Brazil's Temer regrets death of Supreme Court judge

2017-01-20 03:40:18 GMT2017-01-20 11:40:18(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's President Michel Temer on Thursday evening made an official statement to mourn the death of Supreme Court judge Teori Zavascki, who was killed earlier in the day in a plane crash.

Temer declared three days of national mourning in Brazil for the death of the judge, who was in charge of the court's investigation into a wide-ranging corruption scandal.

"He was a good man and a source of pride for all Brazilians," Temer said.

"I join all Brazilians to regret the passing of a public man distinguished by his impeccable trajectory in defense of the law and justice," he added.

Former President Dilma Rousseff, who appointed Zavascki to the Supreme Court in 2012, also issued a statement mourning his death.

"Today we lost a great Brazilian. As a judge and a citizen, Teori was an intellectual of the law and a man who cared for justice," Rousseff said.

Other ex-presidents Jose Sarney and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva voiced their griefs as well.

Brazilian media reports said Zavascki had received threats in the past year, one of them he confirmed last June as in link with his job of investigating a corruption scheme involving government contracts with the private sector, especially Brazil's oil giant Petrobras.

His death in the Thursday plane crash came several days after media reported he was about to admit key testimonies implicating high-profile politicians.

At least three were killed out of the four people aboard the plane flying from Sao Paulo to Paraty, about 260 km west of the city of Rio, according to Brazilian media. The plane crashed into the sea during poor weather conditions shortly before landing in Paraty.

So far, there has been no evidence of foul play found in the crash.