World May 4, 2015 | 8:51 am

Former president Lula da Silva questioned for alleged influence peddling

Brasilia.– Prosecutors in Brazil have opened a preliminary investigation into former leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for illicit influence peddling in the Dominican Republic and Cuba, among other countries, FT.com reported today.

Citing reports by the local media, the news outlet confirmed that Lula da Silva is being questioned by anti-corruption authorities over claims he helped construction conglomerate Odebrecht win contracts overseas between 2011 and 2014.

According to FT.com, weekly magazine Epoca first reported on Friday that Lula had frequently traveled abroad at Odebrecht’s expense since he left office in 2011.

The magazine said it had obtained documents showing Brazil’s state-run development bank BNDES had financed at least US$1.6 billion for Odebrecht projects in the Dominican Republic and Ghana after Lula met with leaders of those countries.

"The magazine also accused Mr Lula da Silva, one of the founders of the ruling Workers’ Party (PT), of similar influence peddling in Ghana and Angola", FT.com reported.

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