Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Former Odebrecht CEO, Marcelo Odebrecht is said to have confirmed on Wednesday before Electoral Court Judge (TSE) Herman Benjamin that his company gave approximately R$150 million in illicit campaign contributions to the 2014 Rousseff-Temer re-election campaign in 2014, report local media sources.
Judge Benjamin said that he was obtaining additional testimony from Marcelo Odebrecht and two other witnesses, ‘due to indications extracted from the written statements given by 77 executives of Odebrecht in their plea bargaining agreements under the Lava Jato (Carwash) Operation, and of testimonies related to the 2014 Rousseff-Temer electoral campaign’.
Although it was supposed to be a closed testimony Globo’s G1 reported that he donated the millions to the campaign and confirmed that he met with then Vice-President Michel Temer to talk about donations to be given by the construction conglomerate to Temer’s PMDB party. The report, however, notes that Odebrecht did state they did not talk about actual numbers and that he did not know if Rousseff was aware of the illicit donations.
According to Odebrecht, part of the R$150 million was paid overseas to PT (Workers’) party marketing wizard, João Santana. The jailed executive added that his company also made illicit campaign contributions to presidential hopefuls Aecio Neves, Marina Silva and Eduardo Campos.
If Brazil’s electoral court accepts the testimony it may recommend annulling the Rousseff-Temer winning ticket, call for the removal of Temer and new presidential election by Congress.
Marcelo Odebrecht has been in jail since June of 2015, sentenced to 19 years for corruption in the Lava Jato corruption scheme.
The company which bears his name, has been further accused of bribing not only Brazilian officials, but several officials from other Latin American countries in exchange for contract benefits in those countries.