Brazil’s former president Michel Temer has been arrested as part of a sweeping anti-corruption probe, media reports say. Temer took the office in 2016 after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff – also on allegations of corruption.
Temer was detained at his house in Sao Paulo on Thursday morning and then transferred to federal police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro by the police task force, Brazilian news portal Globo reports. An arrest warrant has also allegedly been issued against the former energy minister Moreira Franco as well as Eliseu Padilha, who served as a civil aeronautics minister under ex-president Rousseff and later worked as a minister of labor and the chief of staff of the presidency under Temer, according to Globo.
The arrest is related to charges over alleged graft involving the construction of the Angra 3 nuclear plant, according to Brazilian Federal Prosecutor’s Office.
Meanwhile, Brazilian media reports that the ex-president faces investigation on ten separate cases. At least some of inquiries into his affairs are part of the ongoing large-scale criminal investigation known as Operation Car Wash in Brazil.
Initially launched as a money laundering probe, it was expanded to cover allegations of corruption at the state-controlled oil company Petrobras. Former presidents Luiz Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff were also indicted under it.
The ex-president’s lawyer confirmed his arrest. Temer came to power following Rousseff’s impeachment back in 2018 and stayed in office until December 31, 2018.
Brazil’s former leader was accused of corruption during his presidency in 2017 but the charges were blocked by the lower house of the Brazilian parliament at that time. Temer himself repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.