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Brazil's Senate Confirms Temer Ally as New Top Court Judge

Brazil's Senate Confirms Temer Ally as New Top Court Judge

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 04:10 PM

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's Senate confirmed the country's outgoing justice minister to a place on the Supreme Court on Wednesday, pushing aside concerns over his ties to embattled President Michel Temer at a moment when the court is overseeing corruption probes into top politicians.

Alexandre de Moraes was approved by a 55-13 vote. He will replace Justice Teori Zavascki, who died in a plane crash near Rio de Janeiro in January.

Zavascki had been overseeing cases involving leading politicians during a sprawling probe into corruption centered on the state oil company, Petrobras. Some of those cases have implicated Temer, though he has not been charged, raising concerns about the independence of any nomination he might make to the supreme court.

Moraes, 48, is a well-connected longtime member of the center-right Brazilian Social Democracy Party who has served in a series of government posts as well as authoring legal textbooks. Backers noted that he is one of the scholars most cited in supreme court decisions.

He rejected calls from opposition lawmakers to remove himself from any political corruption cases.

With the political climate in turmoil because dozens of politicians have been implicated, Sen. Lindberg Farias of the Workers' Party warned that refusal to exempt himself would lead many Brazilians to think Moraes had been chosen specifically to intervene in such cases.

Critics have accused Moraes of plagiarizing some legal texts, covering up his wife's businesses and of links to a transportation cooperative alleged to have crime links. He denied all the allegations.

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Brazil's Senate confirmed the country's outgoing justice minister to a place on the Supreme Court on Wednesday, pushing aside concerns over his ties to embattled President Michel Temer at a moment when the court is overseeing corruption probes into top politicians.Alexandre...
LT,Brazil New Justice
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2017-10-22
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 04:10 PM
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