Former Petrobras director given four years for rigging contract to favour Odebrecht

Former Petrobras director given four years for rigging contract to favour Odebrecht

The former director of Petrobras’ international division, Jorge Zelada, on Tuesday was given a four-year jail sentence for his role in corrupting a 2010 contract bidding process to favour engineering firm Odebrecht, according to Reuters.

A judge in the 27th Rio Criminal Court handed down the verdict and issued the sentence – maximum possible for the offence.

The crime is part of the huge bribes-for-inflated-contracts scandal that has cost Brazil’s state oil company at least $2.1bn (according to its own accounting) not to mention ruining its reputation and causing a political earthquake that threatens many of the high and mighty in Brazilian society.

Zelada effectively nullified a competitive bidding process for a contract to analyze Petrobras’ possible environmental liabilities abroad, by creating a rigged bidding commission which allowed Odebrecht to walk away with the contract.

On top of the four-year sentence Zelada was ordered to pay a fine of $16.5 million.

Another former Petrobras employee, João Augusto Rezende Henriques, was convicted in the same matter and also sentenced to four years.

Zelada faces more charges including money laundering and tax evasion.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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