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Johannesburg - The chief prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot on Monday evening charged Brazil’s President, Michel Temer with corruption.

According to documents filed at the Supreme Court, Temer is accused of corruption and obstruction of justice.

Janot’s charges are based partly on a secret recording of a conversation between Temer and Joesley Batista, the former CEO of the meat-packing giant JBS.

He alleges the audio tape that was released in May, shows Temer’s endorsement of the payment of hush money as well as the president ignoring Batista’s claims of bribing public officials.

Since he took office in May last year, his market-friendly administration has been dogged by scandal, accusations of illegitimacy and low levels of popularity. Last month’s explosive allegations of criminality destabilized yet further his government and prompted, briefly, a sell-off of Brazilian assets.

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Temer, has however vowed to stay in office and the decision of his main political ally, the PSDB, to continue to back his government has strengthened his chances of finishing his mandate.

The charges need to be approved by two-thirds of Brazil’s chamber of deputies to proceed. It is not yet clear how long that process will take. The president has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Temer came to power following Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment process that has seen her suspended from office since May 2016.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE