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Recording Allegedly Shows Minister Plotting Against Brazil's Rousseff

  • VOA News

Brazilian Planning Minister Romero Juca talks to reporters about a leaked phone recording at his offices in Brasilia, Brazil, May 23, 2016.

Brazilian Planning Minister Romero Juca talks to reporters about a leaked phone recording at his offices in Brasilia, Brazil, May 23, 2016.

A Brazilian government minister, shown in a leaked recording to allegedly be plotting the impeachment of suspended President Dilma Rousseff to stop a corruption probe, said Monday that he would temporarily step down.

Planning Minister Romero Jucá denied the allegations and said a partial transcript of the tape, published Monday in the Folha newspaper, was taken out of context.

The recording, made in March, allegedly showed Jucá and a former oil company executive, Sergio Machado, discussing a government probe of corruption at the state-run oil company Petrobas, in which both men are implicated.

According to the transcript, Jucá said, "We have to change the government so the bleeding is stopped."

Machado allegedly responded with "the easiest solution is to put Michel in" — a reference to Vice President Michel Temer, a Rousseff foe who is acting president.

Jucá reportedly said he was working with the country's justices, who have the final word on impeachment.

Rousseff's supporters said the leaked tape bore out their contention that the president was the victim of a coup.

The Brazilian Senate voted to impeach Rousseff on charges that she used accounting tricks to hide the Brazilian budget deficit when she ran for re-election in 2014.

She has been suspended from office for the duration of her impeachment trial.

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