January 6, 2018 / 1:12 AM / 7 months ago

Brazil police request Temer answer questions in alleged graft probe

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian police have requested that President Michel Temer answers 50 questions as part of an investigation into alleged corruption involving a decree regulating the country’s ports, a government spokesman said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Michel Temer reacts during breakfast with journalists at the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Police are investigating whether Temer took bribes in exchange for shaping the decree in a way that would benefit logistics firm Rodrimar SA, which operates some services in the Port of Santos, Latin America’s busiest container port.

The decree, published in May, lengthened the deadline for contracts governing port concessions, benefiting current operators.

The investigation adds to several graft allegations that have hammered Temer’s presidency, though he has so far managed to avoid a trial with the backing of Congress.

Temer has denied any role in the corruption scandals.

Temer’s attorney Antonio Mariz told Reuters on Friday he would answer the questions even though he is not legally obliged to do so.

The spokesman declined to expand on the content of the list of questions.

According to local magazine Época, police have asked whether Temer was offered campaign donations by representatives from the Port of Santos in exchange for fulfilling their demands, among other questions.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu and Ricardo Brito; Writing by Bruno Federowski; editing by Diane Craft

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