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UPDATE 3-Brazil's top court approves new graft probe of President Temer

UPDATE 3-Brazil's top court approves new graft probe of President Temer
From Reuters - September 12, 2017

BRASILIA (Reuters) - A Brazilian Supreme Court judge on Tuesday authorized an investigation of President Michel Temer for suspected corruption involving a decree regulating ports, adding to graft allegations the president has so far parried with backing from Congress.

The new investigation is based on a wiretapped conversation of a former Temer aide, Rodrigo Rocha Loures, who, according to court documents, discussed shaping the decree in return for bribes channeled from a port operator to the president.

In his ruling, Justice Luis Roberto Barroso said the new probe was warranted because Brazils top prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, had found strong indications of crimes, given that the decree signed by Temer answered part of the demands made by logistics firm Rodrimar SA.

Temers lawyer said in a statement sent to the Supreme Court that the allegations against the president are contaminated by untruths and malicious distortions.

The decree was publicly debated and benefited all port operators and not just Rodrimar, it said.

Rodrimar also denied that it had received any special treatment from the government. The company said the decree in question partially addressed widespread demands from Brazils port operators.

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