Brazil top prosecutor indicts President Temer for corruption

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Michel Temer reacts during a Solemnity of Delivery of the National Order of Scientific Merit, at the Planalto Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s Prosecutor General Raquel Dodge on Wednesday charged President Michel Temer with corruption and money laundering uncovered in an investigation into graft related to port concessions, according to a statement from her office.

Temer, who leaves office on Jan. 1, is under investigation for allegedly taking bribes in exchange for issuing a decree in 2017 that allowed two port contracts to be extended for up to 70 years.

The president’s office said in a statement that he will prove that there were no irregularities and that no company illicitly benefited.

Temer can only be tried while president if Brazil’s lower house of Congress votes to allow a trial to proceed, which will not happen before he leaves office.

However, the charges and others previously lodged against Temer will remain, and he will likely have to face them early next year.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu and Jake Spring; editing by Bill Berkrot