Blow to Bolsonaro as Brazil top court judge reopens probe into his son

Blow to Bolsonaro as Brazil top court judge reopens probe into his son
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Sergio Moraes(Reuters)
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By Ricardo Brito

BRASILIA (Reuters) - A Brazilian Supreme Court justice on Friday reopened a probe into suspicious cash payments involving President Jair Bolsonaro's son Flavio, reviving an investigation that has dogged the president's first few weeks in office.

In his decision revoking an earlier injunction blocking the probe, Justice Marco Aurelio Mello also ruled that the immunity from prosecution that top elected officials enjoy should not apply to the investigation. Mello said the alleged crimes were committed before he took office as a federal lawmaker.

The decision to reopen the investigation is a blow to President Jair Bolsonaro, who surged to victory on a promise to clean up years of graft-stained political dealmaking.

The Supreme Court decision, which can be overturned at a later date by the full panel of justices if Bolsonaro appeals, comes on the same day Flavio is sworn in as a senator, and as Brazil's new class of federal lawmakers begin the 2019 session.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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