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Former Finance Minister Palocci Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

06/27/2017 - 09h12

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ESTELITA HASS CARAZZAI
FROM CURITIBA

GABRIELA SÁ PESSOA
FROM SÃO PAULO

One of the strong men of the Workers Party (PT) government, former finance minister Antonio Palocci, was sentenced on Monday (the 26th) by Judge Sergio Moro to 12 years in prison for money laundering and passive corruption in contracts with Latin America's largest construction group, Odebrecht, for the construction of pre-salt oil platforms.

Incarcerated since September, Palocci has been negotiating a plea-bargain agreement. As part of that process, he had been accused of interference to favor Odebrecht in a tender for 21 Petrobras oil platforms.

According to the ruling, he controlled and kept hidden US$ 10.2 million in funds, through offshore financial operations from a PT "bribery account" used to cover campaign expenses for the Party.

The money, according to the ruling, was used to "compensate, without records" campaigns run by political gurus João Santana and Mônica Moura and to "defaud successive Brazilian elections, contaminating them with resources derived from corruption".

Palocci is described as the "principal administrator of the general bribery account" between Odebrecht and the PT.

According to plea-bargain testimony from executives of the construction company, he had the nickname "Italian" and possessed a spreadsheet of bribes that he himself had requested.

According to the charges, agreements had been reached for a total of around R$ 200 million (US$ 61 million) in bribes of which a "current balance" of R$130 million (US$ 39,4 million) is still outstanding.

Palocci's defense declared that he didn't favor Odebrecht and informed that they will appeal the decision.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

Read the article in the original language

Marcos Bezerra/Futura Press/Folhapress
Antonio Palocci, former finance minister and presidential chief of staff in recent Workers Party governments, is escorted by federal police officers in Curitiba
Antonio Palocci, former finance minister and presidential chief of staff in recent Workers Party governments, is escorted by federal police officers in Curitiba

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