Brazil: Brazil’s Senate passes bill prosecutors view as curbing graft probes

Author(s): Anthony Boadle, Brad Brooks | Date: April 26, 2017 | Language: English
Source: http://www.reuters.com/ | URL: https://goo.gl/qAVJYG | Type: Text

Brazilian Senators, two dozen of whom are being investigated for corruption, pushed through a bill on Wednesday that many prosecutors and judges say curbs their ability to carry out probes, mainly those targeting the politicians themselves.
The scandal-plagued Senate voted 54-19 to approve the measure that punishes public servants and members of the government, legislature and judiciary for so-called “abuse of power.”
Prosecutors could be punished with up to six months’ suspension for collecting evidence illegally, such as wiretaps or violation of bank secrecy rules without judicial authorization, or of simply showing impartiality against those they investigate.
The Senate voted two weeks after the Supreme Court opened investigations into 98 politicians for receiving bribes and political kickbacks in Brazil’s biggest corruption scandal involving billions of dollars in bribes connected to projects at state-run oil company Petrobras during the past 15 years.