June 3, 2017 / 12:19 PM / a year ago

Close aide to Brazil's leader Temer arrested in corruption inquiry

BRASILIA, June 3 (Reuters) - Former Brazilian lawmaker Rodrigo Rocha Loures, a close aide and friend of President Michel Temer, was arrested at his home on Saturday in a corruption investigation that also targets the president, a federal police spokesman said.

Loures was seen in a video released in May carrying a bag with 500,000 reais ($154,000) in cash that prosecutors say was a bribe from executives of meatpacking giant JBS SA, whose plea bargain testimony has implicated Temer and other politicians in graft.

The Supreme Court has authorized the investigation of Temer and Rocha Loures for corruption, criminal organization and obstruction of justice.

Rocha Loures, a businessman turned politician, is expected to seek a plea bargain deal with prosecutors which could damage the president’s case that he did nothing illegal.

Temer, who took over from impeached president Dilma Rousseff last year, is facing calls for his resignation or impeachment, and an electoral court investigation of his 2014 election for illegal campaign funding that could oust him from office. (Reporting by Anthony Boadle; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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