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Former speaker of Brazil’s lower house arrested on $5m Petrobras bribe charge

The former speaker of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of Congress), has become the latest major political figure arrested for alleged involvement in the Petrobras corruption scandal.

Eduardo Cunha, who began the process that led to former national president Dilma Rousseff being impeached for a different scandal, denied the charges that he took $5m in bribes from a contractor who won business with Petrobras, the state oil firm.

Numerous executives of Petrobras and contractor firms have already been embroiled in the bribes-for-inflated-contracts scheme that is conservatively estimated to have cost Petrobras more than $2bn.

And so have a raft of top politicians for taking kickbacks to look the other way.

The biggest name facing charges is former national president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
However, while most of the exposed politicians have been from the left-wing Workers Party of Rousseff and Lula, Cunha is with the centre-right Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB).

The 58-year-old Cunha was arrested in the capital Brasilia and taken to the southern city of Curitiba where Judge Sergio Moro is leading the Petrobras investigation.

Cunha was expelled from Brazil’s congress last month on ethics violations.

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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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