Brazil’s ex-president Lula to be questioned about Petrobras corruption

Tom Hennigan – The Irish Times, 10/5/2015

A Brazilian government shake-up designed to head off efforts to impeach president Dilma Rousseff has been overshadowed by a supreme court ruling that former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – known as Lula – can be questioned about his knowledge of corruption in Petrobras.

Federal police want to interview Lula to see if he personally or his government benefited from the illicit multibillion-dollar scheme inside the state-controlled oil giant. Their request was backed by the country’s chief federal prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, who made clear Lula is only a witness in the case and not under investigation.

Dozens of politicians face charges for their role in the scandal, including Lula’s former right-hand man, José Dirceu, while last month the ruling Workers Party’s treasurer was jailed for 15 years for his participation in the scheme.

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