Brazil’s Lebanese president Michel Temer is facing calls for impeachment after allegations of corruption and cover-up were exposed by a Brazilian newspaper.
Temer is accused of offering hush-money to jailed associate in exchange of his silence in the country’s biggest-ever graft probe.
Brazilian “O Globo” newspaper said it obtained recordings which showed Temer discussing payments to silence the jailed former Speaker Eduardo Cunha.
Cunha was sentenced to a 15-year prison term in March for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion, as part of an investigation into corruption at Brazilian oil giant Petrobras.
Cunha led the impeachment process against former President Dilma Rousseff, who Temer replaced in August 2016.
According to the “O Globo” article, Temer is heard on audio tapes discussing hush-payments with Chairman Joesley Batista of meat giant JBS SA. Temer’s office acknowledged the meeting with the businessman, but denied any part in alleged efforts to offer a payment.
“That clandestine recording was manipulated and doctored with bad intentions,” Temer said at a news conference on Saturday. “I will not resign.”
Temer said he had filed a petition with Brazil’s supreme federal tribunal to suspend the corruption investigation until audio experts can analyze the recordings.