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New Boss Takes over Brazil's Federal Police amid Criticism

New Boss Takes over Brazil's Federal Police amid Criticism

Monday, 20 November 2017 01:38 PM

SAO PAULO (AP) — A new boss took over Brazil's federal police Monday despite widespread criticism that he will take a weak stance on corruption. Fernando Segovia was sworn in by unpopular Brazilian President Michel Temer, who is himself being investigated by the force.

Several Brazilian media outlets suggested Segovia's appointment was supported by government ministers also implicated in federal police investigations.

Segovia has worked for the federal police for 22 years and said he will make the fight against corruption a priority.

He succeeds Leandro Daiello, who was appointed by former President Dilma Rousseff in 2011.

In his first speech as boss, Segovia said he wants to fight crime by improving the strained relationship between the police and the country's independent prosecutors' office, which is also investigating Temer.

"I will leave aside vanity and thirst for power, seeking balance and understanding in our actions in favor of the Brazilian nation. That which benefits the most from this dispute is organized crime," Segovia said.

Federal police and government prosecutors have raced each other to lead anti-corruption raids since a massive graft investigation known as the "Car Wash" probe began in Brazil more than three years ago.

Those raids have become less frequent since Temer replaced top prosecutor Rodrigo Janot with the low-profile Raquel Dodge in September. Janot, who was nearing the end of his two-year term, had charged the president with corruption, obstruction of justice and leading a criminal organization.

Temer ignored a list of possible candidates offered by the National Association of Federal Detectives in 2016 that was topped by police force investigator Erika Marena, who helped lead the Car Wash probe but was relocated to a different unit last year.

In a statement, the association said two other possible appointees were also on the list.

"The official triple list, voted and approved by more than 1,300 police investigators, has the names of Erika Marena, Rodrigo Teixeira and Marcelo Freitas, all special class federal police investigators who won the vote of confidence by their peers to run the institution," the statement said.

Before his appointment, Segovia was the head of the federal police unit in the northern state of Maranhao, a stronghold of former President Jose Sarney, who is also a key Temer ally. Brazilian media reported that Sarney denies having a role in Segovia's appointment.

Brazil's lower house of Congress decided twice this year not to force Temer to stand trial on corruption and bribery charges until he leaves office in January 2019.

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A new boss took over Brazil's federal police Monday despite widespread criticism that he will take a weak stance on corruption. Fernando Segovia was sworn in by unpopular Brazilian President Michel Temer, who is himself being investigated by the force.Several Brazilian...
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2017-38-20
Monday, 20 November 2017 01:38 PM
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