Brazil: Lula charged in probe over Odebrecht contracts

Lula Institute declared the former president always has acted in

Published in 05/10/2016 - 17:12 By Michèlle Canes and Elaine Patrícia Cruz report from Agência Brasil - Brasília and São Paulo

Brasília - O ex-presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva participa do 3 Congresso Nacional da Juventude do PT (Antonio Cruz/Agência Brasil)

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Antonio Cruz/ Agência Brasil


The Federal Police filed charges against former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for suspicions he used his influence to favor construction company Odebrecht and pocketed bribes. The move comes as part of a probe into contracts linked to the firm as well as people tied to the former president.

Federal prosecutors are now expected to review the motion submitted by the police. If prosecutors agree with the content, they may pass the report on to court authorities, who may accept or reject the allegations.


Lula's defense

In a note, Lula Institute says the former president has always acted in compliance with the law.

“Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has had his life under scrutiny for 40 years, all of his bank accounts and those of family members violated, his banking, fiscal, and telephone secrecy breached, and not a single irregularity has been found,” the note reads.

The institute criticized the announcement of the charges in the press. “The former president's defense will analyze the document submitted by the Federal Police, leaked to the press and released with sensationalism before the defense were given access to it, because this makes clear that the proceedings do not amount to serious investigation, but rather a media massacre campaign aimed at producing headlines for the press and attempt to destroy the image of the most popular ex-president in the history of the country.”

The interests of Odebrecht

Investigations started in May, 2015, with the purpose of ascertaining “whether the former president was benefited by illicit economic advantages to exert influence on foreign public agents, chiefly in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Angola, in addition to facilitating the advancement of financial procedures  of interest to companies in the Odebrecht group at the Social Development Bank (BNDES).”

The prosecutors also investigate suspected irregularities in other loans granted by the bank to the group for works overseas, including funding for the construction of the port of Mariel, Cuba, the subway in Caracas, Venezuela, and some projects in Panama.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

Fonte: Brazil: Lula charged in probe over Odebrecht contracts

Edition: Carolina Pimentel / Olga Bardawil

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