Brazilian judge decides to release former president Michel Temer

FILE - VOA NEWS -- Brazil's President Michel Temer gestures during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia
FILE - VOA NEWS -- Brazil's President Michel Temer gestures during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — A Brazilian judge on Monday ordered the release of former President Michel Tamer, who was arrested on Thursday as part of an anti-corruption probe in São Paulo.

The investigation into which Tamer was arrested began five years ago, the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil’s history, involving the Petrobras oil group.

Judge Antonio Evi said in his ruling that the 78-year-old man’s 78-year-old detention was not legally justified.

The judge also decided to release former mining and energy minister Moreira Franco, who was also suspended Thursday.

“I would like to see our country free from the corruption it suffers from, yet without constitutional guarantees guaranteed to all … there will be no legitimacy for the war against this pandemic,” the judge said, referring to corruption.

Tamer came to power in August 2016 after Dilma Rousseff, the left-wing president, was sacked on charges of forging public accounts, a vice president of the center-right.

He was forced to relinquish power after Jair Bolsonaro won the presidential election in January, with his popularity plummeting in a state overshadowed by corruption scandals.

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