By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Former Odebrecht CEO, Marcelo Odebrecht, testified on Monday that the codename ‘friend’ in the company’s bribe accounting ledger referred to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, according to local media.
Federal judge Sergio Moro criticized the almost real-time release of the testimony, that was supposed to be confidential.
“There was news that the testimony was leaked and the judge said he would look into it,” Odebrecht’s lawyer, Nabor Bulhoes, told journalists according to InfoMoney.
According to local media, Odebrecht told officials that his company had given money to the Lula Institute for the setting up of the building housing the former leader’s NGO, another R$50 million to the Rousseff presidential campaign, and that ‘friend’ received R$13 million in installments during 2012 and 2013.
Not only former President Lula’s name was mentioned, but also that of former Chief of Staff, Antonio Palocci. According to Odebrecht, Palocci was known as ‘the Italian’ and intermediated illicit money from the mega construction company to government officials.
This was Odebrecht’s first testimony to Judge Moro, after accepting a plea-bargaining agreement where the former executive promised to tell all about the bribes and money laundering conducted by his company in the Lava Jato (Carwash) scandal.
Federal prosecutors want to know if Odebrecht bribed the former Chief of Staff for contract benefits with the federal government.
Next Monday (April 17th), former Workers’ Party (PT) treasurer, João Vaccari Neto, and the former director of Petrobras, Renato Duque will give their testimonies to Judge Moro.
Moro is also expected to listen to the testimonies of Rousseff’s marketing director, João Santana and his wife, Monica Moura, before calling Antonio Palocci to testify.