The Americas

Brazilian justice suspends house speaker, foe of president

  • FILE - In this April 26, 2016 file photo, a demonstrator hold a sign that reads in Portuguese "1,314,003 people require the mandate of Eduardo Cunha be annulled" during a protest against the president of House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, before the ethics committee of the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia, Brazil. Cunha was named among many top officials to be investigated for corruption by the Supreme Court, authorized by Brazil's attorney general according to Brazilian news reports on Monday, May 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

    FILE - In this April 26, 2016 file photo, a demonstrator hold a sign that reads in Portuguese "1,314,003 people require the mandate of Eduardo Cunha be annulled" during a protest against the president of House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, before the ethics committee of the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia, Brazil. Cunha was named among many top officials to be investigated for corruption by the Supreme Court, authorized by Brazil's attorney general according to Brazilian news reports on Monday, May 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 15, 2016 file photo, House Speaker Eduardo Cunha attends a debate on whether or not to impeach the president, at the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia, Brazil. A justice on Brazil’s supreme court suspended Cunha, which temporarily removes him. He’s been leading the effort to impeach President Dilma Rousseff but himself faces a long list of corruption allegations and is accused by Brazil’s chief-prosecutor of obstructing justice. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

    FILE - In this April 15, 2016 file photo, House Speaker Eduardo Cunha attends a debate on whether or not to impeach the president, at the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia, Brazil. A justice on Brazil’s supreme court suspended Cunha, which temporarily removes him. He’s been leading the effort to impeach President Dilma Rousseff but himself faces a long list of corruption allegations and is accused by Brazil’s chief-prosecutor of obstructing justice. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)  (The Associated Press)

A justice on Brazil's supreme court has suspended the leader of the country's lower house of Congress.

The move at least temporarily removes Eduardo Cunha. He's been leading the effort to impeach President Dilma Rousseff but himself faces a long list of corruption allegations.

Justice Teori Zavascki's made the decision Thursday ahead of a full session of the court, which could decide to confirm, overturn or simply not take up Zavascki's decision.

Cunha is accused by Brazil's chief-prosecutor of obstructing justice.

Chief prosecutor Rodrigo Janot has called Cunha "a criminal" who used his position to obstruct a probe into corruption at the state oil company Petrobras.

The move to impeach Rousseff has moved to the Senate, so Cunha's suspension has no direct effect on it now.