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Former Congressman Eduardo Cunha Says that Evidence against President Temer Was Forged

11/07/2017 - 09h43

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FÁBIO FABRINI
REYNALDO TUROLLO JR.
FROM BRASÍLIA

The former president of Brazil's Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha (PMDB-RJ), denied on Monday (the 6th) that he was "paid" in order to not seek a plea bargain agreement that could have implicated president Michel Temer.

In his testimony to the Federal Justice Department in Brasília, Mr. Cunha said that the alleged scheme revealed by JBS executive Joesley Batista upon collaborating with investigators, was part of a ploy that was put in motion by the General Prosecutor's Office (PGR) in order to instigate the president's downfall.

Eraldo Peres/Associated Press
Brazil's former President of the Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha
Brazil's former President of the Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha

Accusations made by Mr. Batista were used as the foundation of the second indictment that was brought forward against Temer by former attorney general Rodrigo Janot. The Chamber of Deputies ended up barring the indictment.

"Forged evidence. They forged it and Mr. Batista took part in the forgery. He is paying the price for that now", Cunha stated, referring to the request to nullify Mr. Batista's plea bargain agreement.

"He [Joesley] came up with this rhetoric where Michel Temer was complacent about paying me hush money so I wouldn't testify", Mr. Cunha added.

Mr. Cunha was interrogated in a lawsuit in which he is accused of being involved in a corruption scheme at state-run bank Caixa. Other defendants in the case include broker Lúcio Funaro and the former vice-president of Caixa, Fábio Cleto, both of whom decided to collaborate with investigators, as well as former president of the Chamber of Deputies, Henrique Eduardo Alves (PMDB-RN).

Mr. Cunha denied all charges brought forward by the Public Prosecutor's Office accusing him of having accepted bribe money. The former congressman spent most of his testimony trying to dismantle Mr. Funaro's statements while also accusing his former partner of committing crimes and lying.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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