The top prosecutor in Brazil's biggest ever corruption investigation has called on the public to rally around the operation in the face of attempts to shut it down. There are fears that Congress while passing anti corruption measures would also include in an unofficial amnesty for existing cases.
We will be defeated if society is not at our side, said Deltan Dallagnol, head prosecutor for the probe codenamed Carwash, which is unraveling a massive embezzlement and bribery scheme involving high-ranking politicians and executives who ransacked state oil company Petrobras.
Dallagnol was speaking at a televised event as pressure grew in Congress, where many members have been linked to the scandal, to scupper the Carwash probe.
A congressional committee will discuss a series of new anti-corruption measures that would toughen existing laws but, critics say, could also result in an unofficial amnesty of existing cases.
Dallagnol warned that the problem here is that the corrupt have a lot of power. A few have stolen a lot from many.
Operation Carwash has already seen charges or convictions brought against some of Brazil's most powerful figures, ranging from ex-president Lula da Silva to the current Senate speaker and leading business executives.
The heat could soon grow even fiercer for Brazil's elite with an expected plea bargain between prosecutors and Odebrecht, the construction company at the heart of the pay-to-play scheme with Petrobras.
The deal means Odebrecht would be expected to cooperate with prosecutors, testifying against alleged participants in the scheme.