By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The week promises to be tense in Brasília, Brazil, with the signed plea bargains by 77 executives and former employees of Odebrecht being sent by prosecutors to the country’s Supreme Court on Monday. The plea bargains are part of the on-going Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption scandal investigation.
The Odebrecht plea bargains will be reviewed by Supreme Court Justice Teori Zavasck who presides over the Lava Jato case in the Supreme Court.
The Justice has already signaled that he will ask his aides to spend the month of January going over the depositions and re-interviewing the executives without the presence of their lawyers or prosecutors so that they can confirm their written statements are truthful and were made of their own free will.
Justice Zavasck is expected to render his verdict on whether he will accept the plea bargains in early February, when the Supreme Court sessions return after end-of-year recess.
Although in theory the depositions are supposed to be kept in secrecy, local media outlets reported last week that two of the executives heard named several politicians in the bribery scandal, including some currently working for President Michel Temer’s Administration.
Daily newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported last week that in one of the executives’ depositions President Temer’s name appears 43 times, his Chief of Staff, Eliseu Padilha, 45 times and the Government’s Secretary for Private-Public Investments, Moreira Franco 34 times.
Last week, President Temer asked the federal prosecutor’s office as well as the Supreme Court to hurry the investigation and its conclusions. Temer said that the government’s fiscal adjustment measures have ‘been affected by the illegitimate disclosure’ of statements by prosecutors.
According to the President, as long as the accusations are not completed and ratified, the country will continue in a ‘climate of distrust that creates uncertainty’.
In all, political analysts believe that as many as two hundred politicians from all political parties maybe named by the executives as being involved in the corruption graft.