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.