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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Brazil President Undergoes Prostate Surgery, Remains Hospitalized

SAO PAULO – Brazil’s President Michel Temer has undergone a prostate operation and remains hospitalized at a facility in Sao Paulo, officials said on Saturday.

Surgeons performed a procedure to reduce the size of Temer’s prostate and widen his urethral channel, the press office of the presidency said in a statement, which added that the operation was a success and that the head of state was now recovering in the semi-intensive-care unit of the Sirio Libanes Hospital.

Temer, 77, had sought treatment Friday night for an enlarged prostate that was obstructing his urinary stream.

The president had previously been hospitalized in Brasilia Wednesday for a “urinary obstruction” but was released hours later after undergoing a series of tests at a military hospital in the capital.

Temer’s health issues emerged in a week in which the lower house of Congress once again voted not to approve corruption charges leveled against him by federal prosecutors.

Temer’s allies in Congress voted 251-233 Wednesday against a motion that would have put him on trial before the Supreme Court on charges of obstruction of justice and racketeering. A two-thirds majority was needed to approve the charges.

In an earlier lower-house vote in August, Temer avoided a high-court trial on bribery charges.

All of the charges stemmed from plea-bargain testimony by the owners of meatpacking giant JBS, Joesley and Wesley Batista, who confessed that they had paid hundreds of millions in bribes in exchange for obtaining contracts and favorable-term loans that helped grow the company into a global giant.

Among the most explosive evidence was a tape that the Batistas handed over to prosecutors.

On it, Temer appeared to encourage the continued payment of hush money to Eduardo Cunha, a former speaker of the lower house who was convicted of graft earlier this year and sentenced to a more than 15-year prison term.

Cunha is one of the most prominent political figures to be ensnared in a $2 billion bribes-for-inflated contracts scandal centered on state oil company Petrobras.

 

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