Brazil police arrest former presidential chief of staff

Sergio Spagnuolo – Reuters, 8/3/2015 

Brazil’s federal police on Monday arrested former government minister Jose Dirceu, one of the most senior members of the ruling Workers’ Party to be jailed so far in a probe of alleged corruption at state-run oil company Petrobras.

Dirceu, chief-of-staff in Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s administration between 2003 and 2005, was already under house detention for conducting a vote-buying scheme. His involvement in an even larger scandal threatens to further tarnish the popular former president’s legacy.

Federal prosecutor Carlos Fernando dos Santos Lima said during a press conference that Dirceu was one of the key instigators of the Petrobras scandal and took bribes while in office.

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