December 12, 2016 / 4:39 PM / 9 months ago

Brazil prosecutor brings new graft charges against Senate head

SAO PAULO, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Brazil’s top prosecutor brought new charges against Senate President Renan Calheiros on Monday, accusing him of taking part in corruption at state oil company Petrobras a week after he was nearly removed in an earlier embezzlement case.

Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot said Calheiros had received part of a donation of 800,000 reais ($240,000) in 2010 from an oil and gas contractor in return for keeping a senior Petrobras executive in the post where he was later convicted of currying favors.

Representatives for Calheiros did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Calheiros was indicted on Dec. 1 by the Supreme Court over allegations of misusing public funds in a nine-year-old case involving the payment of child support for a daughter from an extramarital affair.

A Supreme Court justice ruled last week that Calheiros should be removed from his leadership role, but the full court overturned the injunction, defusing a standoff that threatened to derail the government’s agenda of economic reforms.

Under Brazil’s constitution, members of Congress can only be tried by the Supreme Court, which often takes years to rule on major investigations because of an extensive backlog of cases. ($1 = 3.35 reais) (Reporting by Brad Haynes; editing by Grant McCool)

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