Three people linked to Brazi's President Michel Temer were arrested Thursday in the investigation of a decree the head of state allegedly signed to benefit a port company in exchange for bribes.
Among the detainees Thursday were lawyer José Yunes, a friend of Temer's for more than 40 years, and retired Colonel Joao Baptista Lima, also known for socializing the head of state. They were both placed under a five-day temporary arrest.
The military officer was arrested at his home in Sao Paulo, but was taken by ambulance to a hospital in the capital of São Paulo after alleging health problems.
Also arrested was former minister Wagner Rossi, also closely linked to the president and who between 1999 and 2000 chaired the company that manages the port of Santos, the largest in Brazil.
In the framework of the Skala Operation, agents also arrested Antonio Grecco, one of the partners of the port company Rodrimar.
The arrest warrants were issued by Supreme Court (STF) Justice Luiz Roberto Barroso.
Earlier in March, Barroso lifted Temer's bank secrecy.
The authorities are investigating whether the decree sanctioned in 2017, which altered the ports law, played in Rodrimar's favour in exchange for bribes paid to Temer's Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB).
Yunes' defence team considered his inprisonment illegal and an act of violence against their client.
Yunes was a special advisor to Temer, but was forced to resign in 2016 after being splattered in the confession of a former executive of the construction company Odebrecht, protagonist of the gigantic corruption scandal at state oil company Petrobras.
Yunes, who declared last November before the police in the framework of the investigation, and Colonel Lima have both been identified by some informers as middle-men in the alleged bribes.
The Brazilian president, who is considering running in next October's elections, has denied on several occasions that he has committed irregularities in the so-called decree of the ports and has reiterated that the document was signed after a long negotiation between the Government and the port sector.
Temer has been in office since 2016 after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, when he was vicepresident.