Antonio Palocci, who was minister during the governments of Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, affirmed that he gave the former president, in several opportunities, cash proceeds of bribes from the construction companies Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez, according to the Globo Group.
Palocci, in house arrest since last November, told the Justice, within the framework of a cooperation agreement, the payment of bribes of up to 80,000 reais (about 22,000 dollars) to Lula, imprisoned since April for corruption, Globo said.
According to the former minister, the illegal payments to Lula would have taken place in 2012, after the businessman Marcelo Odebrecht agreed to the disbursement of 15 million reais (about 4 million dollars) to the former head of state for the participation of Odebrecht in the construction of the Belo Monte Dam, in the north of the country.
In one of the sections of his confession, Palocci affirmed that ”he took in diverse opportunities near thirty, forty, fifty and eighty thousand real ones (between 8,000 and 22,000 dollars) in cash for the own Lula”.
According to Globo, on one occasion, Palocci would have handed over 50,000 reais (13,305 dollars) in a box of a mobile phone in Brasilia. In another episode, according to the former minister's version, Lula would have received from Palocci himself an amount of undetermined money inside a box of whiskey at the Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo.
Palocci's statements are framed within a collaboration agreement reached with the Brazilian authorities that allowed him to go to house arrest after more than two years in prison for corruption and money laundering.
The former minister testified last April 13 and the testimony was approved in June last year, but only now it was attached to the file of the Federal Police investigation into alleged fraud and corruption in the Belo Monte Dam.
In his statement, Palocci said that, for works in the dam, Odebrecht would have allocated a total of 15 million reais (about 4 million dollars) in donations to benefit Lula, although of that total, 4 million reais (1.06 million dollars) would have been donated in an official manner.
For its part, the Andrade Gutierrez construction company would have paid the expenses of some entities linked to the former president, made donations to the Lula Institute and paid for some of its conferences in exchange for facilitating their participation in the works of Belo Monte.
Through his press office, Lula affirmed that the Lava Jato, the largest anti-corruption operation in the history of Brazil, has almost 200 informers benefiting from reductions of punishment and that none has presented evidence against the former president.
In a statement, the former president's counsel said that the Justice decided to validate the statements of Palocci in exchange for lies without evidence against the former president.
All the fiscal secrets of Lula and his family were lifted without irregular values being found, the note said.
Lula, who governed Brazil between 2003 and 2010, has been serving a sentence of 12 years since April 7 to benefit from corruption within the state Petrobras and responds to the Justice in seven other criminal proceedings, also for different suspicions of corruption.