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Brazilian lawmakers accused of Petrobras graft fight back

Tuesday, March 10th 2015 - 07:05 UTC
Full article 6 comments
Farias told Folha de Sao Paulo that while he may have acted improperly, his actions weren’t illegal. The senator admitted taking a US$650,000 donation Farias told Folha de Sao Paulo that while he may have acted improperly, his actions weren’t illegal. The senator admitted taking a US$650,000 donation
”How was I supposed to know that the money from a big company (Andrade Gutierrez) for my campaign was coming from a process like this one?” ”How was I supposed to know that the money from a big company (Andrade Gutierrez) for my campaign was coming from a process like this one?”

Brazil’s congressional heads denied involvement in the country’s largest graft scandal after being named among dozens of politicians for investigation. Renan Calheiros and Eduardo Cunha, the heads of the Senate and Lower House respectively, and Rio de Janeiro Senator Lindbergh Farias all rejected allegations of graft in the Petrobras kickback scheme dubbed “Carwash.”

 Lindbergh Farias told the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper in an interview on Sunday that while he may have acted improperly, his actions weren’t illegal. The senator said he took a two-million-real-donation (US$650,000) from Andrade Gutiérrez SA, a Rio-based construction company.

“Do you really think someone said: ‘Look, this money that I’m going to help you with is a bribe?’ That doesn’t happen,” said Farias. “How was I supposed to know that the money from a big company for my campaign was coming from a process like this one?”

The inquiry is related to alleged kickbacks at the state-controlled Petrobras, which may have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to political parties, possibly up to 4 billion dollars.

Meanwhile opposition leader Aécio Neves, in a statement after Rousseff’s national television address on Sunday evening, said the president had again failed to tell Brazilians the truth or admit her mistakes. Neves said Rousseff had chosen to “invent scapegoats, outsource responsibilities... and (provided) the population with an unrealistic plot... (it was) not a criticism, not an apology.” He called the Petrobras revelations a “monstrous criminal scheme.”

Likewise on Sunday Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo caused some controversy when it printed an op-ed by Miguel Reale Júnior calling for the president’s resignation.

Reale Júnior, a lawyer and professor at the University of Sao Paulo, served as justice minister in the government of former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

In the piece, Reale Júnior argued that Rousseff lacked the “essential confidence and independence” to “disinfect” Brazil from the Petrobras scandal. O Estado, by circulation the fourth-biggest newspaper in the country, supported Rousseff’s rivals in 2010 and 2014.

Top Comments

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  • Brasileiro

    I do not want the perpetuation of the PT in power. But, while the opposition has not proposed to govern, while the opposition make an opposition to the country and not the government of the PT, while the PSDB play in the field of “worse is better” while do not compile embezzlement in subway Sao Paulo and Furnas, while not investigate Senator Aécio Neves for drug trafficking, while not investigate the “Mensalão of Minas Gerais,” I always vote against a return to slavery past, I always vote for the Brazilian people, I always will vote the PT!

    Regarding the media opposition controlled by a handful of families who have always been favored by the governments of right-wing parties, these I make a point of seeing them go bankrupt one by one!

    LULA 2018!

    Mar 10th, 2015 - 10:33 am 0
  • ChrisR

    @ 1 Brasso
    Just what do the crooks in the PT have to do for you to open your eyes to what is going on?

    How much do you get paid for trolling this crap or are you on the bribe list as well: you wish?

    These PT crooks are expecting to get away with it by pleading they 'didn't know what was going on'. Do they get U$D 650,000 so often that it doesn't ring any bells. Do they expect these companies are giving it to them without wanting something in return?

    Lula mortos 2015!

    Mar 10th, 2015 - 10:43 am 0
  • Brasileiro

    Andrade Gutierrez was one of the companies that donated more money to the PSDB campaign. As well as Odebrecht, OAS, Camargo Corrêa.

    So the money legally donated to PT is crime. However, the money donated to the PSDB is clean as the angels of heaven.

    Hypocritical media that only makes misinform!

    Mar 10th, 2015 - 10:55 am 0
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