Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Melania’s jacket: What did it mean?

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

South Sudan peace deal attempt fails as Kiir rejects Machar

Read more

THE DEBATE

Zero Tolerance: Does Border Security Trump Compassion?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Let's become French!

Read more

FOCUS

Taking sides: The dual-nationality footballers playing at the World Cup

Read more

FASHION

Dior trots out Cruise collection at Chantilly stables

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

France's Pelagos sanctuary, a haven for whales and dolphins

Read more

#THE 51%

Developing a code of their own: Are women leading the tech revolution in Paris?

Read more

#TECH 24

Motorsport innovation

Read more

Americas

Brazilian ex-president Lula will stand trial over Petrobras corruption scandal

© ANTONIO SCORZA, AFP | Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva celebrates the first extraction of pre-salt oil at the Petrobras platform RJS660/Angra dos Reis on October 28, 2010

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2016-08-01

Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the former chief executive of investment bank Grupo BTG Pactual SA will stand trial for obstruction of justice, documents from a federal court in Brasilia showed on Friday.

Lula was previously under investigation in various jurisdictions in a sprawling corruption probe focused on state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) but is now officially a defendant.

The case dates to last November, when former Senator Delcidio do Amaral and Andre Esteves, the founder and former CEO of BTG Pactual, were arrested for allegedly trying to stop a jailed former Petrobras executive from collaborating with Brazil’s largest-ever corruption investigation.

The executive’s son recorded Amaral, who is collaborating now with prosecutors himself for a lightened sentence, saying judges could be influenced into freeing his father and that Esteves was willing to pay for his silence.

The case had previously been secret, and less is known about Lula’s alleged involvement in that incident.

Lula’s lawyers said in a statement that they had not been notified of the court’s decision but intended to prove his innocence.

BTG Pactual declined to comment. Esteves’s lawyer Sepúlveda Pertence said, “The judge will review our defense and decide if it’s a case for acquittal or even removing him as a defendant. We’re convinced our client has not committed any illegal acts and there is no fair reason for a criminal case.”

Lula has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, though prosecutors say the multibillion-dollar graft scheme originated during his 2003-2011 presidency and continued during the presidency of his chosen successor, suspended President Dilma Rousseff.

Brazil’s largest engineering companies are accused of overcharging Petrobras for work and passing on kickbacks to executives and politicians. They are also being investigated for graft on venues for the 2014 World Cup and upcoming Olympics, events awarded to Brazil under Lula.

On Thursday, Lula’s lawyers petitioned the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the grounds his rights had been violated in a separate corruption investigation under a different judge spear heading the Operation Car Wash corruption investigation from the southern city of Curitiba.

The U.N. Human Rights Office confirmed the petition had been received and would be examined to see if it meets the criteria for registration. The process could take at least two years.

(REUTERS)

 

Date created : 2016-07-30

  • BRAZIL

    Brazil boosts Olympics security following attack in Nice

    Read more

  • 2016 OLYMPICS

    Australia team boycott ‘unsafe’ Rio Olympics athletes village

    Read more

  • Brazil

    Rio declares financial ‘calamity’ ahead of Olympic Games

    Read more

COMMENT(S)