Brazil’s ex-education minister arrested on corruption charges

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s former high schooling official was arrested on corruption expenses, the president mentioned on Wednesday, noting his former aide will reply for his actions forward of elections later this yr by which graft scandals loom giant for voters.

“If he’s harmless, no drawback. If he’s responsible, he pays,” President Jair Bolsonaro instructed native broadcaster Radio Itatiaia, referring to former Schooling Minister Milton Ribeiro.

“The federal government is collaborating with the investigation. We do not condone any of this.”

In an announcement, Ribeiro’s lawyer Daniel Bialski mentioned his consumer’s arrest was “unfair, unmotivated, pointless” and that he was submitting a authorized movement to free him.

In keeping with a police supply, Ribeiro’s arrest is a part of the so-called “Entry Paid” operation geared toward investigating corruption and affect peddling associated to the spending of public funds from an schooling growth fund.

In an announcement on Wednesday, police pressured that their investigations have uncovered “potential proof” of crimes involving using public cash.

Ribeiro resigned in March after allegations surfaced that he gave preferential remedy to 2 pastors for academic funding in return for bribes.

He was the third schooling minister to give up below Bolsonaro, who ran on a pledge to curb corruption.

When accusations in opposition to Ribeiro first emerged earlier this yr, Bolsonaro referred to as them “cowardice,” including that he totally trusted him.

The schooling ministry has confirmed {that a} police workforce visited its places of work, including that it was cooperating with investigations.

The probes give attention to crimes similar to affect peddling, abuse of energy, and different corruption-related expenses.

Native media mentioned an evangelical pastor linked to Bolsonaro was additionally arrested within the operation.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito and Eduardo Simoes; Writing by Steven Grattan and Gabriel Araujo; Enhancing by Richard Chang)

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