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Ex-Finance Minister Guido Mantega Released Following Arrest

09/22/2016 - 20h11



Early this evening (22), Federal Judge Sergio Moro revoked ex-minister Guido Mantega's arrest.

Mantega had been temporarily detained as part of phase 34 of Operation Lava Jato.

The decision was announced at 12:20 pm and cites the health condition of Mantega's wife as the reason behind the repeal.

Mantega's wife was undergoing surgery at Albert Einstein hospital when the operation was carried out.

The ex minister is being accused of soliciting R$ 5 million (US$ 1.5 million) from the CEO Eike Batista to pay off the Workers' Party (PT) campaign debt in November 2012 (investigators have not yet identified the campaigns cited by the ex-minister).

The Federal Police team had intended to arrest Mantega in his neighborhood, Pinheiros, on São Paulo's west side.

In his home - which is also a target of investigation -, they only found his 16 year old son and a maid.

The Federal Police then decided to head to the hospital to find Mantega.

In a statement, the Federal Police denied that a scene had taken place at the hospital and said that is was unfortunate that the appearance had coincided with Mantega's wife's treatment.

"Near the hospital, the police made contact with the subject, who spontaneously appeared at the building's entrance", the police said in a statement.

"In a discreet manner (...), the subject accompanied the team to the apartment, and having already made contact with his attorney, the search procedure was initiated," the statement concludes.

According to Mantega's attorney, José Roberto Batochio, the ex-minister's wife had received anesthesia and was semi-conscious when the operation reached the site.

The Federal Police have evidence to suggest that Mantega worked directly with the leadership of one of the companies to negotiate the transfer of funds to the Workers' Party (PT), with the intention to pay off campaign debts.

Translated by SUGHEY RAMIREZ

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