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Brazil arrests Silva’s ex-finance minister in graft probe

Brazil: A statement alleges that Brazil's former finance minister Antonio Palocci maintained a 'criminal relationship' with officials at Brazilian constructor Odebrecht.

By: AP | Rio De Janerio |
September 26, 2016 8:28:45 pm
Brazil, former minister, arrested, arrest, minister arrested, ex-President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Silva, Silva cabinate, corruption probe, oil giant, Petrobras, Antonio Palocci, detained, Sao Paulo, criminal relationship, Odebrecht, world news, indian express In this June 15, 2005 file photo, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, left, speaks with his Economy Minister Antonio Palocci. (Source: AP Photo/File)

Brazilian authorities have arrested a former finance minister who was part of the government of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as part of a wide-ranging corruption probe involving state oil giant Petrobras. Police said Monday that Antonio Palocci was detained in Sao Paulo. A statement alleges he maintained a ‘criminal relationship’ with officials at Brazilian constructor Odebrecht.

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The company was a principal participant in a kickback scheme at Petrobras that authorities say resulted in more than USD 2 billion in bribes over more than a decade.

Palocci was finance minister and then chief of staff during much of Silva’s 2003-2010 government. He is alleged to have negotiated deals on behalf of Silva’s Workers’ Party. Lawyer Jose Roberto Batochio says Palocci is innocent and calls the arrest a ‘spectacle’.

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