Jose Dirceu, former Chief of Staff to former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was charged on Tuesday by Brazil’s Federal Police for alleged involvement in blackmailing, bribing and money laundering in Brazil’s state run oil company Petrobras, and other state-run companies.
Dirceu has been held in custody since August 3, in Curitiba, Brazil after the massive Petrobras corruption scandal erupted in Brazil.
According to police and prosecutors, Dirceu was the ringleader of the organization, and he helped the corporations construction and engineering companies to adjust power plants and other important projects in exchange for bribe and other payoffs.
Brazilian prosecutors had charged four former members of the congress in Petrobras oil company corruption scheme, accusations include money laundering and embezzlement, on May 15.
Three of the four former lawmakers were detained on Apr. 10: Andre Vargas from the ruling Workers’ Party, Luiz Argolo from the smaller opposition Party of Solidarity and Pedro Correa from the Progressive Party, who have all denied involvement.
Meanwhile, the largest oil workers' union of Brazil, is planning to launch an open-ended strike on Friday starting at midnight (0300 GMT) against the state run oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA.
According to the union, known as FUP, the strike is about current cut of 40 percent in investments by Petrobras and the scheduled sale of about $15.1 billion in assets.
Petrobras released a statement on Tuesday, stating that it was aware of the planned strike and set a meeting for Thursday to discuss revisal of the union contract.