Lula’s Ex-minister and Confidante Accuses Brazil’s Former President of Accepting US$ 100 Million in Bribes

A former finance minister and close confidant of Lula accused Brazil’s ex-president of receiving bribes from contractor Odebrecht, adding to a list of corruption accusations that threaten Lula’s ability to run for president in 2018.

Lawyers for the former finance minister, (and ex Jesuit) Antonio Palocci, said he told prosecutors that Lula accepted Odebrecht’s purchase of land for an institute in his name, a country house in São Paulo state and 300 million reais (US$ 97 million) to be used after he left office.

A representative for Lula said in a statement that Palocci, who was arrested a year ago in a corruption investigation, was lying and making accusations without evidence to secure a favorable deal with prosecutors to reduce his sentence.

Such testimony from a very close confidant could be damning for Lula, who intends to run for president again next year if he can successfully appeal a conviction that would bar him from standing. Lula faces four additional trials.

Separately, Brazil’s top prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, charged Lula, ex-President Dilma Rousseff and a former minister with obstruction of justice related to Lula’s nomination as Rousseff’s chief of staff in 2016. The nomination, later struck down by the Supreme Court, would have shielded Lula from prosecution by lower courts.

It was the second charge from Janot in two days. He had earlier accused Lula, Rousseff and six other members of their Workers Party for allegedly forming a criminal organization to carry out corruption and other crimes involving state-controlled oil company Petrobras.

Palocci leveled his accusations in two hours of testimony as part of a probe into allegations that Lula accepted the land for the institute.

“It was a blood pact and a package of bribes that included payment for a property, an estate ranch and 300 million reais that gradually were made available according to a spreadsheet delivered by the contractor,” said Adriano Bretas, one of Palocci’s lawyers.

Tracy Reinaldet, another of Palocci’s lawyers, said the agreement was made during the transition from Lula into Rousseff’s first term. Palocci also served as Rousseff’s chief of staff initially but was forced to resign due to corruption allegations.

Mercopress

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

Chomsky, Oliver Stone, and 20 Other Celebrities Decry Coup Against Brazil’s President

Twenty-two international intellectuals, writers, actors, and activists sent a letter to the Brazilian government ...

Protest in Rio against government's reforms - Fernando Frazão/ABr

Brazilians Pour onto Streets Demanding a Halt to Reforms and the President’s Ousting

Brazilians took to the streets in a nationwide protest on Wednesday against President Michel ...

Lula talks to fans in Curitiba, Paraná - Ricardo Stuckert/Instituto Lula

Acquit Lula, Says Defense. There’s no Proof of Wrongdoing and Evidence of Innocence

The lack of evidence from the prosecution to convict former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio ...

For a Time, Brazil’s Samba Was a Weapon Against the Dictatorship

As the world gets into the Carnaval spirit, we look at how Brazilian music ...

Brazil: Get Lula! Now! Or Else…

The interminable, ghastly telenovela aiming at turning Brazil, the seventh-largest economy in the world, ...

Brazil plans to buy HMS Ocean Helicopter Carrier for US$ 114 million

Brazil Gets Ready for War and Buys a Used Helicopter Carrier from Britain

Brazil has now confirmed the purchase of British helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, according to ...

North Korean soldiers marching

Trying to Understand Brazilians’ Fascination with North Korea and Its Puzzling Regime

The headlines that usually catch Brazilians’ attention are various corruption scandals, acts of urban ...

Brazil’s Supreme Decides to Investigate Rousseff and Lula for Obstruction of Justice

Brazil’s Supreme Court (STF) Justice Teori Zavascki has authorized Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot to look ...

Lula talks to crowd as presidential candidate during rally

Now What, Brazil? Your Most Popular Presidential Candidate Is Going to Jail

Brazil is divided and the chasm between Lula supporters and opponents is deep. The ...

Brazilian Indian ritual

Indians To Sue Brazil President After He Says They’re Becoming More Human

The main organization representing Brazil’s 300 indigenous tribes announced it would sue Brazilian President ...