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Brazil's Top Prosecutor Asks High Court to Remove Eduardo Cunha

Brasilia, December 17 (teleSUR-RHC)-- Brazil’s highest prosecutor has asked the Supreme Court to order the dismissal of embattled House Speaker Eduardo Cunha from the Lower House of Congress saying he is obstructing justice and using his position to “coerce and intimidate” other lawmakers.

Attorney General Rodrigo Janot said Wednesday that Cunha should be dismissed from Congress for using his position as speaker to obstruct a probe into a corruption scandal in which the speaker is involved. Cunha is accused of accepting at least US$5 million in bribes, but he has denied any wrongdoing on several occasions.

“Eduardo Cunha has used his position as speaker of the lower house with the sole purpose of self-protection through spurious actions so he could avoid investigation of his conduct,” Janot stated.

In a statement on their website, the attorney general's office said Janot's request to the Supreme Court includes “11 facts that prove that Eduardo Cunha uses his mandate” to “coerce and intimidate lawmakers, those who have turned state's evidence, lawyers and public officials, with the object of hindering and delaying investigations against him.”

Janot added that in order to guarantee a transparent and fair investigation Cunha needs to be removed from the lower house.

However, Janot's petition to the high court may not find ears until February when judges return to their positions.

Cunha faces corruption and money laundering accusations, including that he received millions of dollars from companies that paid him and other lawmakers and officials bribes in exchange for contracts with the state-run Brazilian oil company Petrobras.

Cunha reacted to Janot's petition to the Supreme Court saying his actions were politically motivated to divert attention from the impeachment proceedings the speaker has spearheaded against President Dilma Rousseff.
On Tuesday, Cunha's home and a second property were raided by police searching for evidence against him. That same day 50 federal deputies signed a letter to the Supreme Court calling for Cunha to stand down from his position as speaker while under investigation.

Brazilians in more than 15 cities marched Wednesday to show their opposition to efforts by right-wing politicians to oust Rousseff through what they've deemed to be a “parliamentary coup.”    

Cunha began impeachment proceedings against Rousseff, triggering a political trial that could see the president deposed before the end of her term. However, the speaker is far from achieving his goal as he will have a difficult time garnering the support of at least 70 more legislators to back his measure against the president. 
Edited by Ivan Martínez
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