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Former Petrobras and Banco do Brasil CEO Detained in Lava Jato Operation

07/28/2017 - 10h13

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ESTELITA HASS CARAZZAI
FROM CURITIBA
BELA MEGALE
FROM BRASILIA

Former Banco do Brasil and Petrobras CEO, Aldemir Bendine, was arrested on Thursday (the 27th) in Sorocaba (SP) as part of Operation Cobra - the 42nd phase of Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato).

Mr. Bendine, who was in charge of Petrobras until May of 2016, is suspected of having received a R$ 3 million bribe (US$ 950,000) from construction firm Odebrecht back in 2015 in order to protect the firm's contracts with the state-run company, in part from the repercussions of Operation Car Wash.

In his arrest warrant, Federal Judge Sergio Moro referred to information gathered by the Public Ministry stating that the former Petrobras CEO had bought a one-way ticket to Portugal - his flight would leave on Friday (the 28th).

Mr. Bendine took over as CEO of Petrobras in February of 2015, in the midst of Operation Car Wash revelations.

Marcelo Odebrecht and the director of Odebrecht Ambiental, Fernando Reis, both of whom testified alongside several other executives at the construction firm, claimed that Mr. Bendine solicited a bribe. Their testimonies were ratified by Brazil's Supreme Court at the beginning of 2017.

Aldemir Bendine's defense attorney, Pierpaolo Bottini, said that the former Banco do Brasil and Petrobras CEO has been collaborating with investigators from the start, providing them with bank account and federal income tax information and "offered to collaborate, (...) demonstrating the legality of his actions".

He said that the pretrial arrest was uncalled for and that, contrary to what Operation Car Wash investigators said, the executive had already purchased a return ticket from Europe to Brazil.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

Read the article in the original language

Paula Gioilto/Folhapress
Former Banco do Brasil and Petrobras CEO Aldemir Bendine
Former Banco do Brasil and Petrobras CEO Aldemir Bendine

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