Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil's President Michel Temer accused of taking bribe by Dilma Rousseff

Brazilian President Michel Temer pictured at Planalto Palace in Brasilia on November 9, 2016. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Brazil's president Michel Temer has been accused of taking a bribe by his predecessor

Brazilian President Michel Temer has been accused of taking a large bribe by a former political ally.

Lawyers for former President Dilma Rousseff, who was removed from office in May, filed court documents which they say prove the claim.

The controversy centres around whether a payment of a million reals (£235,300; $295,000) was made to the leader.

Brazil's currency fell 5.7% amid fears that the president will be embroiled in corruption investigations.

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Mr Temer was Ms Rousseff's vice-president before being promoted after her dismissal.

She was impeached in September after claims she moved money between government budgets, which is illegal in Brazil.

The country's top electoral court has spent months investigating whether illegal funds were used in Ms Rousseff's 2014 re-election campaign for the Workers Party (PT).

If this happened, her entire ticket's win could be reversed - meaning Mr Temer, a member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), would also be removed from office.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is facing an ongoing anti-corruption investigation

At the heart of the allegations is a donation of a million reals made by Otavio Azevedo, the former CEO of construction firm Andrade Gutierrez.

Mr Azevedo testified as part of a plea bargain that the money was a bribe given to Ms Rousseff.

But the documents her lawyers filed allegedly show that Andrade Gutierrez transferred the cash directly to the PMDB's general campaign finance fund. A cheque for the same sum was then allegedly paid into Mr Temer's personal campaign fund.

Ms Rousseff's lawyers say that Mr Azevedo lied and that the bribe went to Mr Temer, who should therefore be impeached.

Mr Temer has stated that Ms Rousseff was head of the ticket and held all responsibility for any wrongdoing.

His party said the donation was legal and was declared before the electoral court.

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