Brazil's prosecutor denounces former president Lula for obstruction in Petrobras case

Updated: 2016-05-20 09:20


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RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's Public Prosecutor's Office denounced former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for allegedly obstructing the course of justice during the investigations into the corruption scandal in Petrobras, local media reported Thursday.

TV Globo, which obtained the complaint against Lula from the public prosecutor, disclosed that the former president (2003-2010) teamed up with an entrepreneur closely linked to a corruption network in order to offer 250,000 reais (71,000 US dollars) to Petrobras' former International Director, Nestor Cervero, and he did not declare this before the justice system.
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 (14,300 US dollars) 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, headed by the former president, 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 Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (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 US dollars 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.