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Cited in Odebrecht Plea Bargain, Advisor to President Temer Resigns

12/15/2016 - 12h11

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GUSTAVO URIBE
VALDO CRUZ
MARINA DIAS
FROM BRASÍLIA

The plea bargain of Brazilian constructor Odebrecht has led to the first fall in the Michel Temer administration.

Accused by an Odebrecht informer of receiving money in his São Paulo office in 2014, the Special Advisor to the Presidency of the Republic, José Yunes, decided to resign on Wednesday, December 14.

Yunes sent his resignation letter to President Michel Temer at the beginning of the afternoon. Yunes, one of Temer's closest friends, told Folha that his request to leave the job is irrevocable.

Yunes denies having received money from Odebrecht. At the Presidency of the Republic, Yunes received a monthly gross salary of R$ 14,742.78 (US$ 4,200), in addition to indemnification resources.

His name was cited in the plea bargain made by Cláudio Melo Filho, Odebrecht's former vice president of Institutional Relations.

Melo Filho said part of the R$ 10 million (US$ 2.85 million) transferred to the PMDB for the 2014 campaign was delivered in Yunes's office in São Paulo.

"One of the places where the money was delivered was at the law firm of Mr. José Yunes, currently a Special Advisor to the Presidency of the Republic," said Melo Filho in his statement.

The now former advisor to President Temer says he never spoke to Melo Filho and that he did not participate in the collection of money for Temer.

With Yunes's resignation, President Temer loses yet another right-hand man in his government. Recently Geddel Vieira, a key cabinet minister, resigned over a scandal connecting his name to a real estate venture in the city of Salvador.

Soon after Yunes resigned, Temer called a meeting at the Planalto Palace, the official workplace of the President of Brazil, to discuss the developments of the ongoing crisis.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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