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Brazil's Interim President Michel Temer Linked to Corruption Probe in Plea Bargain
The fledgling administration of Brazils acting President Michel Temer was rocked by corruption allegations following the release of plea-bargain testimony on Wednesday implicating him in a sprawling graft scandal centered on the countrys state oil company.
Mr. Temer, who replaced Dilma Rousseff in May when she stepped down to face an impeachment trial, allegedly asked the head of the transportation unit of state oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA to arrange campaign contributions to Mr. Temers party in 2012, according to a plea-bargain agreement released Wednesday by Brazils Supreme Court.
The head of the unit, Sergio Machado, said he organized a donation of 1.5 million reais ($433,900) from one of his companys suppliers to Mr. Temers party, in exchange for giving the supplier a leg up on winning contracts with Petrobras Transporte SA, according to the plea bargain testimony.
Mr. Temer, who was Brazils vice president at the time, told Mr. Machado he was worried that his partys candidate for mayor of São Paulo needed more financing, Mr. Machado said in the document.
Representatives of Mr. Temer couldnt immediately be reached for comment, but he has denied the allegation in the past. Petrobras, as the oil company is known, had no immediate comment.
Mr. Machado sought out prosecutors in the Petrobras corruption investigation, known as Operation Car Wash, and offered to negotiate a plea agreement after other people accused in the case said he participated in the bid-rigging-and-bribery scheme at Petrobras, according to a spokeswoman for the probe.
Wednesdays developments are the latest corruption allegations to tarnish the administration of Mr. Temer, who has been Brazils acting president for barely a month.