Brazil's ex-president arrested in corruption investigation

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Brazil's former President Michel Temer was arrested on Thursday in a corruption investigation, according to local media.

The arrest was ordered by Judge Marcelo Bretas, who is in charge of the Operation Car Wash investigations on corruption in the government.

Seven others were arrested, including Moreira Franco, who served as minister of Mines and Energy in the Temer government and retired Colonel Joao Baptista Lima Filho, a close friend of Temer.

The former president has been mentioned in several different cases of corruption, but was arrested for a particular case of bribe-taking.

He is accused of taking 1 million reals (about 262,000 U.S. dollars) in bribes from construction company Engevix, in exchange for favoring the company in a contract with nuclear power plant Angra 3.

Franco and Lima are accused of having acted as middlemen in the case.

According to the prosecution office, participants of the scheme, including Temer, committed crimes of corruption, embezzlement and money laundering, which involved other companies and governmental contracts as well.

Temer is "the head of a criminal organization" which has been active in Rio for decades, said Judge Bretas.

Temer, the predecessor of current President Jair Bolsonaro, left office last year. He is the second Brazilian president that has been arrested for corruption, following Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is currently serving a 12-year-and-one-month prison sentence for corruption and money laundering.

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