In Brazil Bombshell testimony filed in corruption scandal

Despite tight security, there have already been damaging media leaks about the contents of the plea bargains.

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Testimony in plea bargains by 77 executives at the giant Odebrecht construction company is set to implicate potentially scores more politicians -- and possibly threaten Brazil's President Michel Temer play

Testimony in plea bargains by 77 executives at the giant Odebrecht construction company is set to implicate potentially scores more politicians -- and possibly threaten Brazil's President Michel Temer

(AFP/File)
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Testimony expected to set off a series of political bombshells in Brazil was filed Monday in the massive Operation Carwash corruption investigation.

The probe into an embezzlement and bribery scheme between politicians and executives at Petrobras state oil company and other big corporations has already upended Brazil's political establishment.

Now, testimony in plea bargains by 77 executives at the giant Odebrecht construction company is set to implicate potentially scores more politicians -- and possibly threaten President Michel Temer.

The testimony "arrived this morning and is in a safe," said a spokesman for the Supreme Court, which tries cases involving sitting politicians.

The justice overseeing the case, Teori Zavascki, will now inspect the mountain of testimony about Odebrecht's involvement with politicians in the embezzlement scheme, and decide in February whether it can be admitted.

Despite tight security, there have already been damaging media leaks about the contents of the plea bargains.

Ministers in Temer's center-right government and the president himself have been named as having taken undeclared campaign donations from Odebrecht -- what prosecutors say were bribes.

Executives from Odebrecht have told prosecutors that they paid bribes to politicians to win juicy contracts from Petrobras, whose own executives also collaborated in ransacking the company coffers. According to leaked reports, Odebrecht executives would also bribe politicians to push through favorable legislation.

Meanwhile, the chief Carwash judge, Sergio Moro, accepted a fifth court case against former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, an arch enemy of Temer.

Lula is accused of being part of a network that skimmed off two to three percent of the value of contracts signed by Petrobras and Odebrecht, according to the latest case. Some 75 million reais ($22 million) were stolen, prosecutors say.

Lula denies involvement in this or any of the other corruption cases stacking up against him, describing them as politicized attempts to stop him from running again in 2018.

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