Federal Judge Sérgio Moro said Tuesday (Mar. 8) that the Operation Car Wash corruption probe centered around the Petrobras graft scheme found that between 2007 and 2011, Odebrecht construction group paid 14.3 million dollars plus another 1.9 million Swiss francs to the then Petrobras directors Paulo Roberto Costa and Renato Duque and then Petrobras manager Pedro Barusco through offshore accounts.
This finding is in the sentence that found businessman Marcelo Odebrecht and four former executives of Odebrecht company guilty of involvement in the bidding cartel scandal and of setting aside a percentage of the revenues from contracts with Petrobras to pay kickbacks to the then directors of state oil company. According to the ruling, even though Marcelo Odebrecht denies any active involvement in the company's dealings with Petrobras, he was aware of the illegal payments.
“There is evidence in the case showing that the written [defense] statement of Marcelo Odebrecht denying his involvement in the business dealings of the Odebrecht Group subsidiaries is false, and so are [his allegations about] the company departments' independence to manage their own activities, at least to the extent stated by the accused,” said Judge Moro.
Besides sentencing Marcelo Odebrecht to more than 19 years in prison, Moro has ordered him and former Odebrecht executives Márcio Faria da Silva, Rogério Santos de Araújo, Cesar Ramos Rocha and Alexandrino Salles de Alencar to step down from the company management and awarded them twice-as-long jail terms, in addition to $63.77 million in damages caused to Petrobras.
The judge ruled Marcelo Odebrecht will continue in Curitiba to serve his jail terms. In a statement, Nabor Bulhões, his lawyer, said the ruling was unfair because his client was not involved in the wrongdoing. “The defense counsel will keep working to ensure Marcelo is put at liberty and appeal to higher courts for an acquittal, and we are confident that justice will be done and he will be acquitted,” the lawyer argued.
Translated by Mayra Borges
Fonte: Agência Brasil.