Local July 22, 2016 | 10:56 am

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Brazilian strategist for Dominican leader’s campaign admits he lied

Brasilia.- Political strategist Joao Santana, who worked onthe successful election campaigns of Dominican Republic president Danilo Medinaand other leaders of the region, on Thursday confessed to having lied tojustice regarding the "black" money paid for his work, to"protect" Brazil president Dilma Rousseff against potentialimpeachment,” Efe reports.

"I knew I could hurt her deeply" and "afterhelping her reelection, it wasn’t going to be me who would destroy her,"Santana said in statements to police as part of plea bargaining, local mediareports today.

Santana, jailed since March for alleged graft in the scandaluncovered in the state-owned Petrobras oil group, admitted having lied in his first statement to prosecutorswhen he denied having received part of the payments for the 2014 campaign in offshoreaccounts.

In his new testimony this week, he confessed that CFOs for Rousseff’scampaign deposited at least US$4.5 million in accounts kept hidden in a Swissbank, and which may penalized as tax offenses and even money laundering.

The publicist claimed that, at the time, the process thatled the Senate to suspend from duty Rousseff "was beginning" and thathe was aware "of the problem" that his confession could pose to Rousseff"and the country itself."

Santana, 63, and his wife Monica Moura left the Dominican Republicin haste late last year, once Brazilian authorities announced the indictment inthe scandal, that includes former Brazilian president Jose Inazio Lula daSilva, and Odebrecht CEO MarceloOdebrecht, among others.

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