Ex-President Michel Temer freed from detention

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — For the second time since he left office on Jan. 1, former Brazilian President Michel Temer was released from jail on Wednesday, a week after his arrest in a corruption probe.

His lawyer, Eduardo Carnelos, told reporters outside Temer’s house in Sao Paulo that prosecutors were “persecuting” the former president.

Earlier Wednesday, a judge in Rio de Janeiro signed off on Temer’s release from the police station where he had been detained since May 9. A day before, four judges had voted unanimously to temporarily release the 78-year-old politician, arguing that the circumstances did not justify preventive detention.

Instead, Temer has to comply with a series of lighter preventive measures, such as handing over his passport.

The superior court justices will deliver a final decision at a later date.

Temer is being investigated for allegedly receiving bribes from a construction company in exchange for a government contract to build a nuclear power plant in the state of Rio de Janeiro. He denies any wrongdoing.

The investigation is part of the “Car Wash” probe that begun in 2014 and has unveiled complex corruption schemes involving high-ranking politicians and businessmen.

Also as part of “Car Wash,” former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was found guilty of corruption and is currently serving a sentence of eight years and 10 months.