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Brazilian congressional report recommends against putting president on trial

Brazilian President Michel Temer should not face trial for obstruction of justice and membership in a criminal organization because the charges against him were unfounded, according to a lawmaker's report awaiting congressional approval, Reuters reported.

Congressman Bonifacio de Andrada's report recommended the shelving of the charges against Temer and two cabinet ministers, saying they were based on "bogus" plea bargain statements that do not merit criminal prosecution. The lawmaker, a Temer ally, said there was no evidence of criminal organization.

The charges stemmed from a corruption case involving allegations of bribes paid by meatpacker JBS. Temer had been accused of taking bribes in return for political favors, an allegation that he denied.

The Brazilian Congress' constitutional and legal affairs committee is expected to approve de Andrada's report next week, while the entire lower house could close the case a week later, according to Reuters.

In August, the lower house dismissed a bribery charge against Temer, sparing him from a possible trial that could have led to his removal from office.