Brazil speaker faces ethics hearings over secret Swiss bank accounts

Reuters in Brasília – The Guardian, 11/5/2015

A Brazilian congressional ethics committee has picked a first-term legislator to lead an investigation into secret Swiss bank accounts allegedly held by Eduardo Cunha, the speaker of the lower house.

The investigation, part of the fallout from a kickback scandal engulfing the state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, could seal the political fate of Cunha, third in the line of presidential succession.

It is therefore a crucial piece of an ongoing political drama surrounding President Dilma Rousseff, currently facing the deepest economic and political crisis in Brazil in decades. As speaker, Cunha is the sole lawmaker with constitutional authority to take up one of the many impeachment requests filed by opponents against her.

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