Millennium Post

Brazil political drama deepens with graft plea deal

A political drama threatening Brazil’s President Michel Temer has deepened with judges ordering his top ally to stand trial and corruption suspects lining up to make more potentially explosive revelations.

After a roller-coaster year for Brazil, the latest allegations risk destabilizing Temer just six months after he took office, as he seeks to rescue Latin America’s biggest economy from crisis.

Supreme Court judges on Thursday ruled that Brazil’s third-most powerful official, Senate president Renan Calheiros, 61, must face trial for alleged embezzlement.

He denies the accusations that he used public funds to make maintenance payments to a woman with whom he had a child. In a separate case, Calheiros is also among numerous top politicians including an ex-president and lawmakers accused of helping steal billions from state oil firm Petrobras.

In a fresh development in the Petrobras affair on Thursday, a source close to construction firm Odebrecht told AFP that 77 of its current and former executives had signed a plea deal with investigators.

They agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in return for lighter sentences, said the source, who asked not to be named. 
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