Federal Judge Sérgio Moro, responsible for investigating Operation Car Wash, said today (May 28) that arresting those investigated is not enough to fight corruption in the country. It is also necessary to recover the money embezzled by criminals by signing international cooperation agreements or plea bargains. Moro attended a conference on combating corruption in the state of Paraíba.
Moro pointed out the importance of international cooperation agreements, mainly with Switzerland to repatriate Brazil's funds embezzled from Petrobras to secret accounts abroad. The judge mentioned the case of Pedro Barusco, former manager of the state-owned company and an informer of the corruption scheme, who had about $100 million in a bank account abroad and gave the money back after signing a plea bargain agreement.
According to the judge, the penalty, corporal punishment, and term of imprisonment are not enough. It is necessary to ensure that the crime will not have financial worth.
The judge also pointed out that international cooperation in Operation Car Wash investigations is essential so that plea bargains can stand as testimony. Plea bargains cannot be only used by prosecution in the criminal case against the investigated person.
“If countries do not cooperate, it is simply not possible to produce the proof of crime, and it is not possible to recover these assets. It is true that part of the money is found with the cooperation of some of these individuals, who decide to cooperate with justice, but, as it is known, even when they are working in collaboration, it is always necessary to have the proof, and this evidence is sometimes based on bank records”, the judge explained.
According to a survey of the Office of the Prosecutor General (PGR), until now $802 million had been repatriated to Brazil through cooperation arrangements.
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta
Fonte: Agência Brasil.