Page last updated at 10:44 GMT, Friday, 12 February 2010

Governor of Brazil's capital city surrenders to police

Archive photo of Jose Roberto Arruda Photo: Agencia Brasil
Jose Roberto Arruda resigned from the Democratas party in December

The governor of Brazil's capital, Brasilia, has turned himself in to police after judges approved a warrant for his arrest for alleged corruption.

Jose Roberto Arruda is accused of involvement in a ring that took bribes from contractors and trying to bribe a witness in a corruption inquiry.

Video footage emerged last year apparently showing Mr Arruda accepting cash during his 2006 election campaign.

He denied any wrongdoing and said it was for sweet bread for poor families.

Video outrage

Mr Arruda has been at the centre of a political storm since last November when a hidden camera filmed him apparently accepting bundles of money.

The footage was uploaded onto the internet, provoking an uproar.

His initial explanation that the money was a donation to help him buy panettone for poor people in Brasilia was widely ridiculed, says the BBC's Brazil correspondent, Gary Duffy.

Mr Arruda surrendered to police after the Supreme Court justices voted 12-2 to approve his arrest, accusing him of attempting to obstruct corruption investigations.

A journalist who is a key witness in the corruption inquiry is reported to have told police he was offered $500,000 to change his evidence.

With presidential elections due in Brazil in October, opposition parties had intended to remind voters of the corruption allegations that engulfed President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's Workers Party during his first term in office.

But the accusations surrounding Mr Arruda, who resigned from the centre-right Democratas party in December, may undermine those plans, our correspondent says.

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