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Lula and Odebrecht Made a "Blood Pact", Says Former Finance Minister Palocci

09/08/2017 - 11h02

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FROM CURITIBA

Former Finance minister Antonio Palocci told judge Moro on Wednesday (the 6th) that the relation between construction firm Odebrecht and the Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff administrations "ran on bribery".

Bribes were offered "in the form of campaign donations, personal gains, licit and illicit funding", he said.

Mr. Palocci provided testimony in a lawsuit that is determining whether Odebrecht acquired land in São Paulo in order to build the Lula Institute.

According to him, former president Lula approved of a "blood pact" in which the construction firm would have payed the Workers' Party R$ 300 millions (US$ 96.8 millions) during the transition period between Lula's administration and Rousseff's.

CEO Emílio Odebrecht and Lula reached a deal in which the CEO agreed to the renovation of a country house in Atibaia (São Paulo), the acquisition of land for the Lula Institute and a speaker fee of R$ 200,000 (US$ 64,5000) per talk, Mr. Palocci said.

Mr. Odebrecht was worried that his relation with Rousseff wouldn't "flow" as well as the one he maintained with her predecessor.

The pact was proposed by Odebrecht so that his construction firm could retain its edge in contracts.

Mr. Palocci, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison as a result of Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato), is angling for a plea-bargain agreement.

This is the first time the former finance minister, who was quite prominent during the Workers' Party administrations, directly implicated former president Lula.

The defense attorneys of president Lula, who will testify in the same case next Wednesday (the 13th), said that Mr. Palocci is under pressure and validating the accusations made by prosecutors without supplying any evidence.

On the same day that Mr. Palocci testified, the General Prosecutor's Office brought obstruction of justice charges against Lula and Dilma.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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Former Finance minister Antonio Palocci
Former Finance minister Antonio Palocci

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