Brazil’s top prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, has requested the Supreme Court to probe President Dilma Rousseff for trying to obstruct a sweeping corruption investigation involving state run oil firm Petrobras.
An investigation could well mark the political end for the leader of the world’s seventh-largest economy. She is already likely to be suspended from office as early as next week on unrelated charges of breaking budgetary laws.
The corruption scandal has cast a shadow over the 13 years of Workers Party rule that saw Brazil’s middle class grow since 2003.
Rousseff has consistently maintained that she has done nothing wrong, despite serving as the chairwoman of Petrobras board for several years. Last month, the lower house of Congress voted overwhelmingly to impeach her.
The case has already seen executives from Brazil’s biggest construction firms jailed and convicted for siphoning funds from Petrobras to bribe politicians. Around 50 politicians are under investigation, including the leaders of both houses of Congress.
The prosecutor general has also asked the Supreme Court to investigate former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and several of President Dilma Rousseff’s ministers including chief of staff Jaques Wagner, the minister in charge of legislative affairs Ricardo Berzoini, and her spokesman Edinho Silva.