Reports: Brazil arrests key figure behind Rousseff impeachment

Eduardo Cunha, the central figure behind the impeachment of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, was arrested Wednesday in Brasilia on corruption charges, according to news reports.

He is accused of pocketing millions of dollars in bribes from contractors with the oil company Petrobras and depositing a portion of the amount in Swiss bank accounts, which have been frozen, according to the daily newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.

Cunha is the former speaker of Brazil's lower House of Deputies and architect of its vote on April 17 to open impeachment proceedings against Rousseff.

Brazil's Senate voted overwhelmingly on August 31 to remove Rousseff from office in the final phase of the impeachment trial.

Two weeks later Cunha was removed from his position as speaker of the house by a vote of 450-10. He was arrested under an order issued by Judge Sergio Moro, who has led the nationwide investigation into the corruption scandal.

Hundreds of politicians and managers are under suspicion in connection with the payment of bribes. Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is accused of being the ringmaster.

Last update: Wed, 19/10/2016 - 19:11

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