By Kaitlyn Degnan
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America
BRASILIA, Brazil — Members of Brazil’s Congress are calling for the resignation of Eduard Cunha, President of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies after newspaper Folha de S. Paolo reported that he received kickbacks from a Petrobras contract.
Cunha is a member of the Party for the Democratic Movement of Brazil, which is part of the government coalition. Cunha left the coalition in July after a Petrobras consultant alleged that he demanded bribes for contracts.
Cunha denied involvement in the scheme back in March.
Cunha allegedly received kickbacks in a Swiss account from a Petrobras contract in Africa. A lobbyist (reportedly the operator for PMDB at Petrobras) said he deposited $7.5 million in Cunha’s account. Swiss officials confirmed that there was $5 million in accounts belonging to Cunha, according to the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office.
His attorneys, in a statement said that they learned about the allegations from media report. They plan to ask the Supreme Court for access to the investigation.
Opposition leaders sent Cunha an e-mail urging him to resign. A group of MPs, Rousseff’s supporters on the left, demanded Cunha be investigated under the code of ethics.
Cunha has denied the accounts, and said that he will not resign. He claims that the Brazil’s chief prosecutor leaked the information to embarrass him politically.
These calls for resignation comes just days after Brazil’s Court of Accounts ruled that President Dilma Rousseff’s government “overstated tax receipts and hid expenses,” manipulating 2014 revenue and spending figures. It is up to Cunha to make the decision on whether to let the dozen or so impeachment motions filed in Congress to proceed.
It is reported that Cunha was working with other members to start the proceedings when news broke of the kickbacks.
The president’s office has so far declined to comment on the matter.
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