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Brazilian Federal Police's Lava Jato Operation Will Focus on Political Parties and Communication at Petrobras

01/18/2016 - 16h44

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FLÁVIO FERREIRA
SPECIAL ENVOY TO CURITIBA

JULIANA COISSI
FROM CURITIBA

The task force of public prosecutors employed in the Brazilian Federal Police's Lava Jato operation is beginning 2016 with the perspective of prolonging investigations for three more years and the goal of holding responsible political parties whose members participated in the corruption scheme in Petrobras.

The communication department of Petrobras and Petrobras subsidiaries are also likely to be targeted.

The task force in Curitiba also will seek partnerships with state public prosecutors' offices which may receive dismemberments of the Lava Jato operation.

Municipal elections in Brazil are scheduled for this year and politicians will be targeted by the Lava Jato operation. Civil actions could be carried out against parties to request reimbursement of funds due to the participation of politicians in the corruption scheme.

Carlos Fernando dos Santos Lima, who is part of the task force, says that in nearly two years of investigation, the Lava Jato operation has gathered a lot of evidence on crimes which could not be investigated more deeply yet because the team has more urgent demands, especially those which have become public after the new leniency programs.

One example of this "stock" of evidence is the investigation on Petrobras's communication area, which, according to an internal auditing of Petrobras itself, had cases of misconduct involving company servers.

Million-dollar expenses in Petrobras's communication department have already led to accusations inside Petrobras. In 2009, Folha disclosed that video producers received R$ 4 million (US$ 987,000) from Petrobras to work in election campaigns.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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