Brazil investigates top politicians for potential corruption

Brazil’s Supreme Court authorises investigation for education minister, Sao Paulo mayor and opposition senator for potential corruption

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's campaigns chief, Joao Santana (R), arrives with his wife Monica at Cumbica airport in Guarulhos near Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 23, 2016.

Brazil’s Supreme Court authorised formal investigations for the minister of education, the mayor of Sao Paulo and an opposition senator for potential corruption.

Federal prosecutors may investigate Rousseff’s former chief of staff who is current Minister of Education Aloizio Mercadante, Mayor of Sao Paulo Fernando Haddad and a senator from the opposition PSDB party, Aloysio Nunes, Supreme Court Justice Celso de Mello said on Wednesday.

'The judge's decision does not open a new probe but only extends an ongoing investigation', Mercadante's lawyer, Pierpaolo Cruz Bottini, told Reuters.

All three were named in a plea bargain deal with states’ witnesses in a corruption and political kickback scheme at state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

The possible crimes raised by the witnesses are not necessarily related to the Petrobras investigation.

In Petrobras case, dozens of engineering executives are on trial for allegedly forming a cartel to fix prices on contracts with Petrobras and using the excess funds to bribe politicians and Petrobras executives.

Around 50 politicians are under investigation including President Roussef’s head of the electoral accompaniment, Joao Santana, for whom the police declared an arrest warrant on February 22.

The case is Brazil's largest-ever corruption investigation, most of the suspected politicians are from Rousseff's coalition.

TRTWorld and agencies