Brazil’s top court orders release of Petrobras executives

Supreme Court orders release of nine Petrobras executives in Brazil corruption case

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Brazil's Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday for the release of nine Brazilian oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro engineering executives charged with corruption in the investigation at state-run oil firm.

The suspects will be held in house arrest during the time of the trial as the Court acknowledged their right to defend themselves out of jail.

Previously, executives were not released unless they had signed a plea bargain with the prosecutors to provide evidence or information regarding the case.

Suspects are charged with corruption and money laundering, and organising a cartel to fix contracts that overcharge Petrobras.

Prosecutors claim the executives funneled the excess funds to their personal accounts as well as political parties and politicians.

Brazil's prosecutor general Rodrigo Janot criticised the decision, saying forming the cartel constituted a risk to public order and justified their continued detainment.

Ninety seven people have been indicted so far including senior executives and the treasurer of President Dilma Rousseff's political party, which holds the Brazilian government.

The corruption probe ignited massive street protests in Brazil as the trial is yet to produce any conviction yet.

TRTWorld and agencies