A sleazy schemer goes to jail at last

O Globo (Rio de Janeiro)

The Week Middle East - - News -

How sat­is­fy­ing that the man who or­ches­trated the down­fall of Brazil’s for­mer pres­i­dent, Dilma Rouss­eff, should now be in jail him­self, says Jorge Bas­tos Moreno. In this year’s wave of ar­rests of sleazy politi­cians and busi­ness­men, one name was ab­sent: for­mer par­lia­men­tary speaker Ed­uardo Cunha, a man who seemed above the law. His power base was among the back­benchers in the small par­ties, whose votes he bro­kered in ex­change for favours. Sev­eral busi­ness­men have ad­mit­ted to de­posit­ing large bribes in his se­cret ac­counts, whose ex­is­tence, fu­ri­ously de­nied by him, has since been con­firmed by Swiss bank­ing au­thor­i­ties. He staved off in­ves­ti­ga­tion by threat­en­ing to re­veal se­crets and ruin rep­u­ta­tions: he opened im­peach­ment pro­ceed­ings against Rouss­eff af­ter she re­fused to speak out in his de­fence in a cor­rup­tion probe last year. Now his luck has run out. In May the Supreme Court sacked him from the speak­er­ship; last month par­lia­ment stripped him of his of­fice as deputy. An or­di­nary ci­ti­zen once more, he was quickly picked up by po­lice and jailed pend­ing trial, to stop him ab­scond­ing. It gives Brazil­ians hope that jus­tice in their coun­try hasn’t been ut­terly lost.

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