Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court (STF) dismissed a motion to remove General Prosecutor Rodrigo Janot from heading investigations into President Michel Temer’s alleged corruption.
STF Judge Edson Fachin said on Wednesday there was no evidence that Janot was politically motivated or biased, as Temer’s defense team claimed, Xinhua news agency reported.
Janot’s initial investigation into charges that Temer accepted bribes and obstructed justice was blocked by the president’s allies in the Chamber of Deputies, who voted against prosecuting the head of state. That means Janot will have to wait until Temer’s term ends.
Accusations against Temer surfaced after disgraced meatpacking tycoons and siblings Joesley and Wesley Batista admitted to bribing government officials to overlook violations of regulations.
According to their testimony, Temer negotiated with them the payment of bribes to buy the silence of a former legislator.
Temer’s defense team accused Janot of “obsessively persecuting” their client, saying Janot once said “as long as there is bamboo, there will be arrows,” which they took to be a veiled threat that the prosecutor would continue to dig up dirt on Temer.
“The prosecutor appears to care little whether the target” of his investigation is “in addition to Michel Temer himself, the institution of the presidency, the institutions of the republic, Brazilian society or the nation,” his defense lawyer wrote in the petition to remove Janot.
Janot is expected to announce two new charges against Temer before his term as the head of the Public Ministry concludes in mid September.