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Judge Moro Sentences Ex-President of Petrobras Bendine to 11 Years in Prison

03/08/2018 - 11h26

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ANA LUIZA ALBUQUERQUE
FROM CURITIBA

On Wednesday, March 7, Aldemir Bendine, the former president of Petrobras and Banco do Brasil, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for corruption in office and money laundering.

Bendine was accused of demanding R$ 3 million (US$ 900,000) in bribes from construction company Odebrecht to protect it in contracts signed with Petrobras. Bendine became the head of Petrobras in February 2015, amid the Car Wash (Lava Jato) investigations.

"The last behavior expected from him was giving in to corruption, thus jeopardizing the reputation of Petrobras yet again," Judge Sergio Moro wrote in his sentence.

Judge Moro ordered Bendine to begin serving his sentence in jail with no right to parole. Bendine has been under preventive arrest since the end of 2017, when the 42nd phase of the Lava Jato operation began. The reduction of prison sentence for the crime of corruption in office is conditioned to the return of sums.

Bendine was found not guilty of the crimes of participation in criminal organizations and obstructing investigations.

The accusation against Bendine was based on plea bargains made by Marcelo Odebrecht and the former director of Odebrecht Ambiental, Fernando Reis. They said Bendine spoke for the government and said he would solve the financial problems of the companies involved in Lava Jato.

The Public Prosecutor's Office says that the bribes were paid in three installments of R$ 1 million (US$ 303,000) each in cash in June and July 2015.

In his statement, given in November 2017, Marcelo Odebrecht confirmed that he had made three payments for Bendine to aid businesses made between the construction company and Petrobras.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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