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Brazil charges Odebrecht CEO with corruption

Brazilian prosecutors presented on Friday their charges against the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Latin America’s engineering firm Odebrecht SA and several other senior executives of the company.

According to Reuters, Marcelo Odebrecht, the third generation chief executive of a family-run Brazilian company Odebrecht, was charged with corruption, money laundering and criminal conspiracy for his alleged role in the corruption scheme at a state-run oil giant Petrobras.

With Odebrecht’s detention, which was part of an operation named “Erga Omnes” meaning “For Everyone”, the stakes were raised on the Petrobras-focused investigation.

Reuters reports that prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol said at the news conference: “Today we take yet another important step in combating impunity.”

Dallagnol added: “We at the public ministry have a dream that all Brazilians are treated equal by the law.”

Dallagnol said that they are seeking 6.7 billion reais ($2 billion) in damages from Odebrecht adding that the company laundered more than 1 billion reais between 2006 and 2014.

Reuters further added that, according to prosecutors, there was no way that Odebrecht was unaware that his company was participating in a so-called “cartel” of engineering firms that were overcharging Petrobras in addition to bribing executives and politicians.

Odebrecht has been accused of paying bribes for contracts, including the one for Petrobras to supply naphtha to Braskem SA, which is a joint venture, petrochemical company between Petrobras and Odebrecht.

Regarding the charges against its CEO, in the press release issued Friday, the company stated: “Odebrecht considers that the charges filed today by the Federal Prosecution Office (MPF) of the state of Paraná mark the starting point of the work of the defense. Now the legal counsel can discover the allegations made against the executives under investigation and analyze the set of documents presented by the prosecution, which will finally enable the due exercise of the right to defense.”

The company added: “However, the allegations made this afternoon by the MPF in such a way as to scandalously capture the media spotlight do not justify, under any circumstances, the continuation of the arbitrary and illegal detention of the chief executive officer of the Odebrecht Group, Marcelo Odebrecht, and of four former executives. Much less does it justify the surprising declaration of a new preventive detention, revoking the previous one, in a clear move to annul the effects of the petition for habeas corpus filed at the Superior Court of Justice (STJ).”

Odebrecht concluded with the following:“The legal counsel laments the public exposure instigated by the entire process and the lack of criteria adopted for the disclosure of documents, which are leaked little by little without any sense of decency, unnecessarily exposing even the family members of the executives.”

Offshore Energy Today
Offshore Energy Today
Published on:
July 28, 2015
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