Brazil: Temer wins corruption charges reprieve

Brazil: Temer wins corruption charges reprieve

Brazil's President Michel Temer reacts during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia (13 July 2017)Image copyright
Reuters

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The charges on Thursday were the first of several against the president made by the public prosecutor

A congressional committee in Brazil has voted against recommending President Michel Temer be tried in the Supreme Court on corruption charges.

The vote reduces the chances of the president appearing in the dock.

But it is non-binding and still needs to be approved by the full parliament. The public prosecutor has said he will instigate new corruption charges.

Earlier ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he would seek re-election despite a corruption conviction.

Mr Temer was charged last month, accused of plotting to receive bribes from the boss of a giant meatpacking firm. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The final decision on whether he is tried by the Supreme Court lies with parliament, who is expected to vote on the matter within days.

In order for Mr Temer to face prosecution two-thirds of the 513 deputies in the lower house need to approve the charges against him. The government is confident it has sufficient votes to block an eventual trial.

The charges on Thursday were the first of several against the president made by Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot, who has said he will present more in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile former President Lula gave his first public reaction after being convicted of corruption charges and sentenced to nine and a half years in prison.

Vowing to appeal, he called the case politically motivated and said he plans to run for president in 2018.

“If anyone thinks that with this move against me they have taken me out of the game, they are wrong, I am in the game,” he said.

Despite the conviction, and four more upcoming trials, Mr Lula remains a popular figure.