Rousseff says impeachment aimed at corruption probe

2016-05-30 07:02
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff speaks after leaving Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia. (Felipe Dana, AP)

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff speaks after leaving Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia. (Felipe Dana, AP)

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Rio de Janeiro - Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff said in an interview published on Sunday that leaked audio recordings of men backing her impeachment show that the effort to oust her is meant to stop a corruption probe that has implicated numerous leading politicians and businessmen.

Rousseff told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper that revelation of the recordings gives her hope of returning to office. She was suspended early this month pending a Senate impeachment trial. Her now-estranged Vice President Michel Temer is serving as interim leader.

Recordings of three politicians of Temer's Brazilian Democratic Movement Party appear to link her ouster to attempts to limit the investigation. Those involved deny that interpretation, and there is no evidence so far that they have stalled the probe.

"The dialogues show that the real cause for my impeachment was an attempt to obstruct the Car Wash operation," Rousseff said, referring to the name of the corruption investigations at state-run oil giant Petrobras. "It was all made by those who thought that, without changing the government, the bleeding [of politicians] would continue."

She said that another of the conversations noted that she had allowed the investigations to go forward. "These conversations prove what we have consistently said: We never interfered. And those that wanted my impeachment had that objective. It is not me saying, it is them."

The recordings forced new Planning Minister Romero Juca to take a leave of office, while two other heavyweights in Temer's party, Senate chief Renan Calheiros and former President Jose Sarney, were heard making damaging comments about the acting president, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazil's Supreme Court, lawmakers and businessmen.

Read more on:    dilma rousseff  |  brazil

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