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Brazil: “I Name Whoever I Wish to Senate,” Son of Senator Sarney Says in Tape

September 25th, 2009
Sarney, a man under fire. Photo Agencia Brasil

Sarney, a man under fire. Photo Agencia Brasil

The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s main ally in the Senate, former Brazilian president and current senate president José Sarney is again on the “corruption” spotlight following the release of incriminating tapes, this time involving his son Fernando Sarney.

“I name whoever I wish in the Senate,” Sarney Jr is recorded on a taped phone call from the Federal Police as part of an investigation into his activities.

Fernando Sarney was indicted earlier this year for money laundering and illegal trafficking of foreign currency.

According to daily Folha de S. Paulo, following the taped conversation a close relative of the Sarney family was named to an administrative post in the Senate with a monthly salary equivalent to US$ 4.000.

Last month the Senate Ethics Council received eleven corruption claims against Senator Sarney, but they were brushed aside by the head of the council, a political ally and personal friend of the Senate president.

Sarney as president of the Senate and the main block in the Upper house holds a key post regarding the legislative agenda and is crucial for the approval of bills.

In spite of all the corruption claims which include deviation of funds, nepotism, naming his several villas’ domestic personnel as Senate staff and even having a private room for “intimate affairs” in the Senate compound, Lula supported him alleging they were all unfounded fabricated criticisms.

The Workers Party block in the Senate after much feet dragging finally followed Lula’s instructions and voted down an investigation on the charges against his Senate ally, and ex-president (1985-1990) José Sarney.


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