Former Petrobras executive: Lula knew about massive corruption scheme | Reuters

Brasilia Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had "complete knowledge" of the massive political kickback scheme that centered on contracts at state-run oil firm Petrobras, a former top executive testified on Friday.Former Petrobras (PETR4.SA) engineering and services director Renato Duque, testifying in the first of five corruption trials Lula faces, told a federal judge that Lula had "command" of the scheme. But Duque, convicted on corruption charges in four separate trials for taking bribes in the Petrobras scheme and sentenced to more than 56 years in prison, emphasized during his testimony that he was seeking a plea-bargin deal that would reduce his time in prison.

"I would like to make clear my intention here is to act as a collaborator, to tell the truth, to clarify what is possible and within my reach in this case and any others you think necessary," Duque told Judge Sergio Moro, who has spearheaded the anti-corruption drive.

Lula's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday, but they have repeatedly said the former leader is innocent and did not know of the scheme. Lula himself is scheduled to testify on Wednesday, and court officials have said they expect a ruling by July in the case.

The Petrobras probe has unearthed the largest corruption scheme known in Brazil. Billions have been paid in bribes, mainly by construction companies, to win contracts with Petrobras and other state-run companies. Over 80 people have been convicted, and the Supreme Court last month approved the investigations of nearly one-third of President Michel Temer's Cabinet, 12 governors and dozens of top federal lawmakers. (Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Brad Brooks)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: May 06, 2017 05:01 AM

Also Watch

It's A Wrap: Omerta star Rajkummar Rao in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018 In the Kanjarbhat community, a campaign against 'virginity tests' is slowly gaining ground
  • Thursday, April 19, 2018 Watch: National-level skater and coach Dhwanit Rele trains and nurtures budding athletes
  • Monday, May 14, 2018 FOMO Episode 1: Google Assistant, This is America, Sonam's wedding & Global Warming
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See