Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s suspended president, in an interview published Sunday, said that leaked audio recordings of those backing her impeachment proved that efforts to remove her from power were meant to stall a probe into mass corruption in the country.
Local newspaper Folha de S. Paulo quoted Rousseff as saying that these recordings have given her the hope of returning to office, after she was suspended earlier this month due to an impending Senate impeachment trial, according to the Associated Press.
Former vice president, Michel Temer, is currently serving as the acting leader. Three politicians from his Brazilian Democratic Movement Party came up in the recordings that link Rousseff’s ouster to attempts of limiting the graft investigation.
The new Planning Minister Romero Juca has had to take a leave of absence after these recordings surfaced last week. Senate President Renan Calheiros and former president Jose Sarney were also heard on the leaked tapes.
According to the AP, those involved deny this interpretation. There also has been no evidence yet that the probe has been stalled by them. Rousseff’s allegation refers to the corruption investigation into the state-run oil company Petrobras.
“The dialogues show that the real cause for my impeachment was an attempt to obstruct the ‘Car Wash’ operation,” Rousseff said in the interview to the local paper. “It was all made by those who thought that, without changing the government, the bleeding [of politicians] would continue.”
Another part of the recordings of the conversations noted that she had allowed the investigations to go forward.
In response to this allegation, Rousseff said, “These conversations prove what we have consistently said: We never interfered. And those that wanted my impeachment had that objective. It is not me saying, it is them.”
Petrobras has been one of the biggest scandals Brazil faces today. Prosecutors in Brazil reportedly say the company’s executives colluded with construction companies to massively overcharge the state oil giant. The extra money went to kickbacks and payoffs to company executives, politicians and political parties, including Rousseff’s Workers' Party.