Government must go on despite graft probe: Brazil President

Indo Asian News Service

Brasilia, April 13 (IANS) Brazilian President Michel Temer said the government must continue its work despite a massive corruption investigation targeting more than 80 officials, including members of his cabinet, a media report said on Thursday.

"The government cannot be paralysed," Temer said, a day after the Federal Supreme Court (STF) revealed the extent of a wide-reaching probe into corruption in the public sector, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Nothing must stop the activity of the government," said Temer, some of whose closest aides appeared on the court's investigation list of suspects named in Operation Car Wash.

The court's special rapporteur for the investigation, Judge Edson Fachin, on Tuesday unveiled the list which targeted eight ministers.

Originally, the number was nine, but apparently Fachin asked prosecutors to exclude Culture Minister Roberto Freire due to the fact that he is over 70.

Also on the list are the leaders of prominent political parties, including the Brazilian Social Democracy Party -- the chief party in the ruling coalition -- and its closest ally, the Brazilian Social Democratic Party.

Additionally, the Presidents of both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, and 71 legislators (42 deputies and 29 senators), are under investigation.

The suspects have all been incriminated by former executives of construction firms, such as Odebrecht, that paid bribes and kickbacks to officials in exchange for lucrative construction contracts.

--IANS

sm/vt