Brazil’s lower house speaker indicted for money laundering

– Brazil’s Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 22 indicted suspended speaker of the lower house Eduardo Cunha on charges of money laundering and illegal currency dealing, dragging the powerful politician further into the sweeping scandal involving state-oil company Petrobras, Reuters reports.

“There is concrete evidence that deputy Eduardo Cunha received (illicit) funds,” Teori Zavascki, the supreme court justice overseeing the case, said in the ruling.

It is the second time charges have been accepted against Cunha in the so-called Car Wash investigation, which centers on kickbacks paid to politicians by construction companies working with Petrobras.

The move could increase the chance of Cunha taking a plea deal, a scenario that concerns many in his Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) party, to which interim President Michel Temer belongs.

Earlier this week, Cunha defiantly denied any criminal wrongdoing and said he would not resign despite the mounting charges against him.