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Odebrecht Ex-Executive Changes Statement, Adding to Evidence Against Lula

10/26/2016 - 12h27

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WÁLTER NUNES
MARIO CESAR CARVALHO
FROM SÃO PAULO

Alexandrino Alencar, the ex-executive of Odebrecht who was closest to ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has re-testified, adding fresh evidence to Operation Car Wash, Brazil's largest-ever corruption case.

Alencar revealed top-secret information about renovations to the farm in Atibaia (SP) where Lula spent much of his down-time, as well as about some trips they made together to Africa and Latin America.

Alencar made two statements for the prosecution. In the first, which took place in Curitiba, his account was rejected because the investigators decided he had omitted key facts in order to protect Lula.

On Tuesday October 18, he re-testified, this time in Brasilia. In light of the new information they have received, the case's prosecutors have already agreed to grant the terms of the agreement.

Alencar served as Director of Institutional Relations at Odebrecht and has been signalled out as one of the main ring-leaders in the bribing scandal.

He spent four months in prison last year, after being condemned to 15 years, but has since been acquitted. He will become part of the group of roughly 70 to 80 Odebrecht executives negotiating deals with prosecutors in Brasilia and Curitiba.

Lula's defence denies that he received illicit sums of money from Odebrecht, accusing the whistle-blowers of false testimonies.

In a statement, the Lula Institute says that "the defence of the ex-President has already made a plea to the Attorney General about changes to two witness statements - those of Alexandrino Alencar and Léo Pinheiro [from conglomerate OAS]."

Lula claims the whistle-blowers were coerced by the investigators in to changing their stories, which would make the statements void.

Translated by GILLIAN SOPHIE HARRIS

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