Feds arrest aide of Brazil’s President Michel Temer in bribery case

. Mar 29, 2018
Federal Police make arrest in bribery case involving Brazil's President Temer President Michel Temer is at the center of the probe. Photo: AGPT
Federal Police make arrest in bribery case involving Brazil's President Temer

President Michel Temer is at the center of the probe. Photo: AGPT

José Yunes, a former personal aide to President Michel Temer, was arrested by the Federal Police this morning. He will be placed in temporary custody (5 days). Yunes has been a friend of Temer’s for over 40 years.

</p> <p>José Yunes is being investigated for his role in an alleged bribery scheme involving the president himself. Temer is suspected of receiving kickbacks from Rodrimar, a company that operates in the port of Santos, in exchange for issuing a decree crafted to benefit the company. Investigators believe that Yunes served as a middleman.</p> <p>The Police have also arrested Antônio Celso Grecco, Rodrimar&#8217;s owner, João Batista Lima Filho, another close friend of Temer&#8217;s, and Wagner Rossi, a former Minister of Agriculture who has also served as president of the Dock Company of the State of Sao Paulo (Codesp).</p> <h3>Details of the case</h3> <p>Temer is accused of shaping a May 2017 decree to benefit the logistics firm <span class="il">Rodrimar</span> in exchange for <span class="il">bribes</span>.</p> <p>At the beginning of the year, Brazil&#8217;s Federal Police requested that President Michel Temer answer 50 questions as part of the investigation. Legally, the president could have been subpoenaed and taken in for questioning, but, out of respect for his office, the Feds sent him the questions in writing instead.</p> <p>Here are the main takeaways from the president&#8217;s answers:</p> <ul> <li>Temer denied any wrongdoing, and said that he never asked Rocha Loures to collect anything on his behalf.</li> <li>The president, who has been at the center of several corruption accusations (although he has so far managed to avoid indictments), criticized the tone employed by Federal Police. He said that some questions cast doubt on his &#8220;honor and personal dignity.&#8221;</li> <li>Temer admitted to meeting <span class="il">Rodrimar</span>&#8216;s CEO &#8220;two or three times,&#8221; but denied having discussed the decree with him. When asked about other <span class="il">Rodrimar</span> executives, the president said he never met them.</li> </ul> <p>Earlier this month, the Supreme Court lifted Temer&#8217;s <a href="">bank secrecy</a>.</p> <h3><span style="color: #4c4e4d;">Corruption investigations</span></h3> <p>Yunes left the government after being accused of receiving 1 million in bribes from a construction company. The money was allegedly destined to the president&#8217;s Chief of Staff, Eliseu Padilha. Yunes admitted to receiving a package from the company, but said he didn&#8217;t check what was inside.</p> <p>He claimed to have been inadvertently used as a &#8220;mule.&#8221;</p> <p>This is the second time that a former personal aide to Temer has been arrested. Last year, the Police arrested Rodrigo Rocha Loures after filming him receive a bag filled with BRL 500,000 in cash &#8211; offered by a businessman.

This article has been updated. 

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