Brazil corruption probe gathers steam, Cuba, Dominican links emerge
Santo Domingo.- FormerBrazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who emerged unscathed from pastcorruption probes while in power, will again face investigators for alleged influencepeddling for construction company Odebrecht after leaving office, Brasilia authoritiessaid yesterday, reported by EFE.
The probe includes Odebrecht’s transactions in theDominican Republic, where it has built most of the major infrastructure worksduring the last 10 years.
Brazil’s Office of the Federal Prosecutor opened acriminal investigation against Lula for allegedly influence peddling afterleaving the presidency in 2011, for the State-owned BNDES bank to benefit Odebrecht.
According to probe officially opened July 8, there areindications that Lula influenced BNDES to finance construction projects inother Latin American and African countries from 2011 to 2014, mainly Cuba andthe Dominican Republic.
Prosecutors investigate several trips by Lula tocountries including Panama, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Ghana, paid for byOdebrecht, which reportedly admitted having paid some of the trips, but deniedthat the former has served as its consultant.