Rousseff's Indictment Places 3 out of 5 Presidents In Operation Carwash Proceedings

Fernando Collor and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva are also defendants; José Sarney is accused of receiving kickbacks

​The Brazilian corruption probe known as Operation Carwash has placed three out of five living former presidents of Brazil as defendants. Michel Temer, the current president, and José Sarney so far have been only arraigned.

Dilma Rousseff (PT) was formally charged on Friday (23rd), along with former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on accusations of organized crime, in the shape of a kickback scheme worth R$ 1.48 billion (US$ 370 million) between 2002 and 2016. The kickbacks would have been paid in contracts for state oil company Petrobras, federal bank BNDES and the Ministry of Planning. 

Former presidents José Sarney, Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff, Fernando Henrique Cardoso e Fernando Collor together in 2013 - Roberto Stuckert Filho/Presidência

Lula, who has been serving a corruption sentence since April, there are two other lawsuits in Paraná's Federal Court and three in Brasília's Federal Court. The former president denies all charges.

Another former president indicted at Operation Carwash is current senator Fernando Collor (PTC-AL). He is charged with passive corruption, organized crime organization, and money laundering. "As happened in the past, I will have the opportunity to prove my innocence" during the court proceedings, he said.

José Sarney, who served a five-year term from 1985 to 1995, was indicted by the Attorney General's Office back in 2017, together with other senators from political party MDB. They were all charged with receiving kickbacks from a Petrobras subsidiary. The lawsuit is currently pending review at the Brazilian Supreme Court.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995-2003) was mentioned in contractor Emílio Odebrecht's plea deal, which stated that Odebrecht made irregular contributions to Cardoso's presidential campaigns in the 1990s. The " for the Toucan presidential campaign in the 1990s.  The case was dismissed on the grounds of statute of limitations.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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