The Brazilian Supreme Court has cleared the way for a massive probe into alleged bribery and campaign finance violations by leading political figures, according to news reports Wednesday. The O Estado de São Paulo newspaper was first to report on a list of 98 names approved for further investigation by the Supreme Court. The order to initiate formal investigations was given by Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin, acting in the name of the full 11-member panel. The list names some of the “who’s who” in Brazilian politics, including six current Cabinet members, three governors, dozens of members of Congress and four former presidents. Among those cited are Eliseu Padilha and Wellington Moreira Franco, the two Cabinet members considered closest to President Michel Temer. Among members of Congress, the list cites Chamber of Deputies Speaker Rodrigo Maia and Senate President Eunício Oliveira. Senator Aécio Neves, the Social Democratic presidential nominee in 2014, is cited. Former presidents Fernando Collor, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff are cited. President Temer is not cited on the list. Those on the list will now be subjected to a systemic probe into allegations of bribery, money laundering and financing violations dating back to campaigns in the 1990s and continuing up to the 2014 presidential and general elections. Following the investigation, prosecutors will be free to seek indictments against some or all of those cited on the list.
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