BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian prosecutors filed charges against the country’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi on Wednesday, accusing him of orchestrating a bribery scheme in 2009 when he was governor of Mato Grosso state.
Prosecutor General Raquel Dodge filed charges at the Supreme Court, according to a written statement from the federal prosecutor’s office.
Maggi denies any wrongdoing, said the press office of the agriculture minister in a written statement.
Under Brazilian law, Maggi, as a government minister, can only face a trial if the Supreme Court approves it. There was no indication on Wednesday as to when the court would make a decision.
Dodge accused Maggi of participating in a scheme to pay a judge on the Mato Grosso state audit court 12 million reais ($3.4 million) in public funds to retire, so that Sergio Ricardo de Almeida, who was a Mato Grosso state lawmaker, could take the post, which he did.
Almeida was removed from the court last year and faces a trial in a lower-level federal court in connection with the supposed scheme.
Almeida could not be reached for comment.
($1 = 3.5515 Brazilian reais)
Reporting by Ricardo Brito in Brasilia and Eduardo Simoes in Sao Paulo; writing by Ana Mano, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien