By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A legal cooperation agreement signed between Brazil and Argentina allows the courts of the neighboring country to use information from plea agreements signed by Odebrecht executives in the widespread Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption probe.
According to Brazilian authorities several corruption cases involving one of Brazil’s largest contractors, Odebrecht, are being processed in Argentina and, with the information and evidence provided by Brazil, ‘it will be possible for the first time to accuse former employees involved in irregularities’.
“After a long negotiation and dialogue between the Secretariat for International Cooperation (SCI), inside Brazil’s Federal Public Ministry, and Argentine authorities, we have managed to reach an agreement so that corruption allegations in Argentina can be made available to the prosecutors there,” said Cristina Romanó who heads the SCI.
“This is a huge step forward in the relationship of international legal cooperation between the two countries and another big step in the fight against corruption,” concluded Romanó.
According to the Brazilian official, negotiations for the international cooperation took six months due to Argentina’s resistance in granting immunity to the informers in exchange for the information.
The entire agreement between the two countries was not fully disclosed to the public because of confidential data it contains, according to officials.
SCI reports that the same type of agreement has already been signed with Switzerland, Norway and the Netherlands.
Earlier this month (July 9th) Odebrecht announced it has signed a leniency deal with Brazilian federal agencies, where it agreed to pay R$2.7 billion during the next twenty years for its role in the Lava Jato corruption scheme.