After listening to tape Temer says probe should be shelved

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19 May, 2017

According to Globo, federal police filmed the payment to the senator's cousin. He is being investigated in several corruption cases related to the "Car Wash" probe into kickbacks to politicians.

Temer has denied any wrongdoing and on Thursday refused to resign.

The scandal comes at a crucial time for Brazil, which is mired in its worst recession in decades, the economy having shrunk almost 8 percent in the last two years with more than 14 million people unemployed.

His statement followed one of the most chaotic sessions for the country's financial markets since the global financial crisis, with stocks on its benchmark Ibovespa falling more than 8% and the real plunging 7.5% against the USA dollar, the most since 1999, despite the intervention of the central bank of Brazil. Brazil's Real currency lost 8 percent of its value against the US dollar in the first half of the day. Aecio Neves, who almost won the presidency in 2014 and planned to run again next year.

Globo also reported that Mr Batista had recorded Mr Temer endorsing a bribe to silence Cunha.

(AP Photo/Andre Penner). A woman reads a newspaper with a front page headline that reads in Portuguese: "It's the End: Resignation, Removal or Impeachment?" with regards to corruption allegations against Brazil's President Michel Temer, in Sao Paulo, B. "If Temer doesn't fall, he will lead a walking dead administration". Cunha was later imprisoned on a 15-year sentence for corruption.

Batista used a hidden device to record an alleged discussion with Temer about hush money the executive was paying to Cunha, according to the newspaper.

A presidential aide quoted by Reuters said Temer still believed that a recording purportedly between business executive Joesley Batista and himself contained nothing incriminating. The report in O Globo has effectively destroyed his support among lawmakers, said Pedro Paulo Silveira, chief economist at the Nova Futura brokerage in São Paulo.

JBS representatives did not respond to an email sent by The Associated Press late Wednesday seeking comment.

Investigators have uncovered a massive scheme in which politicians took bribes in exchange for getting big businesses overinflated contracts with state oil company Petrobras. Since launching three years ago, the "Car Wash" probe into billions of dollars in kickbacks has put several top businessmen and politicians in jail. Congress cancelled its sessions, including suspending work on legislation that Temer's administration hopes will pull Latin America's largest economy out of its worst recession in decades.

"This climate isn't one in which to work", Rodrigo Maia, president of the lower chamber, told Globo News.

In Rio, a small group of demonstrators threw bottles and fireworks at military police, who deployed tear gas and stun grenades in response, Globo TV reported.

"That's why today the main question is to know whether the parties that form the government's base will leave", said Thomaz Pereira, constitutional law professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio.

The Eurasia risk consultancy said the new allegation threatens Temer.

Temer is heard saying in the recording released in Brazilian media on Thursday evening. Aecio Neves, at Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court launched an investigation into Temer and he faced four separate impeachment requests in Congress.

Now "those efforts may come to nothing", he warned, calling for a "full and very rapid" investigation at the Supreme Court.

Allegedly Michel Temer authorised paying hush money to a jailed politician.

The regulator is also examining the sale of shares in the company by its controlling shareholders, the report said.

Temer was referring to the social counterrevolution that his government has embarked upon since taking office following Rousseff's impeachment.


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