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Brazil's President Should Receive Different Treatment, Says Justice Minister

03/12/2018 - 11h24

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GUSTAVO URIBE
LETÍCIA CASADO
FROM BRASÍLIA

Brazil's Minister of Justice, Torquato Jardim, 68, argued that President Michel Temer should receive different treatment due to the position he occupies.

That was the argument he used to criticize the decision of Supreme Court Justice Luís Roberto Barroso to lift bank and fiscal secrecy on the president's accounts between 2013 and 2017 - Temer only took office in 2016 - in an inquiry investigating the payment of bribes in exchange for a decree regarding the country's port sector.

"It is the first time this happens to a Brazilian president. We must have a very clear and objective knowledge of the reasons that lead to lifting secrecy; however, only of the period he was in office. Otherwise suspicion against the president's position will arise. The president has essential duties as chief of state and they are affected by this suspicion, which has no grounds," says Jardim.

Ueslei Marcelino - 31.mai.2017/Reuters
Torquato Jardim, the Minisiter of Justice of Brazil
Torquato Jardim, the Minisiter of Justice of Brazil

Justice Barroso cited the Brazilian constitution to base his argument. "If everyone is equal, then there should be no Paragraph 4, Article 86 (in which the president, while in office, cannot be held accountable for acts not connected to his duties as president)."

Minister Jardim told Folha that the Federal Attorney General, Raquel Dodge, should follow the steps of her predecessor, Rodrigo Janot.

That is because, unlike Janot, Dodge has ordered President Temer to be included in the inquiry investigating transfers made by construction company Odebrecht to Temer's party (MDB) in 2014, before Temer took office.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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