Former Rio governors arrested again over corruption

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-31 16:21:34|Editor: xuxin
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Former Rio de Janeiro state governors Anthony Garotinho and Rosinha Matheus were arrested on Wednesday in a corruption case.

The two politicians, who are a couple, were arrested earlier this year before benefiting from a habeas corpus -- a legal procedure to dispute the legal basis for confinement. However, the habeas corpus was suspended on their alleged attempt to coerce a witness, which obstructed justice.

Garotinho and Matheus's lawyers claimed their arrest was illegal and arbitrary. They had filed for another habeas corpus at the Supreme Federal Court but was denied. This means the couple could remain in jail for the time being.

The two former Rio governors are accused of fraud in the contracts between the construction company Odebrecht and the municipal government of Campos dos Goytacazes, where Matheus was mayor from 2009 to 2016 after her governorship.

It was the fifth time Garotinho was arrested in the past two years, and the third time for Matheus.

Garotinho was Rio governor from 1999 to 2002, and his wife Matheus, the first woman who held the office, from 2003 to 2007.

Rio state has seen its elected governors in the past two decades mostly behind bars. Matheus's successor Sergio Cabral, from 2007 to 2014, is currently serving several sentences amounting to over 100 years in prison and his successor, Luiz Fernando Pezao, from 2014 to 2018 with a break in 2016, is also in jail.