RIO DE JANEIRO, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The Sixth Panel of Brazil's Superior Court of Justice granted ex-President Michel Temer temporary release to await trial for corruption.
The former president was jailed on Thursday under an order of preventive arrest, which is an instrument of Brazilian law to ensure the arrest of an accused before trial in order to preserve evidence, avoid the threat to witnesses, and prevent the continuation of a crime.
However, the Superior Court of Justice unanimously decided that there was no justification for the preventive custody, and that Temer had the right to await trial free.
The court's decision also applies to Colonel Joao Batista Lima, a friend of Temer who is being charged in the same process. Both must be released as soon as the official communique reaches their detention units.
The former president is accused of heading a several-year-long corruption scheme related to the construction of nuclear power plant Angra 3, in Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro state.
According to the prosecution office, Temer and his allies, among which Colonel Lima is a prominent figure, embezzled millions from the government, defrauded governmental contracts with a construction company, took hefty bribes and engaged in money laundering.
Though Temer and Lima were granted habeas corpus, they will have to follow some rules: they are not allowed to change addresses, leave the country and have any sort of contact with other people or organizations under investigation.
Meanwhile, they must surrender their passport to the authorities, and Temer is banned from holding any political positions, including positions of leadership inside his party.