Senators in the firing line for obstructing Petrobras probe

The country’s top prosecutor has asked Brazil’s Supreme Court for permission to investigate a former national president, some senators and a former top official at the state oil firm Petrobras on suspicion that they tried to interfere with the huge Petrobras graft investigation, according to Reuters.

The step taken Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot is a necessary requirement as only the Supreme Court can assent to probes of serving federal congressmen.

The former president concerned is Jose Sarney, who was president between 1985 and 1990 and who is now a sitting Congressman.

Along with fellow current senators Romero Juca and Renan Calheiros he is suspected of working to derail the lengthy and extensive investigation into the bribes-for-inflated-contracts scheme surrounding Petrobras, a major offshore oil player in the region.

Janot is also seeking to look into the role played by Sergio Machado, who used to head the logistics arm of Petrobras, called Transpetro.

Machado has turned state’s witness and has told prosecutors he has tapes of the other men discussing ways to obstruct the graft investigation.

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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