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Prosecutor Asks for Extradition of Fugitive Convicted in the Mensalão Scandal

11/20/2013 - 08h14

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FERNANDA ODILLA
MATHEUS LEITÃO
FROM BRASÍLIA

The Federal Public Prosecutor's Office requested on Tuesday for the extradition of Henrique Pizzolato, the former director of Banco do Brasil convicted for his involvement in the mensalão (big monthly payment) scheme who has fled to Italy.

The opinion of prosecutor Ela Wiecko presented two other alternatives in the Pizzolato case for consideration by the STF (Brazilian Supreme Court).

While defending the extradition of the former director, the Prosecutor said that he could also be serving his sentence in Italy or a new trial could be conducted in that country, as Pizzolato has both Brazilian and Italian nationality.

Sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison for bribery, embezzlement and money laundering, Pizzolato announced in a letter that he fled to have, according to him, a new trial in Italy "removed from politics and electoral motives" and in "a court not subject to the impositions of the media".

It will be up to the rapporteur of the mensalão affair and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Joaquim Barbosa, to decide whether or not to ask for the start of extradition proceedings to the Ministry of Justice or chooses one of the two other options, among them plans that cater to the former director of Banco do Brasil.

The prosecutor also asked for the expidition of an international arrest warrant in Interpol's "red notice", the highest alert done. According to what Folha has learned, Italy does not allow the arrest of Italian citizens targeted in the red notice. But Federal Police can monitor Pizzolato's every step and even try to convince him to surrender.

For the Federal Police, the former director is on the run. Despite not reporting Pizzolato's location, the FP assures that it has still not reported his whereabouts to the Ministry of Justice.

Through advisors, the ministry clarified that it can not, on its own initiative, initiate extradition proceedings. It will initially await the progress of the request.
Should the Supreme Court opt for the extradition request, an official letter will be sent to the Ministry of Justice to initiate the process.

If any deficiencies are found, the request is sent back to the requesting authority to be suitable and filed once again. Once the process begins, it is up to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make contacts with the authorities of the foreign country.

The Prosecution argues that, as Brazil does not extradite native Brazilians, the criterion of reciprocity might be worth it for Italy. Still, the extradition request was made with the understanding that it is supported both by the Italian Constitution and the Criminal Code of that country.

Translated by STEVE HUGHES

Read the article in the original language

Reprodução/Interpol.int
The prosecutor asked for the expidition of an international arrest warrant in Interpol's "red notice", the highest alert done
The prosecutor asked for the expidition of an international arrest warrant in Interpol's "red notice", the highest alert done

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