Second minister forced to quit Brazil’s new regime over corruption probe tape

The government of Brazil’s acting president Michel Temer has taken a fresh hit on Monday as the anti-corruption minister resigned after a recording revealed him criticising a probe into graft at state oil giant Petrobras, officials said. Fabiano Silveira was the second minister to exit in the span of a week from Temer’s government, which has only been in power for 18 days following the suspension of Dilma Rousseff for an impeachment trial. In audio released by Globo television on Sunday night, Silveira was heard talking to Senate President Renan Calheiros and Sergio Machado, the president of Petrobras subsidiary Transpetro, both of whom are being investigated in the embezzlement probe.

…generic comments and simple opinion, amplified by the climate of political exasperation to which we all bear witness.

Fabiano Silveira

In the recording, Silveira was heard saying that the prosecution in the case was “lost” and gave advice to Machado on how to protect himself from the investigation. The conversation was recorded at Calheiros’ residence some time before the Senate voted to suspend Rousseff pending an impeachment trial and put the government in Temer’s hands. Brazilian media had said Temer met Cabinet ministers in the afternoon and decided to keep Silveira on the job for now, with Silveira saying he was not involved in any wrongdoing. But later Silveira sent a letter of resignation, saying it was best that he leave the job “despite the fact that nothing is hitting my behaviour”.

until a full investigation is conducted and a new minister with adequate experience in the fight against corruption is appointed.

President Michel Temer