minister dodge subpoena
Paulo Guedes. Photo: Marcelo Camargo/ABr

Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes has been subpoenaed to testify in a corruption case. 

The investigation revolves around Postalis, a pension fund for workers at the state-owned postal company Correios. Two investment funds linked to Mr. Guedes had dealings with Postalis — and the minister was even under scrutiny at one point until a federal appellate court shelved investigations against him. He is being called in to testify as a witness in a probe against Senator Renan Calheiros of Alagoas, who is suspected of involvement with fraudulent deals. 

The Economy Minister is trying to dodge the subpoena and had his representatives try to lobby his case to Prosecutor General Augusto Aras. 

On Thursday, Mr. Aras published a message exchange with one of Mr. Guedes’s lawyers on his WhatsApp Status feed, seemingly unintentionally, asking for the minister to be excused from deposing at Federal Police headquarters. The post was made available to anyone with Mr. Aras’s number in their contact list, and was soon erased — but not before journalists took notice.

“Would it be possible for you to meet with Paulo Guedes’ lawyer, Ticiano Figueiredo, for 5 minutes? Subject: possible excuse of Paulo Guedes, with the Feds, in an investigative process against Renan Calheiros, in which Guedes is not involved,” reads one of the messages. “Yes. We’ll talk on the phone and deal with it,” says another.