Tags: LT | Brazil | Political Crisis

Brazil's Federal Police Worried about New Justice Minister

Brazil's Federal Police Worried about New Justice Minister

Monday, 29 May 2017 03:38 PM

SAO PAULO (AP) — The union representing Brazil's federal police investigators expressed concerns Monday about how probes into government corruption will be handled by a personal friend of President Michel Temer who has been named the country's new justice minister.

Torquato Jardim, who will oversee the investigators and other members of the federal police department, in the past has criticized the so-called Car Wash corruption probe that has now spread to include alleged bribes by a construction company of politicians around Latin America.

Jardim was appointed to the justice minister job on Sunday by Temer, who himself is under investigation for alleged obstruction of justice and corruption. The unpopular president has seen his support in Congress shrink amid growing pressures for him to step down. He denies any wrongdoing and has said he won't resign.

Previous justice minister Osmar Serraglio, who was also criticized in the past by the police investigators' union, was pressured to resign after he was linked to a corruption investigation in the meat business.

The union said in a statement Sunday night that members had no idea that Temer's appointment of Jardim was coming. It added that the change in justice ministers "brings concerns and uncertainty over the possibility of interference in the work performed by the federal police."

Jardim is Brazil's third justice minister in about a year. He has criticized federal police investigations, raids and strategies in the recent past.

Until a few years ago, the new minister was a member of Brazil's top electoral court, which on June 6 will launch a trial that could remove Temer from office on charges of illegal campaign financing as well as strip impeached former President Dilma Rousseff of her right to run for office for up to eight years.

Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes, who serves as chairman of the seven-judge electoral court, said Monday that it's not up to the judges to resolve Brazil's political crisis.

"The trial will be on legal issues," said Mendes, who has also been Temer's personal friend for decades.

Mendes defended Temer's choice of Jardim for the cabinet position, saying after an event in Sao Paulo that "he is very respected and he will certainly do his job very well."

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The union representing Brazil's federal police investigators expressed concerns Monday about how probes into government corruption will be handled by a personal friend of President Michel Temer who has been named the country's new justice minister.Torquato Jardim, who will...
LT,Brazil,Political Crisis
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2017-38-29
Monday, 29 May 2017 03:38 PM
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