Brazil’s ex-president Temer arrested

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (left)hugs outgoing president Michel Temer at the Planalto Palace, Brasilia on Jan 1, 2019. (Reuters pic)

SAO PAULO: Brazil’s ex-president Michel Temer was arrested Thursday as part of a sprawling anti-corruption probe that has already claimed dozens of political and corporate scalps, media reports said.

Temer, the predecessor of current President Jair Bolsonaro, was Brazil’s most unpopular leader ever and faced a number of corruption accusations on leaving office last year.

Police arrested Temer in Sao Paulo on the order of a federal criminal judge, reports said. Former mines and energy minister Moreira Franco was also detained.

The so-called Car Wash investigation uncovered a vast graft operation involving Petrobras and major construction companies and bribes to politicians of several parties.

Temer, a centre-right politician, took over as a caretaker figure after the last Workers Party president, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached and removed from office in 2016.