Lawyers defending Brazilian President Michel Temer against allegations of corruption have asked the Supreme Court to remove the attorney general from the investigation. Tension between the two has been rising.
President Michel Temer's defense team has accused the top prosecutor of bias in the ongoing investigation into the president, asking for him to be removed.
Temer's lawyers said Brazil's Attorney General Rodrigo Janot, who has charged the president (seen above) with taking bribes, was acting "beyond his constitutional limits."
The lawyers lodged a petition demanding that another prosecutor take Janot's place. Supreme Court Justice Luiz Edson Fachin, a judge with the Supreme Federal Tribunal, will be reviewing the petition.
There is no set timeline for a decision. However, Janot's post is due to end on September 17 when the new chief prosecutor takes over the post. Therefore, it may be likely that the Supreme Court justice will just wait.
"The motivation, it seems, is personal," the petition read. "We are witnessing obsessive, persecutory conduct."
Janot has alleged that Temer arranged to eventually receive a total of 38 million reais ($12.14 million/10.4 million euros) from the world's largest meatpacker JBS SA.
Unending corruption scandal
Tensions between Temer and Janot have risen in recent weeks after Janot filed an indictment in June accusing the president of corruption. Lawmakers decided last week, however, that the president would not stand trial on the bribery charge while still in office.
Under Brazil's constitution, any criminal charges made against a president must be approved by two-thirds of the lower house of parliament, and only then can the Supreme Court decide whether to put a leader on trial.
Former President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva is one of many accused of involvement in the graft scandal
Janot could still try to bring more charges against Temer before he steps down in September. Temer's opponents hope a second or even third charge from Janot could be based on more solid evidence of Temer's links to political bribes, pushing lawmakers to vote against protecting Temer from a trial.
Temer is Brazil's first sitting president to face formal corruption charges. The case against the president is part of an unprecedented anti-corruption push that Brazil's federal police, prosecutors and some judges have been pursuing for over three years.
More than 100 people have been convicted in the case, including former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is currently appealing his conviction.
ss/cmk (AP, Reuters)