Ex-Brazilian president denounced for obstruction in Petrobras case

Brasilia, May 20 (IANS) Brazil’s Public Prosecutor’s Office denounced former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for allegedly obstructing the course of justice during probe into the scandal-ridden state-oil company Petrobras.

TV Globo, which obtained the complaint against Lula from the public prosecutor on Thursday disclosed that Lula teamed up with an entrepreneur closely linked to a corruption network in order to offer 250,000 reais ($71,000) to Petrobras’ former international director Nestor Cervero, and he did not declare this before the justice system, Xinhua news agency reported.

The allegations came after former senator Delcidio Amaral, who was removed from office on May 10 for obstructing investigations, said he personally paid 50,000 reais ($14,000) to Cervero.

The complaint detailed Lula’s participation in the alleged payment to Cervero which was not declared before the justice system.

After the allegations, the Lula Institute, assured through a press release that the former president “never” tried to interfere in Cervero’s conduct or in any other issue related to the investigations into Petrobras, known as Operation Car Wash.

The Petrobras case encompasses a “gigantic” network formed by politicians, entrepreneurs and top executives from the oil company that rigged and distributed contracts between 2004 and 2014.

It is thought that this network was able to divert at least $2 billion in the aforementioned time period.

Since investigations began two years ago, allegations have been presented before the courts involving 207 accused people and so far 111 out of this figure have been sentenced.

–IANS

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