By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Lawyers for Brazil’s President, Michel Temer, asked on Tuesday for Supreme Court (STF) to bar the country’s top prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, from taking part in any investigation related to the president. According to Temer’s defense is ‘bias in his actions against the president’.
Last month, Janot charged President Michel Temer with the crime of passive corruption. The indictment was based on investigations of recordings made by former JBS’s CEO Joesley Batista during a late-night meeting with the president in March.
The charges were submitted by Janot to the Chamber of Deputies so the Lower House could decide whether or not to continue the investigation. The charges were rejected in the beginning of August by Chamber representatives but according to local media, Janot had plans to submit other charges against the President before he stepped down, in September.
Temer’s attorney, Antonio Mariz, accuses Janot of a predisposition against the President in the investigations. “It seems to be of little interest to the prosecutor if the target to be brought down, other than the person of Michel Temer, is the institution of the Presidency of the Republic; the Brazilian society or the nation,” says the document sent to the Supreme Court.
“If, on the contrary, assuming that the suspect is guilty, without a conviction of his responsibility, he will act in the course of the investigations and the process in order to obtain elements that confirm his premature positioning,” says Mariz.
In the action, Temer’s defense also quotes a speech in which Janot said that “as long as there is bamboo, there is arrow”, referring to the investigation process against the President.
Janot has also been criticized by the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and one of the Justices at the Supreme Court, Gilmar Mendes. In an interview on Monday with Rádio Gaúcha, Justice Mendes said he considered Janot the worst attorney general the country has ever had.
“I consider him the most disqualified attorney general in history, because he does not have the conditions, legal and emotional preparation to run an agency of this importance,” Gilmar Mendes said. According to the minister, with Janot’s departure from office in September, ‘the law will once again be respected’.
Fellow prosecutors came out in defense of Janot. In a note, the National Association of Federal Prosecutors (ANPR) rejected ‘the absolutely baseless and personal attacks’ on Janot.
“The work of Attorney General Rodrigo Janot during these almost four years of office was always impersonal, objective, fearless and of high quality. And for that reason he has the support of the Brazilian population,” stated the open letter released by ANPR.
The entity goes on to say that, “The Public Ministry does not act to persecute anyone, and has no agendas other than the fulfillment of its constitutional mission. Nor, however, does the MPF fear or hesitate to displease anyone, when it works to enforce the law and promote justice.”